Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 7:51 pm

College database is deeper than ever

By KAITLYN ANDREWS
Staff Writer
   According to last year’s numbers, Niagara College’s libraries have a database of 1.5 million search
possibilities.
   The database has a complete, accessible online resource from on campus computers plus access to these resources from home, which gives students over 130,000 eBooks and 80,169 online journals.
    “We’ve always had databases as long as I have worked here, which has been 15 years,” said Gordana Vitez, Niagara’s
Library Services and Systems co-ordinator.
    Besides providing an accessible database, the libraries also carry over 35,000 books on course curriculum as well as general interest books, both fiction and non-fiction. Streamed movies are also offered.
  Vitez said during peak times in the academic year the library extends its hours and is available on weekends.
    It is unlikely there will be a 24-hour library because the college campuses are not located in urban areas, so there are no...

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Touch a Truck for Literacy

By ZACK SALVERDA
Staff Writer
For just a toonie, people can reach out and touch a truck in the Touch a Truck Foundation event.
Slated for Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., all funds benefit raising literacy in the Niagara region.
Parking is free and it is possible to park in either the Niagara College Niagara-on-the-Lake campus parking lot or at the old Foster Wheeler building.
The foundation began in 2004 and with a child’s love of trucks and his grandparents’ ambition, they have helped raise over $48,000 so far.
“In 2004, then two-year-old Logan Reynolds loved trucks, and while visiting the family at his home in Norwalk, Conn., that year his grandparents, John and Carol Walker, went with him to see an event called Touch a Truck,” said Jackie Phelan, Touch a Truck co-organizer.
“Mimi [Carol] thought this would be a new and great idea for fundraising in Niagara, and Papa [John]...

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New chef in Culinary’s kitchen

By KEVAN DOWD
Staff Writer
By KEVAN DOWD Staff Writer Chef Scott Baechler has joined Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute as a new full-time faculty member in the culinary program. Baechler started here Aug. 18 and brings with him impressive credentials. “Scott’s experience at both international and domestic hotel and independent restaurant operations is a welcome addition to the great team of chefs we currently have,” said Gary Torraville, associate dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Baechler joins the culinary program after leaving Fanshawe College in London, Ont., where he had been a full-time faculty member since 2007. Baechler’s Facebook page shows his excitement and popularity among his former students and their disappointment at his departure. Baechler cites Niagara’s facilities, resources and teams as reasons for joining the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “The instructors here are excellent but diverse so their training is slightly different,” said Baechler. “So, from a student’s perspective, that’s excellent. You’re going to learn three or four different ways to do the same thing and get the same result so you can decide what works well for you.” “But the main reason I’m here, obviously, is for the students,” said Baechler. Baechler is a Core Member of Culinary Team Canada, the team that will represent Canada at the 2016 World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. Fifteen chefs from across Canada are chosen by their peers to represent the country. Members are chosen based on their culinary skills with only the most exceptional ones making the team. The chefs are all volunteers participating in the event and preceding competitions on their own time. Baechler is one of six core team members all of whom have two specific meals they’re responsible for. One is an uncooked meal for the “cold portion” of the competition; the other is a cooked meal for the “hot portion”. He will be responsible for making a vegetarian appetizer and entrée known as a lacto-ovo vegetarian option. A Niagara College student culinary team will also be representing Canada at the 2016 Culinary Olympics as the Junior Culinary Team Canada. “I’ve had the fortune of meeting all of them and also working with them,” said Baechler.  “They’re a great group of young students and are fully committed, so I’m really, really pleased to be involved with them now.” “If you’re within the Niagara Region please come out and support our students,” said Baechler. “They’re the next generation of young chefs entering the field. Come on out and enjoy, you’re going to have some great food, great wine. So, please come out for them, that’s the biggest thing.” Baechler graduated from Toronto’s George Brown College in 1993 and began an apprenticeship at the Royal Meridien King Edward Hotel in Toronto. He also worked at the Rimrock Hotel in Banff, Alta., where he played a leading role in converting the hotel from a four-diamond hotel to five-diamond, the highest rating. Baechler has won numerous regional, national and international awards and earned the title of Certified Chef de Cuisine, the highest honour a chef in Canada can receive. He served as executive sous chef/chef de cuisine at the Fairmont Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.Chef Scott Baechler has joined Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute as a new full-time faculty member in the culinary program. Baechler started here Aug. 18 and brings with him impressive credentials.
“Scott’s experience at both international and domestic hotel and independent restaurant operations is a welcome addition to the great team of chefs we currently have,” said Gary Torraville, associate dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute.
Baechler joins the culinary program after leaving Fanshawe College in London, Ont., where he had been a full-time faculty member since 2007. Baechler’s Facebook page shows his excitement and popularity among his former students and their disappointment at his departure.
Baechler cites Niagara’s facilities, resources and teams as reasons for joining the Canadian Food and Wine Institute.
“The instructors here are excellent but diverse so their training is slightly different,” said Baechler. “So, from a student’s perspective, that’s excellent....

