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Making career success possible We're proud to present the NAIT student recipients of the 2020 PCL Century of Construction Excellence Awards.

Paige Busenius

Construction Engineering Technology

I would like to thank PCL for choosing me for this award. With the unexpected fallout of the pandemic, this award actually made it possible for me to return to school for my second and final year. Thank you PCL!

What do you enjoy most about your program? I honestly love everything about my program! My classmates, classes, and instructors are all absolutely fantastic.

If you could create your ideal job, what would it be? My ideal job (which I hopefully can turn into a business in the next 10 years) is starting and running a company that specializes in LEAN improvements in construction processes, sites and projects.

What excites you most about your career path? The future! My future plans have done a complete 180 before, and they might do it again, especially since the Construction Engineering Technology program opens up so many different job opportunities.

Addison Hiller

Civil Engineering Technology

Thank you very much for the scholarship. The money helped relieve some financial pressure and allowed me to focus on finishing up my first year at NAIT. Receiving the award means a lot and I’m very thankful for your support.

What was the most unexpected benefit of receiving the award? The timing. It came right in the middle of the COVID-19 lock down and I had just found out my summer job was getting delayed. The award took a lot of pressure off while I waited to get back to work.

What drew you to this career path? Before I decided to return to school, I had the pleasure of working on a few PCL construction sites with a utility construction company. Every PCL employee I ever encountered was very professional, and I’ve always had positive experiences with the company. This was my introduction to the world of civil construction and opened my eyes to everything required to make our cities function. After learning about the program at NAIT, I decided this was the career path I wanted to pursue.

If you could create your ideal job, what would it be? My ideal job would be one where I am able to combine knowledge and creativity to help complete projects that benefit the community I live in, like the LRT expansion or the new library downtown. If I can bike to work that’d be a plus.

Alexander Krevenky

Millwright

Your generous scholarship will help me get through my final year of trade school without having to worry about my finances as much, I will not take it for granted. It is an honor to be recognized for my hard work, and receiving this scholarship motivates me to continue to strive for excellence.

What was the most unexpected benefit of receiving your award from PCL? I’ve been on reduced work hours for 6 months. Saving for my last year of school has been tough, so this award will really help get me through my final year of school.

If you could create your ideal job, what would it be? My ideal job would be repairing stationary equipment in a nice tooled up shop. Not having to deal with factors such as pipe strain and cold weather would make working on pumps a dream. There would be a small amount of staff so that all the employees feel like family.

What drew you to this career path? After finishing Power Engineering school in 2016, I was having a hard time finding a job. I found temporary work with the company I am currently with after 4 months of searching. Eventually my position turned full time, and I took advantage of the Millwright apprenticeship program. I was always interested in being a mechanic of some kind, so it worked out in the end.

Wayne Morrissey

Bachelor of Applied Information Systems Technology – Information Systems

Thank you to PCL for awarding me with the PCL Century of Construction Excellence Award, giving me the means to achieve and persevere. Both the financial support and the recognition received with this award has given me the confidence to continue down this career path even through the unexpected COVID-19 crisis.

What do you enjoy the most about your program? The program is challenging with a lot of freedom for creativity and experimentation when completing projects. We are taught the basics about system architecture and the tools of software development, and then we are given simple requirements. This allowed me to learn new programming tools and concepts, and also created an atmosphere where other students could share interesting new ideas with each other.

If you could create your ideal job, what would it be? My ideal job would be working in a start-up or with a small team, either in video game development or full stack web development. I think these workplaces would allow for creativity and unique challenges on a day-to-day basis.

What excites you most about your career path? I find programming to be very stimulating and interesting, so I am excited to have a career that is enjoyable and keeps me inspired on a daily basis.

Flex Nukem

Boilermaker

I’m shocked and elated that I received this scholarship. It was a ray of sunshine in a dismal time. The state of the world has left a lot of people with more obstacles than easy rides right now, so I feel very blessed to be the recipient of such an honour. Thank you!

What drew you to this career path? I began as a B-Pressure welder in the boilermaker trade. Welding new heat exchangers, pressure vessels, steam generators and convection boxes. I witnessed some of the best welding and craftsmanship I had ever seen during that time and it sparked an interest to learn as much and be as good as I could. During this time, I discovered how diverse the boilermaker trade was and signed up for an apprenticeship. My experience as a welder certainly helped to better understand what was required to be a better boilermaker apprentice.

What do you enjoy most about your program? I enjoyed the hands-on time spent in the shop and rigging as it helped reinforce the theory while still being fun.

