Alumni Success Stories

Alumni of Northern College

Your connection to Northern does not end when you finish your coursework and graduate.

By staying close to us here at Northern College, you will join the ranks of many proud, successful and supportive alumni who have come through our doors. We can serve as a reference for your new job, help support you in your future career, or just have a coffee and catch up to see how life has been for you.

Alumni Success Stories

Andrea Jolly

 I couldn’t have come to Northern College at a worse moment in my life. I was a single mother with two children and had just lost my father to suicide while recovering from post-partum depression. 

With determination and resiliency, the only thing I knew was that I never wanted to be that vulnerable again. Instead, I wanted to be the person who could help others; like those who had helped me. I joined the Social Service Worker Program at Northern College and after graduation, I became a person who helps others – which was exactly what my goal had been. 

I faced many challenges along the way but overcame them all with the help of Northern College. They helped me with childcare support and my mental health care. This really made a difference! 

The friendships I built within my program and the community created a sense of belonging as I was supported in all aspects of my being: emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. 

Because I went to Northern College, I am strong. I am determined. I am resilient!

Andrea Jolly

Photo of Andrea Jolly

Alumni Success Stories

Maninderjit Kaur

I came to Canada and to Northern College in January of 2018. Everything was new for me here, especially in Northern Ontario.

I don’t know how to express how much Northern College and the Northern community has given to me. I’ve learned so much from my professors, Deans, my employers, and from everyone!

I’ve grown so much, achieved what I never thought I would and I am on my way to achieving so much more. I am developing a strong character and loving it!

One of the things I like most is that people are so welcoming here. Once you get used to living in the North, you will never regret coming up here.

I work for Northern College now, and help other students like me feel welcome here!

Don’t miss a chance to come here, accept challenges, and win your game. We are all here to support you.

– Maninderjit Kaur

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Alumni Success Stories

Hope Koosees

My name is Hope Koosees. I am an Indigenous Student Recruiter and Pathways Navigator at Northern College. I am of Ojibway and Cree heritage which is commonly known as Oji-Cree. I affiliate with Attawapiskat First Nation. 

I grew up in Moosonee, Ontario, where I graduated from Northern Lights Secondary School. I then graduated from Northern College with my post-secondary diploma in the Police Foundations program. 

To come from a small knitted First Nation community, I really liked the idea of smaller class sizes here at Northern College which means more one-on-one, personalized support for each learner. With their high quality programming and caring environment, Northern College really helped me gain the skills I needed and I was employed within a month after graduation. 

Now, I work for the very institution that supported me in getting a College education. It is good to be here. We hope you come learn with us, too! 

I’m pleased to help others with their educational goals, and find ways to make those dreams come true.

– Hope Koosees

Photo of Hope Kooses

Alumni Success Stories

Noel Penfold

After graduating from the 2-year Welding Engineering Program, I honestly never believed that I would be in a position to teach, not to mention only three years after graduation.

I was hired by The Bucket Shop to teach an 8-week condensed welding course to Indigenous women in partnership with Keepers of The Circle.

I truly believe that this opportunity presented itself because of the strong skills and knowledge I acquired during my studies at Northern College, Kirkland Lake Campus.

My education has allowed me to prosper in this role and has also allowed me to make one of my dreams a reality.

Noel Penfold, Welding Engineering 2012 Northern College Graduate

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Premier's Awards

Going on to succeed after graduating from College is an admirable feat. We’re proud of your success, and we hope that you are, too.

Do you know someone awesome who is a grad of Northern College who gives back to community and is what you consider to be a success story? Nominate them for a Premier’s Award!

The Premier’s Awards honour the important social and economic contributions that college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world. The awards were launched in 1992 and are administered by Colleges Ontario.

Presented annually, the Premier’s Awards recognize graduates in the following seven categories – Apprenticeship, Business, Community Services, Creative Arts and Design, Health Sciences, Recent Graduate and Technology.

Email to nominate an awesome grad!

I wanted to give a huge shout out to you and the whole team (family) at Northern College! You guys made my night so special knowing you guys were ‘there’ online as well at the gala.

The cracker, cheese and goodies basket were delicious and so thoughtful- the premiers award team had sent etched champagne glasses, so we were able to have some wine with the fancy cheeses! Such a fun night.

Thank you again everyone involved to help get me to this point. It truly is one of the proudest moments of me and my parents’ lives!

– Whitney Jardine
2021 Premier’s Award Nominee for Outstanding Ontario College Graduates

Premier's Awards Winner 2023

Christina Kioke
2023 Premier’s Award in the Recent Graduate category

Program Manager – Omushkego Six Seasons Youth Program, Mushkegowuk Council
Social Service Worker, 2022

Christina is an Attawapiskat First Nation member, social service worker, advocate for those facing social injustice and inequity, and a former foster parent.

