Published on June 20, 2018
NAIT's 2018 alumni award recipients presented
EDMONTON – The recipients of NAIT’s 2018 alumni awards include a research scientist, a broadcast journalist, a dental technologist and the president of an equipment design and manufacturing company. All are being recognized for their significant accomplishments and contributions to the community and to NAIT.
Darren Lunt, president of Weldco Companies, received the Alumni Award of Distinction, given to NAIT alumni who have earned prominence in their profession and contributed to NAIT or the community. Ronda Gras, a research scientist at Dow Canada, received the Alumni Award of Excellence, presented in recognition of the contributions made by NAIT alumni to their profession or community.
Kathy Le, a reporter and anchor at CTV Calgary, and Carolyn Kincade, a dental technologist at the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine, each received the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award, recognizing the outstanding achievements of NAIT alumni early in their careers.
The awards were presented at a reception last night.
Darren Lunt (Marketing ’90), president of Weldco Companies, leads three distinct business operations across Canada manufacturing and servicing heavy equipment. A strong supporter of NAIT’s JR Shaw School of Business, he contributes to the case study curriculum for the sales management class and is a member of the program advisory committees for both Management and Marketing.
Ronda Gras (Chemical Technology ’91) is an associate research and development scientist at Dow Chemical Canada. She is the author of more than 50 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, co-author of two patents, and a co-founder of the Visiting Scholar Program at Dow Canada. She is active with local school boards, the Edmonton Regional Science Fair and is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Kathy Le (Radio and Television ’11) is a reporter and anchor for CTV News in Calgary. She began as a broadcaster in Lloydminster and Saskatoon before joining CTV Calgary in 2012. She has hosted CTV Morning Live, reported from the red carpet at the 2016 Juno Awards, and has covered national, breaking news. She produced a 30-minute documentary on the Syrian refugee crisis and has recently completed a documentary about the fentanyl crisis.
Carolyn Kincade (Dental Lab Technology ’07, Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management ’17) specializes in making and fitting implants with dental prostheses for head and neck cancer patients. She worked in private dental labs before joining the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine in 2013. She served on NAIT’s Dental Laboratory program advisory committee for six years and is now a member of the Bachelor of Technology program advisory committee.
- 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 Alumni Award of Excellence is being handed out for the second time this year to recognize the significant contributions made in recent years by NAIT alumni to their profession or community.
- 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
“NAIT’s alumni are making an impact in our city, province and country. They contribute significantly to the economic and social well-being of the communities they call home. I am so proud of the accomplishments of this year’s award recipients. They truly exemplify the impact of NAIT and polytechnic education.”
Darren Lunt, Alumni Award of Distinction
“I am very proud of my association with NAIT, both as an alumnus and as an industry partner. NAIT’s focus on providing employer-driven, hands-on, practical education has directly impacted the development of an incredible talent pool that crosses all aspects of my organization. Our Alberta operations are proudly represented by many NAIT Ooks.
The value I personally received from NAIT drives me to give back where I can. Much of the success I’ve enjoyed throughout my career can be directly linked back to the start NAIT provided.”
Ronda Gras, Alumni Award of Excellence
“I am honoured, proud, and extremely humbled to receive this prestigious recognition. The impact of my NAIT education has been essential to me, providing me with the skills and confidence necessary to be an effective researcher and problem-solver. NAIT’s programs are technically focused and the instructors are highly knowledgeable.”
Kathy Le, Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award
“I am truly honoured to have been chosen for the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award. Being a journalist has always been a dream of mine so it's quite surreal to be recognized for my work in a field I am extremely passionate about.
I owe the strong foundations of my craft to the excellent teachers in the Radio and Television program at NAIT. Through their guidance I learned the art of storytelling. What I love about the program is the method of teaching is by doing, which, in my opinion, is the best way to learn.”
Carolyn Kincade, Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award
“I am absolutely honoured to be a recipient of the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award. The NAIT faculty really made a positive impact in my life and my professional career. They are wonderful mentors, many of whom have become friends and colleagues.
I hope we, as recipients of these awards, can show that NAIT is essential to Alberta and highlight the programs and the paths we have taken and the options available for the next generation of students.”
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.