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This article was published 17/1/2020 (456 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Assiniboine Community College Alumni Association announced the winners of its 2020 alumni awards on Thursday.
This year’s awards have been changed from previous years’ editions.
There will be two Distinguish Alumni Awards presented, with the second award replacing the former Community Service Award. Bart Curtis and Catharine Gijsbers have been selected as the winners of those awards.
Curtis, who graduated from ACC in 2006 as a level-four carpenter apprentice, is a partner in two construction companies, CW2 Construction and Design Ltd. and Guardian Fencing Ltd. Projects he has worked on include a perimeter fence at CFB Shilo, the interior of the new Precision Toyota building and the food processing centre at ACC.
In the community, Curtis has been a senior coach and mentor for the local Mixed Martial Arts Association. When he retired from competition, he was the No. 2-ranked kickboxer in Canada. He has travelled to developing countries to build housing and desks for orphaned children.
Gjisbers graduated from ACC twice, with a certificate in office administration in 2001 and a certificate in business administration in 2003. Since graduating, she has since become a certified professional accountant and opened her own firm specializing in the agricultural industry. She is still involved with the college, teaching courses for Assiniboine Continuing Studies.
She participates in the Catholic Women’s League and is the current president of the Minnedosa Lions’ Club.
The two recipients of this year’s One to Watch Award are Josh Crabb and Tyler Crayston.
Crabb, a graduate of ACC’s media program in 2005, is now a reporter at CTV Winnipeg. He started his career working for Shaw TV in Red Deer and has since covered high-profile stories like last year’s manhunt in northern Manitoba, the 102nd Grey Cup and the Winnipeg Jets’ playoff run in 2018.
Crayston graduated from the same program in 2003. He started in the industry at Shaw TV in Saskatoon before becoming CKX’s sports director until the Brandon TV station shut down in 2009. After that, he continued his broadcasting career at Star FM/Q Country before joining Brandon University as its athlete services and events co-ordinator.
He created BU’s School Program Initiative, which helps students from around the province attend BU sports games. Crayston also helps organize the BIRT Cup golf tournament in Brandon.
This year’s Excellence in Education Award is being awarded to a pair of instructors in the School of Agriculture & Environment, Sajjad Rao and Poonam Singh.
The pair developed ACC’s horticultural production and sustainable food systems programs, which they also run.
Rao’s work currently focuses on greenhouse technologies, food systems and applying genetics to horticultural and agronomic food crops. His most recent accomplishment is the creation and release of a new type of sweet potato designed to grow in Manitoba’s climate.
He also sits on a number of boards of directors in Brandon, including the Brandon Food Council, the Brandon Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee and the Brandon General Museum and Archives.
Singh’s research is on the subjects of crop production techniques, genetic enhancement and the traditional food systems of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada. She is currently researching methods to diagnose Botrytis neck rot disease in onion fields and producing a guide for disease management in Manitoba.
Also, Singh is working on creating a native food crops demonstration garden at the college.
These awards will be handed out at ACC’s advancement dinner on March 26. The venue for the dinner has yet to be announced.
» The Brandon Sun