Photo: Donna Slavic with her award and her husband Rick.
Coast Mountain College is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s convocations awards. The three awards recognize the work of distinguished alumni, employee achievement and community service.
Distinguished Alumni Award: Charlotte Guno
This award is given to an alumnus of the school that has made an outstanding contribution to the social, cultural or economic wellbeing of Coast Mountain College, its students or the communities of the region it serves.
Charlotte Guno began her post-secondary journey with the College in 1988 when she received her Certificate in Business Careers. Since then, Charlotte has become an important piece of the Coast Mountain College community. She believes strongly in the power of education to change young people's lives and is a fierce and devoted advocate for Indigenous students across the region. She has long been an important member of CMTN’s First Nations Council holding the roles Chair and Acting Chair for many of those years. Her wise council has helped guide Coast Mountain College through many changes including its name change, and its pursuit of funding for new student housing that takes into consideration the cultural and social needs of Indigenous students living away from home.
Her tireless advocacy paid off when she was able to participate in the announcement that Coast Mountain College would receive funding for new student housing, that is now under construction on the Terrace campus and slated to welcome its first students this fall. Charlotte's honest, to-the-point approach to communicating helps inform our institution's decisions. A residential school survivor, Charlotte has shared her experiences with others so that they can learn. Charlotte's leadership, student-centred focus and dedication to the transformative benefits of education for Indigenous people is why she was nominated for this award.
Employee Recognition Award: Jillian Stephens and Emilia McConville
Due to the unprecedented times throughout the pandemic, two employees were selected as the recipients of this year’s Employee Recognition Award. This award is given to a Coast Mountain College employee, nominated by their peers, who goes above and beyond in the work that they do at the college. They live CMTN’s values of integrity, transformation and adventure in addition to making a contribution to the greater community by way of participation in a professional association or volunteer capacity.
Jillian Stephens is a First Nations Access Coordinator based on the Terrace campus. Jillian was nominated for her ability to “shine her light” in the CMTN community. From organizing events that support learning of Indigenous culture, language and cultural practices to being a wealth of information for students, Jillian’s friendly and open approach to her work is felt by many. She was nominated for her commitment to student success and her dedication to sharing knowledge with students and the greater campus community.
Emilia McConville is the Campus Administrative Officer for the Prince Rupert campus has been the glue that has brought the Prince Rupert Campus together for many years. Anyone who has stepped through the doors of the Prince Rupert campus has likely been on the receiving end of her welcoming and personable demeanour. She was nominated for her willingness to go the extra mile to ensure students have access to the resources they need to succeed. Emilia brings a positive energy and a commitment to her role, her colleagues and all the students at the Prince Rupert Campus.
Coast Mountain College Community Service Award: Donna Slavik, Kimmunity Angels
This award is given to a member of the community who is not a staff or faculty member at the college and who demonstrates CMTN’s values by giving back to our communities and/or the college through volunteerism.
This year’s award goes to Donna Slavik, of Terrace, who is the founder and Executive Director of the Kimmunity Angels Society that raises funds for terminally ill patients who require financial assistance to cover the costs of travel to access treatment and necessary equipment. Founded in honour of Donna’s friend Kim, who passed away from cancer, the society has supported dozens of patients over the years.
The Kimmunity Angels Society has engaged the community through numerous fundraising activities and has become an important resource for patients in the greater Terrace area. Donna is the first to tell you that she could not do it without the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers and donors who commit their time and resources to the organization that helps people in their time of greatest need. Donna’s husband, Rick Slavik (also an employee at Coast Mountain College), has been at her side throughout the growth of the Kimmunity Angels.
Sarah Zimmerman, APR
Executive Director, Communications