More than 550 to graduate at Fall Convocation October 26-27

Oct 19, 2011

More than 550 graduates of Niagara College will receive diplomas or certificates during two fall convocation ceremonies.

The ceremonies – to take place on Wednesday, Oct. 26, and Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. – will honour graduates in several program areas including: Business, Hospitality and Tourism; Environment, Media and Technology; Food and Wine Sciences; Allied Health Studies; Community Services; Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies; Liberal Arts and Sciences; Apprenticeship and Technical Training and Continuing Education.

This year’s ceremonies feature accomplished convocation speakers and honourees, including:

– Blair Pollard, Vice President Talent Management and Total Rewards, WestJet, Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. Mr. Pollard will receive an Honorary Graduate Certificate, Human Resources Management;

– Dr. Karl Stobbe, Regional Assistant Dean, Niagara Regional Campus, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. Dr. Stobbe will receive an Honorary Diploma, Community and Health Studies.

The ceremonies will take place in the auditorium on the lower level of Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. A reception for graduates and guests will follow.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information, visit



For more information, contact:

Gordon Hunchak

Acting Vice President, Student and External Relations

905-735-2211, ext. 7567

905-650-7820 (Cell)

Blair Pollard

Vice President Talent Management and Total Rewards, Westjet

Blair Pollard is Vice President, Talent Management and Total Rewards at WestJet, where he is responsible for learning, leadership development, organizational development and design, occupational safety and health, wellness, compensation, benefits, and recruitment.

Prior to joining WestJet, Pollard spent five years at Canadian Tire, most recently as the Vice President, Organization Development for Canadian Tire Corporation, and previously as the Vice President, Human Resources for Canadian Tire Financial Services. Before joining Canadian Tire, he was the Vice President, Human Resources with TSX Group.

Pollard also spent 13 years with RBC Financial Group where he led HR Strategy and Technology in the Corporate Human Resources group. He left RBC in 2004 to work for five years with Canadian Pacific, in various marketing and human resources roles.

Pollard has taught Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources at McMaster University for more than 20 years. He is currently Vice Chair of the Board of the Niagara College Foundation.

He holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce, an M.B.A. and a CHRP designation.

Pollard is married and lives in Grimsby.

Dr. Karl Stobbe

Regional Assistant Dean, Niagara Regional Campus, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University

Dr. Karl Stobbe is Regional Assistant Dean for the Niagara Regional Campus of the Michael G. De Groote School of Medicine at McMaster University. He has practiced and taught rural family medicine in Beamsville for more than 20 years.

From 2005 to 2007, Dr. Stobbe led the expansion planning team for the Michael C. DeGroote School of Medicine, and developed medical campuses in the Waterloo area and the Niagara Region.

Dr. Stobbe was President of the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada from 2008 to 2010. He served as the first Rural Program Director in McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine, and developed a rural stream of training for family medicine residents. He was also the Founding Director of the McMaster Community and Rural Education Network (Mac-CARE).

Dr. Stobbe has worked internationally to develop medical education in Laos, Iraq, Nepal and the Philippines. Locally, he continues to work in the emergency department at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby and at Quest Community Health Center in St. Catharines.

Dr. Stobbe’s work has received widespread recognition. He was honoured with the John C. Sibley Award, presented annually to a part-time faculty member from the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences who has made outstanding contributions to the education of health professionals. He has received awards from the Ontario College of Family Physicians for excellence in teaching and has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Grimsby Rotary Club. Most recently, as a legacy gift from the first graduating class of the Michael G. De Groote School of Medicine’s Niagara Regional Campus, a lecture series was named in his honour – the Karl E. Stobbe Lectureship Series.


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