What was the most unexpected benefit of receiving your award from PCL? My family and I were very surprised to receive news of the scholarship. The timing was fortunate and was used to help in relieving some financial stress. My home suffered a foundation failure this spring and a section of the basement caved in; the house shifted and some damage was done to the plumbing and HVAC system. I have been dealing with the steps necessary to repair my home ever since. Unfortunately, because of this incident and the world pandemic, I also had to take a lay-off from my job as a Boilermaker to become a full-time guardian to my children, so my partner could continue to be a full-time teacher to her students online.

Bernadine Otieno

Construction Engineering Technology

Your support will allow me to focus on the most important aspects of my studies at NAIT. Your generosity has inspired me to give back to the community, and one day, I hope to make meaningful contribution to the educational pursuits of future students. Thank you again for your long-lasting impact on my life goals.

What drew you to this career path? My desire to make world a better and exciting place is what drove me to pursue a career in construction. It started when I was 8 years old. I was always curious to know the engineering behind buildings standing straight all day without moving. I also used to help my dad sell construction materials, such as gravel and cement to contractors, and this is when my interest developed. Moving to Canada from Kenya, I saw some of the tallest buildings I had ever seen in my life, and I thought there is an opportunity to be part of the next tallest building project.

What excites you most about your career path? The diversity a career in construction has to offer is vast, from administrative roles right through to management positions, the opportunities are literally endless to explore and develop your skills. Also, I like the pride that comes with getting involved in projects that will make a meaningful impact to the community and leave a landmark.

Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities? During my free time in the evening I usually go for a run. I came first in Fort McMurray marathon 5k category in 2019. In my home country we did not have winter seasons, so I decided to try skating and did not know it was slippery. While at school I always take any opportunity to volunteer and make new friends. I am NAIT Campus ambassador as well as Construction Engineering Technology Program Ambassador. I also had the chance to participate in the 46th Annual Bridge Building Competition and 2020 the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race competition during my first year.

Kyra Dutton-Piskorik

Mechanical Engineering Technology

Thanks to this award, I was able to focus more on my personal and academic goals, rather than focus my time and stress on financial matters. I appreciate that you have recognized my efforts both in the community and at school, and that I have the financial support I need to pursue my goals and aspirations.

What drew you to this career path? I have always loved building things and finding efficient ways of solving problems. Since I was 2 years-old, I remember having a strong interest in space and space travel. When I was in grade 7, I decided I wanted to become an engineer. I decided on mechanical engineering because it offers the most flexibility and it overlaps slightly with all the other engineering disciplines.

Do you participate in any other extra-circular or volunteer activities? I am VP Finance of the NAIT Mechatronics Club, which uses aspects of our program to collaborate with other NAIT technology students, and build mechatronic contraptions that assist in everyday and specialized tasks. I am also a community volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club Big Brothers Big Sisters program. In this program, an adult ("Big") mentors a child in the community ("Little") and spends time with them weekly to help promote self-growth and self-confidence in all aspects of the child's life.

If you could create your ideal job, what would it be? My ideal job would be in an aerospace technology company, where I would be able to work my way up over the years and have a true impact on the operations and success of the company. I would like to one day become the CEO of a company that develops sustainable technologies for air and space travel.

Cody Tugwell-Seames

Mobile Crane and Hoisting

Thank you very much for your recognition of my hard work in the Mobile Crane and Hoisting program. It built up my confidence, so I know I can do whatever I put my mind to. Receiving the award was unexpected, but very much appreciated!

What drew you to this career path? When I finished high school, I went right into the pipeline industry, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at the time. I started working as a general labourer, then worked as a boom truck swamper. I learned lots, knew I would enjoy it and wanted to one day run my own cranes, so I continued on and became a journeyman. It was a completely different path for me.

If you could create your ideal job, what would it be? My Ideal job would be running the biggest mobile cranes in the industry.

What excites you most about your career path?What excites me about my career path is that I'm always doing something different in a different place. It's always a new challenge!

Ishan Sharma

Bachelor of Technology in Construction Management

I want to express my sincere gratitude for your support towards my academic goals. I was extremely overjoyed and emotional at the same time when I received the award from my dream company, PCL. I was able to focus more on my learning and academics rather than being stressed about tuition fees. Thank you for making this possible.

If you could create your ideal job, what would it be? My ideal job would be to become a creative head and innovation strategist in the construction industry. I want to use my creativity and knowledge to bring in new innovative techniques and ideas that will help increase the safety of construction workers.

Do you participate in any other extracurricular or volunteer activities? I participate in several volunteer activities year-round. Most recently, I initiated a self-organized COVID-19 Help and Support. During the difficult pandemic, it was important for me to help the older adults who are more vulnerable and in need of help. I posted an advertisement with my name and number and that I was able to provide free delivery and pick up service for food, groceries and medicines to older adults. It made me happy when I was able to help them through this small initiative.

What drew you to this career path? I started working as a database administrator at a construction company in Leduc. Gradually, my interest increased towards construction. I was curious to learn more about the types of products used in building construction and how construction is a key part of our lives. I became quite passionate about digging deeper to enlighten my knowledge, and I started interacting with my colleagues who had experience in residential and commercial construction. I researched several program and concluded that this program was the right choice to increase my knowledge and skills, and, in turn, change the world.

Nikhil Sharma

Electrical Engineering Technology

Receiving an award like this is truly an honour; having all my time and effort, in and out of the classroom, recognized means the world to me. I would like to thank everyone at PCL for investing in me and my future, and allowing me to focus on the most important part of school: learning.

What drew you to this career path? When I was young, I wanted to be a paleontologist, that is, until I discovered the world of Lego. Once my mom got me my first set of Lego (an x-wing) I realized I love building and creating things. As I grew older, I realized how entrenched out world was in technology and how pivotal engineers are in all these developing technologies. When I got into the Electrical Engineering Technology program, I knew I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

What excites you most about your career path? All of the potential opportunities. I have no idea where my career will take me. There are so many opportunities to learn and grow and meet new people. Me and my friends from high school always talked about opening an engineering firm together one day, so who knows? Maybe all that talk will pay off. I do not know where this career may take me, but I am excited to meet people and learn new things along the way and see where I end up.

Do you participate in any other extracurricular or volunteer activities? I love getting involved in the community by volunteering and doing extra-curricular activities, including playing sports. I was an assistant coach for a hockey team. Its fun teaching the next generation of hockey players the sport that I love. As an engineer, I love math and am a math tutor for high school students. I know some students struggle with the concepts, so tutoring gave me a chance to help those who don’t quite understand it; and let me tell you, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the kids faces light up when they finally understand a concept.

Martin Sims

Welding

For the second year in a row, I am delighted to give my gracious thanks for the generous award that I have received from PCL . It gives me great pride to win such an exceptional distinction among such an equally worthy group of colleagues. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for reminding me of the value of hard work.

What do you enjoy most about your program?The aspect of my program that I most enjoy is the opportunity to learn from many other people's experiences in one small environment. I find this helps improve skills and knowledge immensely in a short period of time.

What drew you to this career path? I have been interested in welding since I was young, as my dad is a millwright and always had things around the garage to tinker with and try to get working. Becoming a mechanic for me (first Automotive, then Heavy Duty) was a natural progression of what I was already practicing when I was young. After I completed my Journeyman tickets, I was offered the opportunity to gain the trade designation Welder, to which I eagerly agreed.

Do you participate in any other extracurricular or volunteer activities? I have a three-year-old daughter who keeps me moving at all times of the day, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Outside of that, I enjoy music, fine arts (especially opera), cooking, and I am currently co-writing a script for the Fringe Festival.

Noah Zimmerman

Electrician

It is with much gratitude that I sincerely say thank you for this award. This has incentivized me to work even harder in the upcoming years of my technical training! The most unexpected benefit of this award from PCL is the pride that I carry inside of me when I look back and remember how it felt receiving it.

What drew you to this career path? My interest as an electrician started when I was around 15 or 16 years old. It wasn’t what I had envisioned earlier in life, but it has been very good to me, and for that I am grateful.

What do you enjoy most about your program? The thing I enjoy most about my program is the hands-on learning; whether it be in the labs or at work or at home, there is always more to learn!

What excites you most about your career path? The thing that excites me most about my career path is the people I meet and get to enjoy working with!

Congratulations to the following students not shown in the presentation: Neil Bernard, Ironworker; Zachery Kindt, Carpentry; Haley Hearn, Steamfitter/Pipefitter; and Donald Szeto, Network Engineering Technology.

The PCL Century of Construction Excellence Awards are $2,000 scholarships presented annually to students enrolled in Apprenticeship, Technology, and Degree programs at NAIT.

Selection for each scholarship is made on the basis of top academic achievement, career interests, and demonstrated leadership in the community or at NAIT.

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