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Alumni stories

Photo taken from behind of a group marching in the Halifax Pride Parade wearing purple shirts and Pride accessories.
Join your NSCC community at a Pride Parade Join in Pride celebrations by marching with your NSCC community in a Pride Parade. NSCC is participating in multiple Pride parades across Nova Scotia this summer.
Olivia Sewell standing in a culinary kitchen in cooking attire, smiling at the camera.
Going for gold – Olivia's journey to WorldSkills Olivia Sewell (Culinary Management ’23) will be the first Nova Scotian and NSCC alum to represent Canada in cooking at WorldSkills. Find out how she made it and how our community can support her.
The Ask a Black Entrepreneur Panel event poster shows four faces of speakers and event title.
Ask a Black Entrepreneur Panel 2024: Resources The fourth annual Ask a Black Entrepreneur Panel event shares personal experiences and knowledge from successful, Black alumni entrepreneurs. Explore the helpful sources for Black entrepreneurs referenced in the event.
A woman standing on the right of a window in a dark room. A spooky man is standing outside the window in a trench coat outside with a painted ghost face.
Capturing Cape Breton’s spooky stories In six years, Dawn Wells (’03) directed her film career from homemade YouTube series to working with some of Canada’s biggest media companies. This stemmed from her radio career and lifelong learning which started at NSCC.
Ace It Canine Academy's owner, Taylor Warren, is in the dog daycare indoor facility and she's playing with a puppy.
Doggone brilliance: alum-owned dog daycare After pursuing her entrepreneurial aspiration at NSCC, Taylor Warren (Business Admin '19) made her life-long business dream a reality and opened Ace It Canine Academy, offering various dog daycare and training services.
Cait Holmes standing behind a kitchen counter filled with fresh baked goods that she made for her business, Honey & Butter.
Alumni Holiday Festive Fun Happy holidays from NSCC Alumni Relations. For festive fun, try this delicious sugar cookie recipe from Boulangerie and Baking Arts alum Cait Holmes, owner of Honey & Butter.
Bright graphic for Music Nova Scotia Music & Industry Awards with a design using a circle and two leaves.
Music Nova Scotia Music & Industry Award: Alumni Winners NSCC alumni are connected to the Music Nova Scotia awards in many ways, from nominations to performances and working behind the scenes. Find out which grads took home awards this year.
Creative Nova Scotia Award winners and their representatives on stage. Photo credit: Kelly Clark.
Creative Nova Scotia Awards: Alumni Recipients The Creative Nova Scotia Awards recognizes excellence in artistic achievement. The 2023 recipients include three very talented NSCC alumni who are making waves in Nova Scotia.
Image of NSCC's credential translated into Mi'kmaw.
NSCC credentials translated into Mi’kmaw NSCC now offers Mi’kmaq and Indigenous graduating students and alumni the option to have their credential in the Mi’kmaw language.
Mary Grace Gomez, left, and Joshua De Leon, right, stand in the front entrance of their restaurant, Omma's Korean Bar BQ and Grill.
Shared love for food Joshua De Leon (Business Admin '20) and Mary Grace Gomez own what’s believed to be Cape Breton’s first Korean BBQ restaurant. Partners in life and business, their story resembles the romantic plot of a Hallmark movie.
Six Music Business students sit on a set of stairs outside.
NSCC students launch new business with record label and first signing Seven Music Business graduates ('23) have created their own record label business, Lulo, and are already signing local artists. This includes signing alumni band Good Dear Good.
From left to right, Cyndi McLean (Business Admin '09), Logan MacLean (AMCA '23 and Achieve '21) and Joe MacLean (Continuing Care '23)
Father-son duo graduate together amid adversity Convocation is a proud moment for any family, often with graduates’ family cheering them on from the audience. However, the McLean family had a unique experience, where both father and son crossed the stage in June.
Two African Nova Scotian sports broadcaster sitting at a desk during a sport event.
A career of firsts Vincent Williams (RTJ '15) uses his voice to empower youth and represent his roots through his work as a sports broadcaster, football official and African Nova Scotian student support worker.
 A woman, Carrie Anne Michael, stands in front of a door.
Diverting community waste Carrie Anne Michael (Natural Resources Environmental Technology '17) is a driving force in pioneering a comprehensive waste management program that includes every household in her community, We’koqma’q First Nation.
Close-up photo of open hands holding flowers with the background showing the individual wearing a cooking apron.
Monthly eNews: May 2023 Check out learning opportunities, exclusive promotions, entrepreneurship news and employment resources shared in our May 2023 eNews.
NSCC grads Arad and Luc from GALAXIA Mission Systems in front of a moon photo.