Christina is a strong, proud, and resilient Cree woman, striving to create positive societal change for the communities she serves. As a manager, Christina launched the Six Seasons Youth Program. It provides Indigenous youth with a culturally safe space to develop and maintain their sense of identity and belonging, thus decreasing the risk of suicide.

Christina was interview by CBC Radio’s Morning North with Markus Schwabe on December 1, 2023 to chat about the award. Listen to the interview here.

Congratulations Christina!

Premier's Awards Nominees 2023

Quinn Truong

Program Instructor, Northern College
Road Construction Senior Inspector-Contract Administration, LEA Consulting Ltd.

Civil Engineering Technology, 2020

In just eight years in Canada, Quinn Truong mastered a new language and completed a three-year Civil Engineering Technology Advanced Diploma condensed into two years, at age 50, graduating with a 4.0 GPA.

Quinn is employed at a consulting firm working on road and bridge construction projects while teaching at Northern College. She became a Canadian citizen in 2022 and is reinvesting in the success of female engineering students with the Quinn Truong Woman in Technology Bursary.

Quinn immigrated from Vietnam with an architectural degree and 20 years of infrastructure project management experience.

Photo of Quinn Truong

Premier's Awards Nominees 2023

Kristin Murray
Executive Director, Kunuwanimano Child & Family Services
City Councillor, City of Timmins

Social Service Worker, 2003
Drug & Alcohol Counselor, 2003

Kristin is a helper, speaker and advocate who is passionate about Equity Diversity and Inclusion.

Experienced in community development both personally, professionally and in her current role as a Councillor with the City of Timmins, Kristin was the first person of colour to become the Mayor of the City of Timmins.

As a Black and Indigenous woman, Kristin’s intersectional identities help her empathize with diverse communities and bring compassion and kindness to her work. She is the descendant of a signatory to Treaty 9, who speaks passionately about integrating every individual’s personal responsibility into action toward reconciliation and decolonization.

Photo of Kristin nMurray

Premier's Awards Nominees 2022

Amanda Kioke
Community Health Nurse (Registered Nurse), B.C. First Nations Health Authority

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN), 2019
Pre-Health Advanced Health Sciences Certificate, 2015

As a nurse with mixed ancestry, working alongside First Nation communities has been deeply rewarding. Amanda is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare services that under-serviced communities and regions access. Inspired by the guiding principles of two-eyed seeing, she is passionate about the reclamation and integration of traditional and ecological knowledge into nursing practice. Amanda strives to lead by example in delivering culturally safe and attuned care. Her advocacy work occurs at varying levels, including on the ground directly with patient care, administratively through successful grant/proposal writing; at the community level as a former Executive Board Member for an Indigenous health service; and, ongoing involvement in various projects, initiatives, campaigns, formally and informally.

Photo of Amanda Kioke

Premier's Awards Nominees 2022

Kathryn Gagain
Personal Support Worker, Golden Manor Home for the Aged
Part-Time Professor, Northern College

Personal Support Worker Program, 2019

While working in Indigenous Services Department, Kathryn helped implement several key initiatives. She helped develop policies around Indigenous ceremonies such as smudging and respectful relations with Elders. Kathryn was also part of implementing Lightning Trail, a camp hosted by Northern College for Indigenous youth ages 12-15. It introduces attendees to post-secondary life (including living at the Residence for a week) while building confidence, leadership skills, teamwork skills and cultural understanding. The goal is to help students identify their dreams; their strengths and a pathway to achievement.

Photo of Kathryn Gagain

Premier's Awards Nominees 2022

David Bernier
Chief Operating Officer, Foran Mining

Survey Engineering Technology, 1995

Following graduation in 1995 from Northern College’s Survey Engineering Technology Program, David graduated from the Survey Engineering Program, then transitioned from this field after about three years of practice to more of a Mining Engineering Technologist role before ultimately moving into operations, supervision and management. David’s latest accomplishment is joining Foran Mining in 2021. The Vancouver-based firm is set to build Canada’s first carbon-neutral copper mine in northeast Saskatchewan. He was initially VP of Operations and is now Chief Operating Officer. David’s responsible for overseeing the road map to permit, design and build the 4,200 tpd Cu/Zn mine. He’s forming the team to engineer, design and construct the mine, establishing capacity building programs for local Indigenous groups to participate in the permitting process and initiating discussions on a long-term Collaboration Agreement.

