Honorary Diploma Recipients: 2017
NSCC is pleased to award Honorary Diplomas to these outstanding individuals who demonstrate true leadership in their field and community.
Carol Snider is a true leader. Her belief in education, community and health care has led her to make lasting commitments to those areas that continue to make an impact on people today.
The first person in her family to graduate with a post-secondary education, Ms. Snider knows an education can be the difference in the ability to achieve one's goals. She believes that education increases opportunities for people and has a long history of helping others access it.
Over the last 20 years, Ms. Snider has been a generous benefactor for numerous Nova Scotia organizations including NSCC, the IWK, Junior Achievement, Neptune and Symphony Nova Scotia. At NSCC, she is the donor behind the Snider Family Educational Opportunity Awards – $3,000 bursaries to help students overcome financial barriers.
Of the award she says, "there are so many costs associated with education that it can be hard for students to access the great programs NSCC has available; programs that will help people acquire the skills that our province so desperately needs and will change our economic future. Any help that we can give them to defray a few of the costs is one of the best gifts we can give anyone."
Ms. Snider retired from BMO Bank of Montreal in February 2007. At that time, she held the position of Senior Vice President, Personal and Commercial Banking, Ontario Division. Prior to that, she was the bank's most senior executive in Atlantic Canada. With her appointment to that position in March 1995, she became the first woman to hold the post of a Divisional Senior Vice-President at BMO Bank of Montreal.
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Ms. Snider's career in finance spanned over 35 years. She is a Chartered Accountant by profession and received her MBA from York University. She joined the Bank of Montreal in 1984 after a career in two major chartered accounting firms, Deloitte Touche and Ernst & Young, and as a Professor in the Commerce Faculty at University of Toronto.
Throughout her career, Ms. Snider played an active role in the community. She chaired the Board of Nova Scotia Community College for five years during a major developmental stage for NSCC. She also chaired the Health Action Committee for the Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Halifax Biomedical Inc., a contract research company. For many years, Ms. Snider was a Director of the IWK Health Centre and its Foundation, as well as at Medavie Blue Cross.
The Halifax Cornwallis Chapter of the Progress Club honoured Ms. Snider with the Women of Excellence Award in the Corporate Management and Professions category. As well, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia elected her as a Fellow of the Institute and she was selected as one of the Top 50 CEO’s in Atlantic Canada.
Born and raised in Johnstown, Cape Breton, Dr. Sarah Teresa MacNeil is a leader in community development and an ardent promoter of life-long learning and adult education in Nova Scotia.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Francis Xavier University (St.FX), as well as Masters and PhD degrees in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin.
Dr. MacNeil retired from St. FX in 1996, where she served in various roles over 37 years. From 1970 to 1982, she acted as founding Chair of St.FX's then newly-established Department of Adult Education - the flagship program leading to the Masters Degree in Adult Education. In 1975, she became a full professor teaching Adult Education and from 1982 to 1993, she held the position of Director of Extension.
In 2005, Dr. MacNeil was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada. She holds honorary degrees from Cape Breton University and the Open University of British Columbia, was inducted to the Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame and to St. FX University's Hall of Honour.
Dr. MacNeil is well-known for her fairness and common sense, tireless volunteerism and her unwavering commitment to Cape Breton Island. She has served as Chair of the Board and Acting President of the Cape Breton Development Corporation and Chair of the Board of Sydney Steel Corporation. Recently, she served on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Museum of Nature as Commissioner for the Public Review Commission on the effects of exploration and drilling offshore Cape Breton and as Chair of the Province’s Electoral Boundaries Commission.
Dr. MacNeil has worked closely with NSCC, specifically with Strait Area Campus, as a founding member for the UNESCO Bras d'Or Lakes Biosphere Reserve project and Steering Committee member of the Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative (CEPI) in protection of the Bras d'Or Lakes and its surrounding watershed areas. She is also Past Chair and member of the Board of Directors of the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia.
