Alumni recognized for accomplishments and leadership

Alumni recognized for accomplishments and leadership

Published on May 25, 2017

Recipients of alumni awards include a TV meteorologist, a paramedic, an accountant, a chef and a former court reporter.

EDMONTON – The recipients of NAIT’s 2017 alumni awards include a well-known TV meteorologist, a paramedic, an accountant, a chef and a court reporter and entrepreneur. All are being recognized for their significant accomplishments and contributions to the community and to NAIT.

CTV Edmonton chief meteorologist Josh Classen, along with senior health administrator Shawn Knight, received the Alumni Award of Excellence, which was handed out for the first time this year. It recognizes the significant contribution made in recent years by NAIT alumni to their profession or community.

Rena Nathanail, who owns National Captioning Canada, received the Alumni Award of Distinction recognizing her outstanding professional accomplishments. Accountant and entrepreneur Meagan Schroder and award-winning chef Peter Keith were each recognized with the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award in recognition of achievements early in their careers.

The awards were presented at a reception last night.

  • Nathanail (Court Reporting ’84) employs 95 people at National Captioning Canada, the largest Canadian-based provider of live closed captioning. Her company supports an annual scholarship to NAIT’s Court Reporting program. She and her staff support many local charities.
  • Knight (Paramedic ’96) helped oversee the integration of paramedics into the Health Professions Act in 2016, alongside doctors and registered nurses. He also taught at NAIT and has been a student mentor, program advisor and volunteer guest speaker.
  • Classen (Radio and Television ’96) is CTV Edmonton’s chief meteorologist. He teaches elementary-school students about the weather in his weekly Weather Watchers’ segment, which has run for more than a decade. He also mentors NAIT Radio and Television students.
  • Schroder (Business Admin, Accounting ’06, Bachelor of Applied Business Admin ’08) co-owns Roth Schroder, an accounting firm. She is an advocate for small business and a supporter of indigenous communities, as a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation. She also mentors NAIT accounting students.
  • Keith (Cook ’11), has won gold medals at international competitions, including the Culinary Olympics and WorldSkills Americas competition in 2012. He and his partners plan to open Meuwly’s this fall, a charcuterie company featuring locally raised meats. Keith is also a volunteer coach for Culinary Team NAIT, mentoring students as they compete internationally.


  • The Alumni Award of Excellence is being handed out for the first time this year to recognize the significant contributions made in recent years by NAIT alumni to their profession or community.
  • The Alumni Award of Distinction has been awarded annually since 1997 and is NAIT’s most prestigious award for alumni. Recipients are recognized for their outstanding professional accomplishments.
  • The Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award was first awarded in 2005. It is awarded to alumni who have made exceptional advances or achievements in their career within 12 years of graduation.


Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT president and CEO
“This year’s award recipients exemplify the best of NAIT alumni. They’re highly successful, entrepreneurial, industrious, committed members of our province and the NAIT community. They truly showcase how polytechnic education is making a difference in Alberta.”

Rena Nathanail, Alumni Award of Distinction
“I’m proud to receive the Alumni Award of Distinction as a Court Reporting graduate. As the only program in Canada that trains court reporters and broadcast captionists, the NAIT captioning and court reporting program provides enormous value to Canada. This is as much a recognition of my accomplishments as it is of the program.”

Josh Classen, Alumni Award of Excellence
“I am honoured to be one of the first recognized with the Alumni Award of Excellence. I loved my time at NAIT and think highly of the institution. To be honoured by NAIT as an alumnus and in recognition of some of the hard work I’ve put in over the years and in community means a lot to me.”

Shawn Knight, Alumni Award of Excellence
“I am honoured to be awarded the Alumni Award of Excellence by NAIT for my work in public service. I appreciate being recognized for my contributions that I feel are making a difference in the health and lives of Albertans.”

Meagan Schroder, Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award
“I owe a lot for where I am in my career to my time at NAIT. With the sheer amount of talent coming out of the institution, it’s an absolute honour to be chosen to receive the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award.”

Peter Keith, Spirt of NAIT Alumni Award 
“It’s both humbling and an honour to be recognized alongside these alumni – and the chefs who have been recognized in the past. NAIT gave me the skills to get to this point in my career and I am grateful for the support from faculty, which helped me succeed both as a student and alumnus.”

Alumni Award of Distinction
Alumni Award of Excellence
Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.

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