Community leaders to receive honorary degrees at NAIT Convocation
Three community leaders who've excelled in their respective fields will be presented with honorary degrees at NAIT’s 50th Convocation.
Ray Pisani, president and CEO of Alberta Blue Cross, will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Daniel Wai Yuk Yeung, president of Universal Dental Laboratories Ltd., will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration degree and James Ahnassay, chief of Dene Tha’ First Nation, will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management degree.
NAIT's 50th Convocation will be held on Friday, May 10 (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday, May 11 (8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
“Our 2013 recipients join an outstanding group of more than 30 men and women who have received honorary diplomas and degrees since this initiative began in 1999,” said Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT president and CEO. “Each shares the sense of community that defines our honorary degree tradition and our NAIT values - people matter.”
Pisani graduated from NAIT’s Administrative Management diploma program in 1984. For the past 29 years, he has held progressively senior positions with Alberta Blue Cross, including 11 years as a senior executive and, as of 2010, president and CEO. In the time Pisani has led the organization, Alberta Blue Cross has received several workplace recognitions, including the Premier’s Award of Distinction for Healthy Workplaces (2011) and the Alberta Chambers of Commerce Employer of Youth Award of Distinction (2012).
Yeung graduated from NAIT’s Dental Laboratory Technology program in 1981 and the following year joined Universal Dental Laboratories as a dental technician. He became a partner three years later and in 1989 was named president. Under his leadership, the company has introduced programs that have provided affordable dental care to thousands of families. NAIT awarded Yeung an Alumni Award of Distinction in 2006, and as part of the institute’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2012, named him one of its Top 50 alumni.
Ahnassay, a 1988 graduate of NAIT’s Civil Engineering Technology program, became the first elected chief of Dene Tha’ First Nation in 1993, and is now in his fourth term. During his tenure, Dene Tha’ has acquired funding for several development projects within the communities of Chateh, Bushe River and Meander River, including a new school. Dene Tha’ achieved a major milestone in 2007 when its constitutional right to be consulted prior to oilfield activity on traditional lands was recognized by the federal government. Ahnassay received a NAIT Alumni Award of Distinction in 2009 and last year was named one of the institute’s Top 50 alumni.
Over 1,200 graduates are expected to attend the three ceremonies. Among those who will cross the stage are the first graduates of NAIT’s Alternative Energy Technology program, the first such diploma program in Alberta.
“Convocation is an opportunity to recognize the hard work of our graduates and celebrate their achievements. NAIT has prepared them well for the journey ahead,” said Feltham. “Our hands-on, technology-based programs have served our province’s needs for polytechnic education for 50 years, making NAIT essential to Alberta.”
NAIT convocation times and details
1. Friday, May 10, 2013 - 6:30 p.m.
Ray Pisani, president and CEO of Alberta Blue Cross, will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration degree
- Hospitality and Culinary Arts
- JR Shaw School of Business
- Bachelor of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management
Daniel Wai Yuk Yeung, president of Universal Dental Laboratories Ltd., will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration degree
- School of Health Sciences
- School of Trades
- Captioning and Court Reporting
- Computer Systems Technology
- Digital Media and IT
- Graphic Communications
- Medical Transcription
- Photographic Technology
- Radio and Television
James Ahnassay, chief of Dene Tha’ First Nation, will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management degree
- School of Information Communication and Engineering Technologies
- School of Sustainable Building and Environmental Management
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health care and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year concludes its 50th anniversary celebrations.
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NAIT Media Relations
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