Yukon Research Centre of Excellence Celebrates Opening

The doors to the Yukon Research Centre of Excellence were officially opened today by Premier Dennis Fentie, Yukon College Board Chair Clarence Timmons and Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Andy Carvill.

“This opening represents a milestone in establishing Yukon’s commitment to the growing northern-based knowledge sector,” Fentie said. “Yukoners are well aware of our need to adapt to changes in climate, environment and economy. The Yukon Research Centre of Excellence initiative, which we committed to in 2006, is well represented by talented individuals and dedicated partners, to place Yukon in the forefront of research and innovation in these areas.”

Radio broadcasting students at Yukon College are utilizing their workplace skills with their own three hour radio program in partnership with CHON FM, Yukon’s Aboriginal radio station.

Every weekday, 11 students in the Skills for Employment Radio Broadcasting Program, create and record content for their hip-hop program, The College Vibe, which airs weeknights from 9-12.

The radio partnership is part of a workplace essential skills program offered at the College, which gives students real work experience. Liz Bosely, Skills for Employment Instructor, says the students have complete creative control and treat the program as a real job. “The students are learning about technology, teamwork and effective communications,” Bosely says.

Bosely says the student’s first show was on September 21st, but she can already hear improvement. She says the students have practiced script writing skills and will soon incorporate interviewing skills into the program.

Yukon College is celebrating its receipt of $80,000 in endowment funds. Funds are donated to the College through the Yukon Foundation.

On October 7th, Yukon College President, Terry Weninger and Chair of the Yukon Foundation, John Firth will officially unveil an Endowment Wall, displaying donors to the Yukon College Endowment Fund.

The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on the second floor of the College, visible from the staff parking lot entrance.

“I am honoured to have received these significant donations to the Yukon College Endowment Fund,” said Terry Weninger, Yukon College President. “It’s a testament to our donors’ valuation of post-secondary education. We look forward to developing the fund further, to the benefit of Yukon College students.”

Yukon College matches donations to the Endowment Fund up to $15,000 per year.

Yukon College will host the first ever Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) International Student Conference to be held North of60. It is also the first program to highlight an international focus that includes both polar regions.

Five students will be presented with a Northern Residence Award and two students will receive Millennium In-Course Excellence Awards on September 17th. One of the students is a two-time award winner. The ceremony will take place from12:00-1:00 in the Yukon College Boardroom.

The five awards are distributed by the Canadian Northern Studies Trust; the awards branch of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS).
Students are awarded the Northern Studies Trust for research projects they will undertake in their programs that will contain fieldwork in northern or circumpolar regions.

The purpose of the Canadian Northern Studies Trust is to develop a group of scholars and scientists with northern experience and enhance the educational opportunities available for northern residents. To be eligible students need to be enrolled in a full-time post-secondary program at a recognized Canadian university or college.

Over the past few months, Yukon College has been working with the local Pandemic Planning Coordinator, the Department of Health and Social Services and the Yukon Medical Officer of Health to prepare for a possible second wave of the H1N1 virus and the upcoming fall and winter flu season.

Colleen Wirth, Director of Student Services, says staff and students are receiving the information they need to reduce their risk of contracting or spreading flu viruses.
“We want to do everything we can to ensure the health and well-being of our students, staff and faculty,” Wirth says.

Yukon’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley will speak and take questions about H1N1 during Student Orientation. The discussion will take place in the Pit on September 14th at 12 p.m.

Yukon College will welcome students for the new school year during Student Orientation September 8th � 18th. Student Orientation Coordinator, Kieran Slobodin has organized events to help students transition into college life including, school tours, a barbeque and a pie-eating contest on the first day of school.

Orientation events are another way the College supports an active student life, where students can learn, meet, socialize and engage in healthy activities.“These events help to create a welcoming atmosphere for students, especially those coming from outside of Whitehorse,” Slobodin says. “It gives students a chance to develop friendships early on in the school year.”

Yukon College employees will have the opportunity to participate in First Nation traditional activities at this year�s President�s Lunch/Inservice on August 25th at Yukon College and the Yukon Arts Centre from 8:30 a.m. � 4:00 p.m.

Randall Tetlichi, First Nations Support, will open the day with a prayer and will lead traditional drumming and singing.

�We�re starting the year with this event, but there will be opportunities throughout the school year for staff to build their cultural awareness,� says Tetlichi.

A panel discussion will take place on First Nation World Views including, family, connection to the land, culture and language.

There will be four 45-minute sessions on various First Nation activities including, crafts and hand games in the afternoon.

Communities in Bloom has chosen Yukon College as the first place winner for the 2009 Institutional Curb Appeal at the Watson Lake Campus.

The Communities in Bloom program recognizes businesses, institutions and residences that are committed to improving quality of life through beautification projects.

�The Communities in Bloom Award acknowledges the College�s efforts to help improve the identity of the College and make all campuses welcoming,� says Michelle Koehl, Coordinator of the Watson Lake Campus.

The Watson Lake Campus received a plaque by the Communities in Bloom group in Watson Lake.

Koehl says the Communities in Bloom group automatically entered the College this year, after seeing their colourful flower boxes at the front of the school.

Through a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded project from the University of Toronto, the Arctic Health Research Network - Yukon, in partnership with the Northern Research Institute at Yukon College, is offering an annual scholarship to promote northern health research to Yukon students. The scholarship is to enable northern residents to undertake graduate level studies which will benefit northern capacity in health research through training and education at any university (Canadian or International). A maximum of $21,000 for a Ph.d. student or $17,000 for a master’s student is available.

The Application form (which includes Eligibility requirements) is available at the Arctic Health Research Network - Yukon website:

For more information please contact: