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Home News Release Loyalist College Graduates Nominated for Premier

Loyalist College Graduates Nominated for Premier

November 10, 2008

Loyalist College is pleased to announce the nominees for the Annual Premier’s Awards program.  The provincial program recognizes outstanding graduates from Ontario’s publicly funded colleges in six different categories.  This year’s Loyalist College nominees include:  Brian Askett (Business); Mandy Bonisteel (Health Sciences); Emily Hall (Recent Graduate); James Harrington (Technology); Jane Powell (Community Services); and Edman Yiu (Creative Arts and Design).

College President Maureen Piercy congratulated each of the nominees, describing them as, “excellent representatives of the countless, remarkable graduates of Loyalist College over the past forty years.”

Brian Askett graduated from Accounting at Loyalist in 1973.  His career has spanned more than 33 years in various departments of the federal government holding progressively senior operational positions, focussing on Systems, Finance, and Administration. As Acting Director in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade he oversaw financial operations of more than $1.2 billion annually and over $300 million in revenues abroad. He has played key roles in implementing profound administrative and financial changes in two federal departments. Brian has the rare distinction of being a four-time recipient of the Treasury Board Merit Award, the highest award presented by the federal government to public service employees.

Mandy Bonisteel graduated from Nursing in 1978.  She has had a diverse career focused primarily on anti-violence work: education, counselling, consulting, advocacy and activism. She is the Coordinator/Professor in the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate Program at George Brown College (GBC), Director of Program Development at Respect-At-Work, and a part-time Registered Nurse at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto on the Psychiatric Emergency Intervention Team. She founded the Sexual Assault Centre for Quinte and District, developed curriculum at GBC, and has been involved in a number of international initiatives in Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo, Namibia, India, and Samoa. Mandy has been presented with the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship.

Emily Hall is a 2005 graduate of the Corporate and Commercial Security program.  As the Provincial Offences Enforcement Officer, Emily is responsible for an area covering more than 7,000 square kilometres with a population of close to 156,000 to ensure compliance with the Ontario Smoke-Free Ontario Act. She works in conjunction with local police and fire departments, Ministry of Revenue, RCMP and the Alcohol & Gaming Commission. In addition, Emily is the Commanding Officer of the 608 Royal Air Cadet Squadron in Belleville, overseeing 75 cadets, three officers and four volunteers. She is one of the youngest to hold a commanding officer position in Ontario and holds the rank of Captain.

James Harrington is a 1969 graduate of the Electronic Engineering Technician program. Today, he is an electronics and mechanical product designer who has been developing research and exploration equipment since 1970 in astrophysics, geophysics, and oceanographic applications. He developed a new method for gold and platinum exploration that has led directly to the discovery of countless ore bodies around the world and the life extension of operating mines by increasing known ore reserves. Jim is recognized worldwide for the design and fabrication of Canada’s first successful fuel cell-assisted sailboat, “The Sloop Jim D”, inspired by a similar system used on the Ulysses spacecraft on which he worked in the 1980s.

Jane Powell graduated in 1978 from the Developmental Services Worker (formerly MRC) program.  For the past 30 years, Jane has lived and worked at L’Arche in Montreal, the Ivory Coast, Richmond Hill, and Toronto. L’Arche is an “intentional” community in which people with intellectual disabilities and without disabilities choose to live, work, learn, and create a home together. Jane is a leader in L’Arche Canada in the area of bereavement and palliative care. She has authored several publications on the subject. While Jane continues to live in a L’Arche community, she also consults with other agencies and groups in the area of aging, palliative care, grief and bereavement.

Ed Yiu is a Communications – Studio graduate of 1974.  He is internationally recognized as being on the cutting edge of new television production technology, with more than 30 years’ experience in the broadcast industry. Currently serving as Director of Broadcast Telecommunications for the Olympic Broadcasting Services Vancouver, Ed will be responsible for providing sports productions from 17 venues to broadcasters worldwide during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.  Ed has successfully managed the technical aspects of starting new television operations across Canada and internationally and has managed annual budgets of more than $30 million. He designed a new non-linear news operation to minimize “time-to-air”.

The Premier’s Awards will be presented at the Colleges Ontario annual conference in February 2009.

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Media Contact:  Dianne Spencer, College Advancement & External Relations, Loyalist College, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2235 or e-mail: