Niagara College grads honoured at research open house

Two Niagara College graduates were recently honoured with the TD Canada Trust Small Business Banking Group Award, during the third annual Research Open House hosted by Niagara Research on Saturday, March 20 at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.

Established in 2010, the TD Canada Trust Small Business Banking Group Award recognizes Niagara College students who have made a significant contribution to Niagara Research and have also successfully started, or are planning to start, a new business venture.

Chris Bowman and Kelsey Roach, 2009 graduates from Niagara College’s New Media Web Design program and Computer Programming program, were recognized by Niagara Research and TD Canada Trust. The award recognizes their outstanding contributions as Research Assistants and recent achievement in launching their own company, VXFusion, an innovative Niagara-based “creative studio” that specializes in website design, e-commerce solutions, branding and advertising media.

“I am very excited to receive the TD Small Business award,” reflects Kelsey Roach, Niagara College graduate. “We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for Niagara Research where we have been able to gain real-world experience and skills, which have given us the confidence to start our company.”

“The Niagara Research Team is very proud of Chris and Kelsey for their accomplishments,” said Natalee Tokar, Research Project Manager. “Providing students with the opportunity to work with local industry partners allows them to take the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to a new level. We are thrilled that Chris and Kelsey, along with Niagara College graduate Kevin Poulin, have taken the initiative to start their own company here in the Niagara Region.”

Both Chris and Kelsey succeeded in enhancing Niagara Research initiatives such as the design and development of websites for Roland Bissell of Convergent Telecom as well as the Niagara Teaching Winery and the Niagara College Greenhouse. Additionally, as part of the Niagara Research team, Chris and Kelsey participated in a number of research training programs including Research 101, which is provided to full-time summer research students, and the Research Business and Entrepreneur training program.

The third annual Research Open House coincides with Niagara College’s annual “In Your Backyard” event. Over 30 presentations and 20 poster demonstrations were featured throughout the day and focused on the achievements of student researchers, support of faculty experts and the vision of the research industry and community partners.

Niagara Research is the home of applied research at Niagara College. Applied research is broadly defined as the application of new or existing knowledge to solve practical real-world problems and advance the goals of our community. The role of Niagara Research is to provide real world solutions for business, industry and the community through applied research and development activities. Niagara Research, in partnership with business or community partners, conducts applied research projects that model or simulate solutions, develop and test prototypes, adopt new technologies and knowledge, develop and evaluate new or improved products, processes, or solutions to community issues.

Niagara College is one of Ontario’s 24 publicly-funded Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. With 8,000 full-time students, Niagara College offers more than 90 diploma, baccalaureate degrees and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, applied health and community safety, and the College is home to the globally-recognized Niagara Culinary Institute and Niagara College Teaching Winery. In 2008, Niagara College launched an unprecedented $90 million campus redevelopment project, which is scheduled for completion in 2011. For more information, visit


NOTE TO EDITORS: PHOTO ATTACHED. INCLUDES (LEFT TO RIGHT): Natalee Tokar (Research Project Manager), Larry Kent (Manager, TD Canada Trust , Queen St. St. Catharines, on behalf of Small Business Banking, Central Ontario Region), Chris Bowman, Kelsey Roach.

For more information, contact:

Natalee Tokar
Project Manager, Research and Innovation Division
Niagara College Canada
905-641-2252, ext. 4151

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