Northern College Alum Nominated for Premier’s Awards

July 19, 2021

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College is pleased to recognize the accomplishments of four of its distinguished alumni with nominations for Colleges Ontario Premier’s Awards, more than double the usual number of nominees the College has put forward. The nominations submitted also include former president Dr. Gibbons as a submission for Lifetime Achievement Award.
The College is recognizing the achievements of alumni Gail Waghorn (Business category), Whitney Jardine (Recent Graduate), Christine Madden (Community Services) and Seamus Murphy (Health Sciences), as well as the legacy of newly retired president Dr. Fred Gibbons.

“We’re honoured to highlight these nominees, and pleased that their accomplishments and ongoing support of Northern College has made such an impact,” says Dr. Audrey J. Penner, President and CEO, of the award nominees. “We extend best wishes to these graduates and the former leader of Northern in the selection process. Each of these candidates has left a wonderful, lasting impression on Northern College and continues to be difference makers in their respective fields.”

Launched nearly two decades ago in 1992, the Premier’s Awards honour the important social and economic contributions that college graduates make to Ontario and throughout the globe.

“We are very pleased to recognize all our alumni in this way as well as Northern’s previous President, Dr. Gibbons for this year’s award, as he is most deserving of it,” stated Doug Walsh, Chair of the Northern College Board of Governors, of the nominations.

“The Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award that Dr. Fred Gibbons has been nominated for recognizes success in advancing the college, the community, and the Ontario college system. Created in 2005, this award is reserved for those who have made an enduring difference to the college system.”

The nominees for this year’s awards are as follows:

Gail Waghorn graduated with a three-year Business Administration Accounting diploma. She’s the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Leader, Corporate Services, at The MICs Group of Health Services. Gail’s 30-year career in healthcare is highlighted by more than 25 years of senior management experience at various levels, from rural healthcare to long-term care to family health. She’s specialized in initiatives to create financial stability and efficiencies in the healthcare sector. Gail’s a Board member with Northern College and with the North Eastern Child and Family Services.

Whitney Jardine is the youngest and only female corporate welding engineer at The NARMCO Group. She received an OACETT (Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists) fellow designation this spring. Whitney is committed to removing barriers for women in her sector and shaping the future of engineering technology, inspiring others through her leadership and advocacy as an OACETT board member. She graduated with a Welding Engineering Technology Diploma and a Welding Engineering Technician Diploma.

Christine Madden is a strong advocate for finding opportunities to implement awareness campaigns focusing on stigmas related to mental illness, addictions and substance abuse. Her career became forever intertwined with the opioid crisis when her younger sister, Shelley, died of an accidental overdose 17 years ago. Christine, who graduated with a Social Service Worker (honours) diploma, is a Program Manager at Ontario Works in Dufferin County. She was responsible for implementing several ministry initiatives over the last year.

Seamus Murphy graduated from Northern College with Practical Nursing and Paramedic program diplomas. He has enjoyed a lengthy and varied career in healthcare. Now Commander of Quality Assurance and Professional Development at the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board, he has had employment in nursing care as a paramedic and is also a volunteer firefighter. Seamus is a strong advocate for addressing the opioid crisis. In 2020, Cochrane District Emergency Medical Services became the first ambulance agency in Ontario to carry Naloxone kits. Seamus is a member of the Timmins and District Hospital Foundation Board.

Fred Gibbons retired as President and CEO of Northern College last year in July of 2020. He has overseen extensive expansion in college facilities, programs and partnerships to provide opportunities to students while ensuring sound financial management and pursuing initiatives that would strengthen enrolment and ensure sustainability of Northeastern Ontario. Fred assumed the position in 2009. Dr. Gibbons joined Northern College in 1992 in curriculum development and teaching before becoming registrar and advancing into other management roles. Dr. Gibbons chairs the Timmins Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, is a Timmins 2020 Steering Committee member, and is past president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.

The College wishes each of its nominees all the very best in the award process, and congratulates them on their success and contributions.


Media Contact:
Kyle Gennings
Marketing & Communications Officer
T. 705-235-3211 ext. 2276
F. 705-235-6888
C. 705-288-1101

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