A champion for public and post-secondary education, healthy communities and social justice, Marilyn More has made a significant contribution as a leader in her community and across the province. Throughout her career and in her volunteer work, she has demonstrated unstoppable fervour in her efforts to help improve the lives of Nova Scotians.
Ms. More holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Education and a National Certificate in Voluntary and Non-profit Sector Management from Dalhousie University. After working briefly as a teacher in the public school system, she became the first woman elected to a Nova Scotian school board in 1978. She served as Chair or Vice Chair for most of her three terms on the Dartmouth School Board and was a progressive educational leader locally and provincially. Ms. More was awarded an Honorary Life Membership by the Nova Scotia School Boards Association in 1989.
She then spent 14 years supporting seniors and persons with disabilities in rural communities throughout Nova Scotia. Major highlights included expanding Community Links from six to 175 organizational members as Provincial Coordinator, developing the provincial falls prevention coalition and involvement in several health promotion partnerships. She served on the Dartmouth Board of Health, serving as chair of the committee, setting up the Healthy Dartmouth Initiative and serving on the City Drug Task Force.
In 2003, Ms. More was elected as MLA for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley. She was re-elected in 2006 and again in 2009. She chaired the House of Assembly's Standing Committee on Community Services (which included health issues) for six years before becoming a provincial Cabinet Minister. In 2009, she became Minister of Education and Minister of Labour and Workforce Development (later Labour and Advanced Education). Ms. More was a strong supporter of Nova Scotia Community College during her four years as its Minister Responsible. She also served as Minister Responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and Voluntary Sector Minister, in addition to covering numerous other provincial portfolios.
In July 2013, Ms. More was asked to chair the annual meeting of Council of Ministers of Education Canada in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Previously she had chaired the Council’s Copyright Consortium to support education and fair dealing during the modernization of the Federal Copyright Act.
For Wes "Maestro" Williams, the path to success has taken many turns. He is a national Hip Hop Legend – Maestro Fresh Wes – and is considered the Godfather of Canadian Hip Hop. He has also made his mark as an actor and a motivational speaker.
He is an ideal role model for adult learners, looking to forge their own path to success. Mr. William's book, Stick to Your Vision: How to Get Past the Hurdles & Haters to Get Where You Want to Be, is part of the Adult Learning Program curriculum at Akerley Campus.
The book outlines three guiding principles - Expectation, Operation and Destination. Expectation – what do you expect for yourself? How will you overcome the limitations you and others put on yourself? Operation – creating a plan and putting in the work. Destination – arriving at your goal as the person you want to be.
Mr. Williams has visited NSCC Campuses in both 2013 and 2016 to speak to students about his message. His book has been so well received, it has also been approved for use in the Grade 10 English Curriculum in Nova Scotia public schools and was endorsed as a "plan for action" by former Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
During his second visit to NSCC, one ALP student said, "A lot of students are here because we kind of fell down, but hearing him tell us that we have the power to pull ourselves up, that we can reach our goals, it just really resonated."
Mr. Williams is committed to life-long learning and bettering yourself and your community. He has made his mark on NSCC and has spent many years contributing to the economy and culture of Nova Scotia.
Mr. Williams is a cast member of the popular CBC show Mr. D., playing character Paul Dwyer and resides in Halifax while filming. He has worked extensively with Nova Scotia Hip Hop artist Classified and recently with Halifax artist JRDN. In 2007, he teamed up with music group Black Union on the song and music video "Africville," filmed at Seaview Park in Halifax.
Mr. Williams was the first Canadian rap artist to have gold and platinum certified albums. He is a two-time Juno Award winner and a recipient of the Harry Jerome Award from the Arts, Black Business and Professionals Association. He has been nominated for a Gemini Award and has been honoured with the Trailblazer Award by the Reel World Film Festival and the Pioneer Award at the Canadian Urban Music Awards. He continues to record music, star on Mr. D. and speak nationally about his message, Stick to Your Vision.