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Disconnect to reconnect Niagara EMS chief tells grads

Date: 2013-06-19

Main 7Chief of Niagara Emergency Medical Services Kevin Smith returned to his alma mater Niagara College on June 19 to inspire graduates from the College's Community and Health Studies Division during their afternoon convocation ceremony. Smith, who also received an honorary diploma in Community and Health Studies, had a powerful message.

“After today, it's not about you anymore,” he said, addressing approximately 400 graduates at the ceremony. “It's all about the patients/clients you serve.”

Smith spoke about the need for a personal touch in healthcare, and for new graduates in the digital age to “disconnect to reconnect.”

“The human element, the human touch, is so, so vital,” said Smith. “Being able to talk to a patient or simply holding a hand can be the greatest medicine you can provide.”

At the morning ceremony, more than 400 students from the College's Canadian Food and Wine Institute; Business, Hospitality and Tourism Environmental Division; and the Media and Technology Division received degrees, diplomas or certificates. Guest speaker Del Rollo, director, Eastern Estates Wineries and government relations at Constellation Brands, received an honorary degree in Hospitality Operations Management. His main message to the graduates: Carpe Diem.

“I really believe that everybody should wake up every day and say, 'I am going to seize the day!' It is actually a pretty hard thing to do,” he said.

Rollo, who worked his way up the ranks in server and management positions at various hotels, to food server, wine sommelier and assistant manager of the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood before becoming instrumental to launching Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate in 2001, gave advice from his own experience.

“Many of you in the room today have chosen some pretty inspiring professions, whether it is hospitality, winemaking, viticulture, culinary arts, environmental studies ... you all have the opportunity to achieve great things,” he said. “Create a plan, become an expert in everything you do. It is OK to start as a waiter and hone your skills there before you move into management. These are all the steps that I have taken to get where I am today.”

The morning ceremony also marked a special a milestone for the College, as the first class of students from the Renewable Energies Technician program were among the graduates. The two-year diploma program, which teaches students about renewable energies such as solar, wind and geothermal, aims to supply the market with high-quality graduates to fill the demand for renewable energies, which is more labour intensive than other energy sources such as fossil fuel.

This year's Spring Convocation Ceremonies - the College's largest to date - will see 3,300 students, cross the convocation stage to receive degrees, diplomas or certificates. Held at NC's Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, the ceremonies take place between June 18-21, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day.

Convocation continues this week with a roster of distinguished guest speakers including Jeffrey McGuire, Chief of Police, Niagara Regional Police Service (June 20, 10 a.m.); Liz Palmieri, Executive Director, Niagara Community Foundation (June 20, 3 p.m.); Jerry Howell, Founder and Owner, Howell Pumpkin Farm (June 21, 10 a.m.); and John Vatcher, Executive Producer/Director, Republic of Doyle (June 21, 3 p.m.).

Other highlights:

  • Thursday, 10 a.m. Amanda McIntyre of St. Catharines will graduate from the Social Service Worker program with a 96.81% academic average and receive the Governor General's Academic Medal. View media release:
  • http://niagaracollegenews.niagaracollege.ca/2013/06/17/ncs-top-student-to-receive-governor-generals-academic-medal-2/
  • Thursday, 3 p.m. the first graduating classes of Niagara College's Autism and Behavioral Science and Exercise Science for Health and Performance programs; and
  • Friday, 10 a.m. the first graduating class of Niagara College's Electrical Techniques program.
  • To view NC's 2013 Spring Convocation media release (including speaker bios), click here:

    http://niagaracollegenews.niagaracollege.ca/2013/06/07/largest-ever-class-to-graduate-at-spring-convocation-june-18-21/

    Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit NiagaraCollege.ca.




    This website is dedicated to the memory of Olga Andrusiw. The Niagara Paramedic Association is responsible for promoting the practice of Paramedicine and ensuring the highest level of care for our patients. We are leaders in the advancement of Paramedicine and achieve our objectives through public awareness, research and education. We lobby for self-regulation under the Regulated Health Professions Act. We also assist in fundraising for community-based charities. This website contains links to other websites that are created and operated by independent bodies and are therefore, not under the control of the Niagara Paramedic Association. These website links are provided as a public service and do not imply the investigation or verification of the linked websites by the NPA. The NPA is not responsible, and makes no express or implied representations or warranties concerning the products, services and information found on the linked websites. The views expressed on this website are those of the NPA and do not represent the opinions of its partners.