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SAC introduces new health benefit plans

By BECKI CREWE
Staff Writer
Poor advertising is causing students to miss out on their health and dental care benefits.
Niagara College’s Student Administrative Council (SAC) sponsors these for all students. However, many are unaware of the benefits they pay for with their tuition.
Alex Strickland, 18, a student in the Electrical Engineering Technician program, says, “I asked a couple of students and they all said they were unaware of the health and or dental plans.”
“I do think they are good for students, I also think they should be more advertised.”
Jessica Perreault, 20, an Early Childhood Education student, says, “I do think they are important for students because it helps with their overall health, but I feel like they [SAC] should have pamphlets and give them out on orientation day to students.”
Perreault and Strickland are new students and were unaware of the SAC-sponsored student benefits.
The health and dental care plans come in...

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Transform NC works to prioritize programs

By JULIET KADZVITI
Staff Writer
Teresa Quinlin SUBMITTED PHOTONiagara College is in the process of reviewing its programs and services through the Transform NC initiative.
It was prompted by, among other things, a provincial mandate (Ontario’s Differentiation Policy Framework for Post-secondary Education) requiring colleges to specialize in certain programs and areas.
Steve Hudson, vice-president academic, said it will prioritize programs against each other and necessary changes will be made.
“Transform NC will look at programs and see which need opportunities for growth and which need capital investment compared to others.”
He said because quality reviews of each program are handled the same, no program will be “neglected.”
Transform NC builds from the college’s 2013-2016 Strategic Plan and functions as a roadmap for the development of college programs and services.
Teresa Quinlin, vice-president finance and strategic planning, who chairs Transform NC, says the initiative is a new approach to how program reviews are handled here. Reviews currently happen cyclically,...

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New Student Services manager wants to know what you want

By JEN HARDY
Staff Writer
Student Services Manager Dina Fox prepares to handle student issues in her office at the Welland campus in SE102. PHOTO BY JEN HARDYDina Fox enjoys the buzz and vibe on campus with the students returning for the fall semester.
Niagara College hired her as the new manager for Student Services. Dina Fox began her new position on July 9, and says it was the “ideal start” for her.
“Because I started in July, the campus was a little quieter, so it was great to form relationships with the other team members within student services and the academic departments and to learn from them.”
Prior to her new role, Fox was the supervisor of the Academic Advisors Exploration Services at Brock University. Fox said it was similar to working here; they had a small team at Brock and their main focus was to be there for the students from enrolling until graduation, helping them with course selection and their academic life. Support and guidance are key and reaching out to the...

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New character unlocked for Game Development

By JAMIE BURTON
Staff Writer
Game Development Professor Gina Grossi says immersion in games and communication between teams are key to great development. PHOTO BY JAMIE BURTONA former Silicon Knights lead developer has leveled up to a full-time teaching position sharing 14 years of experience with Game Development students.
Professor Gina Grossi made the move to full time in August after two years at Niagara College as a part-time teacher.
Fellow Game Development professor Connor MacNeill is excited to work alongside Grossi.
“Gina brings a wealth of industry knowledge,” said MacNeill, “and as a woman from the game industry, she brings an interesting perspective to students that you don’t often see.”
A veteran of the competitive AAA gaming industry, Grossi is no casual when it comes to video game development. Grossi started her career fresh out of Brock University, and was recruited by Dennis Dyack’s St. Catharines studio, Silicon Knights, in 1998.
While there, Grossi developed interface, menu and particles systems for critically acclaimed games such as Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.
For...

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