Grad’s mission to liftoff Nova Scotia’s space industry Going where no Nova Scotian has gone before, Arad Gharagozli (Electronic Engineering Technology '15) contributes significantly to the province’s aerospace industry. From working on satellites to founding space organizations.
A garden plot of Daffodils.
Monthly eNews: April 2023 In April’s issue, check out learning resources, ways to get involved with your NSCC community and grad businesses that have the perfect cards for Mother’s Day. We also recognize Earth Day this month.
An old fashioned alarm clock with the words "time to win" on it's face.
Work Term Contest NSCC work term experiences start this month and we’re kicking it off with a giveaway! We want to hear from students and employers participating in the College’s work terms. Learn how to enter.
Chefs Kelly-Jo Beck (right) and Lalanya Kaizer (left), co-owners of Easy Street Diner in the Fairview area of Halifax are pictured.
Chefs, partners build life on Easy Street Culinary Management grad Kelly-Jo Beck ('18) and her fiancé Lalanya Kaizer (Cook Apprentice) are two-thirds of the talented trio behind the award-winning Easy Street Diner in Halifax.
A man's hand grazing the top of pine in a field.
Monthly eNews: March 2023 Spring is upon us, and we want to help you grow this season. In this issue, discover free alumni learning opportunities, discounts, and College announcements.
From left to right: Phil, Olivia, Nicole, Michelle, and Bern Byers at NSCC's Kingstec Campus making cheesecakes for cheesecake raffle winners. Missing: Laura Byers
A legacy of carpentry, cheesecake and community Richard Byers (Carpentry '80) exemplified community, mentorship and the art of carpentry – a legacy that will be shared with NSCC Carpentry students at his alma mater through the Richard Byers Memorial Bursary.
Sydney Daoust at her booth in Alderney Landing Farmer's Market selling baked goods.
Baking her own sweet success From a farmers' market to selling baked goods online and at local businesses, Sydney Daoust has certainly baked her own sweet success. She enrolled in NSCC’s Start-up Accelerator Program to further grow Syd Delicious.
The top of a bush with frost during winter.
Monthly eNews: February 2023 We hope this month’s updates bring you a cozy community feel as we share alumni successes, entrepreneur resources, NSCC’s new strategic plan, and more. February is also a time of learning and reflection as we recognize African Heritage Month.
Paul Adams is pictured. He is standing in the atrium of the Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook, Nova Scotia.
Design for difference Paul Adams is a two-time NSCC grad and the official designer of Nova Scotia’s annual African Heritage Month posters - a role he was honoured to take on following his NSCC co-op placement.
Isabella and Jake Graves at the Marconi Campus Convocation in 2017.
Leading in Love at NSCC Isabella (ECE '17 & Applied Communication Arts '09) and Jake Graves (Therapeutic Recreation '17) went back to school together, got engaged as students and married a month after graduation. Read their NSCC love story.
Headshots of Mohammad al Masalma and Jubanti Dhan Toppo.
Grads named Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada Jubanti Dhan Toppo (HR Management '21) and Mohammad al Masalma (Tourism Management '18) are honourees of the 2023 Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada awards. Read what receiving this award means to them.
Closeup of a hand flipping wooden dice, changing from 2022 to 2023.
Monthly eNews: January 2023 Your talent, accomplishments, and unwavering acts of kindness continued to inspire us this past year. Here’s a glimpse of some highlights from this wonderful and growing alumni community in 2022!
Cole Gregory is wearing sunglasses while using equipment in a lab.
Leading the charge Cole Gregory (Electronic Engineering Technology ’18), Research Associate with NSCC Applied Research, is helping Kohltech Windows and Entrance Systems determine if their residential windows could function as solar panels.
Jerry in the backyard of his A Frame on Fletcher property.
Building a future Jerry Lewis (Carpentry ‘14 & ‘15) never dreamed the decision to study at NSCC would lead to owning and renovating multiple event venues popular with brides, Instagram influencers and musicians alike.
Stephanie Joline sitting on a mental staircase outside of a brick building.
A natural storyteller Stephanie Joline (RTA '04) is part of a new generation of filmmakers using their art and influence to share the stories, voices and experiences that are often forgotten.
Genevieve Allen-Hearn behind the bar at Maritime Express Cider Company, a business that she co-founded.
Getting down to business Genevieve Allen-Hearn (Nonprofit Leadership ’21) is passionate about Kentville. The business owner, publisher and community-builder is boosting the town's business sector, celebrating its cultural infrastructure and flipping the script on rural communities.
Keandre Johnson leaning on a railing of a building covered in graffiti.