Photo of David Bernier

Premier's Awards Nominees 2022

Carole Young
Addictions Counsellor, South Cochrane Addictions Services

Social Service Worker, 2018

Carole began having an impact in social services long before she graduated and found employment in the sector through many volunteer efforts. She continues to give back to the community in addition to her work with South Cochrane Addictions Services. The education and mentorship Carole received at Northern College enabled her to gain the credentials to work in the helping field with vulnerable people. It strengthened her abilities as an advocate, educator, facilitator, case manager, organizer, and manager.

Photo of Carole Young

Premier's Awards Nominees 2021

Whitney Karina Jardine

Diploma, Welding Engineering Technology, 2016
Diploma, Welding Engineering Technician, 2014
Corporate Welding Engineer, The NARMCO Group

Whitney Karina Jardine’s drive for excellence began as a teenaged national competitive swimmer. She continues to pursue excellence with the same vigour in her late twenties. Receiving an OACETT (Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists) fellow designation is exceedingly rare for someone of her age and for a female in a non-traditional field. She’s committed to removing barriers for women in her sector and shaping the future of engineering technology, inspiring others through her leadership and advocacy. She continues to invest in the future through OACETT and by serving as an ambassador and adviser with her alma maters.

Photo of Whitney Jardine

Premier's Awards Nominees 2021

Gail Jokinen Waghorn

Business Administration Accounting – 3 y, 1987
Business Administration Accounting – 2 yr, 1988
Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Services, The MICs Group of Health Services

Gail Waghorn advanced into senior management within three years of graduating with a business administration accounting diploma and hasn’t looked back. Over a 30-year career, she has led initiatives to create financial stability and efficiencies in the health-care sector. She also sets the standard for lifelong learning, completing her masters in public administration degree in 2019 and a degree in health administration while serving as CFO at the MICs Group of Health Services, comprised of three hospitals and their associated long-term care facilities in Matheson, Iroquois Falls and Cochrane.

Photo of Gail Jokinen

Premier's Awards Nominees 2021

Christine Madden

Social Service Worker (Honours), 1990
Program Manager, Ontario Works, County of Dufferin

Christine Madden’s career in social services became forever intertwined with the opioid crisis when her younger sister, Shelley, died of an accidental drug overdose in 2004. She has dedicated her entire life as an Ontario Works manager to finding opportunities to implement awareness campaigns focusing on stigmas related to mental illness, addictions and substance abuse. She shares the accounts of her family’s tragedy in media interviews, participates in awareness campaigns, makes presentations and is involved in boards and committees addressing the opioid crisis. By sharing her story, she helps education professionals and offers hope for those suffering with addiction.

Photo of Christine Madden

Premier's Awards Nominees 2021

Seamus Murphy

Paramedic Program, 2001
Practical Nursing Program, 1996
Commander of Quality Assurance and Professional Development, Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board

Seamus Murphy has invested over 25 years in health care at varying levels in the north, moving the sector forward with his can-do attitude and deep care for patients. This includes lobbying for distribution of Naloxone kits to overdosing patients and creating regulatory change across Ontario. His nursing care, paramedic service, quality assurance work, support of professional development, volunteer firefighting, and other activities has led to transformative change in the industry. He’s a lifelong learner, having recently received a University of Waterloo certificate in supervision.

Photo of Seamus Murphy

Your Success is Our Success

The College is continually changing and growing. The world is, as well. We want to provide our students and graduates with as many skills as possible to make it out there.

Before you graduate, the Alumni Relations department offers seminars and career fairs that increase employability.

These will give you tips and tricks for smoothing that transition between graduating from College and getting your first full-time job.

Partnered with Community Employment Services, we will also help guide your resume and cover letter writing experience as well as introduce you to employers who are looking for Northern grads to join their teams and help their workplaces succeed.

Please join us as a student, grad, or employer and see how getting and staying connected will lead to better outcomes for all involved.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 A couple of years ago, I attended the career fair at Northern College to scope out some options for my future. I didn’t expect to make so many connections and land a lifelong career in government administration, but that’s exactly what happened! Thank you Northern College for helping myself and other graduates find their path to success!

Deanna Van Bommel,
Proud Graduate, Business Administration 2017

The MNP, Timmins Office is very proud of the rewarding partnership we have maintained with Northern College, its students and graduates for over 25 years.
Our involvement with Northern College has allowed us to provide their students with placement opportunities as well as employment for their graduates from both the Business and Office Administration programs.

We proudly hire Northern College graduates because they come to us with strong technical abilities with a great affinity to our organization. We currently employ many Northern College graduates that span from our firm’s partners, managers, accountants and administrative assistants.

Ginette Nakashoji, CPA, CA and Partner at MNP
Proud Graduate of Northern College


Nicole Gingras
Development Officer
External Relations, Alumni & Foundation
705-235-3211 ext. 7210

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