Behind the scenes Keandre Johnson (Applied Media and Communication Arts ’19, Screen Arts ’21), a TV and film production newcomer, has lent his skills to award-winning programs including Diggstown and This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
Drip Avenue 902's logo which is a white background with "902" written in purple and the zero as a teardrop design, and "Drip Avenue 902" written in teal underneath.
Clothing brand with a cause Tyra Paul (Business Admin ‘18) created Drip Avenue 902 as an outlet to share her personal story. The entrepreneur and community-builder donates a portion of all proceeds to support mental health and addiction services.
A group of people in festive holiday sweaters sitting in two rows and smile at the camera.
NSCC Holiday Message Happy holidays from your Alumni Relations team and NSCC community. Read our holiday message.
Hannah Jackson mid-taking a photo at a business event with a few guests in the background.
A lens on mental health Hannah Jackson (Photography ‘18, Nonprofit Leadership ‘21) understands firsthand how photography can support mental health, in fact, it’s a guiding principle of her work.
Graphic with a red background, gold shimmer and the words, "12 Days of Giveaways!"
NSCC Alumni 12 Days of Giveaways It’s that time of year again! We’re holding our annual 12 Days of Giveaways for the holidays. Learn how you can win awesome alumni-made products from this year’s Shop NSCC.
A woman looking at the NSCC Alumni website on a laptop.
Job search advice: cover letters, resumes and interviews Looking to enter industry or start a new job? Check out these job search tips from our NSCC Alumni Program 101 series.
Headshot of Liam Crane wearing chef uniform and apron.
Sushi business finds soaring success Liam Crane (Culinary Arts ‘17) and Ashley Scott continue to expand their restaurant, Soaring Crane Sushi, since opening in 2021. From renting kitchen space to a food trailer, and dine-in location in Enfield opening soon.
Woman wearing a hijab taking notes from a laptop screen.
Post-Graduation Immigration Support Program Are you an international graduate with plans to stay in Nova Scotia? Check out EduNova’s Post-Graduation Immigration Support Program, which helps eligible graduates with their PR application process. Learn more and apply online.
Gloria International Grocery's logo.
Alum strengthens community while growing business Shawn Montique (Applied Media and Communication Arts ‘18) opened Gloria International Grocery, which is believed to be the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada. His store also creates space for the community to gather.
Jeremy Novak giving a tour in vinery.
Nova Scotia is Where It’s At There’s no shortage of things to see, do and taste in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley region, and Jeremy Novak (Business Admin '06), owner of Where It’s At Tours, is excited to show it all off.
Photo of campus housing.
NSCC launches three new housing builds Construction is underway to build three new campus housing facilities at the Akerley, Pictou and Ivany campuses.
Male co-worker and Emma Freckelton standing on either side of The Breeze 94.1 sign on a wall.
New grad lands job as morning show host Before crossing the Convocation stage, new grad Emma Freckelton (Radio TV Journalism ‘22) landed the job as 94.1 The Breeze’s morning show host and took over the mic from her radio idol.
Ivan (left) and Justin (right) smiling for a photo inside their home.
Father & son embrace a similar path decades apart Justin Bishop and his late father, Ivan, both enrolled at COGS as mature students. While they worked in different fields, they both transitioned from physically demanding jobs to tech-based careers.
Education News Canada logo.
NSCC and RBC grow support for rural students with work experience program NSCC has received a gift of $200,000 over two years from RBC Foundation's Future Launch initiative for the continued support of the RBC Student Works Program.
female nursing taking blood pressure.
New Practical Nursing Program Will Train 30 L’nu Students Starting in the 2023-24 academic year, aspiring practical nursing students can learn as part of a Mi’kmaw cohort at NSCC Pictou Campus.
Photo of NSCC Open House graphic
Monthly eNews: October 2022 Learn about September's book bundle winner, NSCC’s Open House and how to nominate an alumni business for Shop NSCC, and take time to learn and reflect as we recognize Mi’kmaq History Month in our October Update.
Beaded red dress on a safety pin.
Mi'kmaq History Month October is Mi’kmaq History Month, beginning with Treaty Day on October 1 to honour the relationship and important contributions of the Mi’kmaq people in Nova Scotia. Learn more about Wi'kipatmu'k Mi'kmawey, Honoring of the Mi'kmaw way.
Anisa sitting on the waterfront with her arms outstretched to show her knuckle tattoo that reads create/
Pursuing her passion for creativity Anisa Francoeur (Graphic Design ’16) is making a name for herself as a graphic designer. See her bold, colourful art and learn about her creative career.
Photo of lake during a sunset
Monthly eNews: September 2022 September has spoiled us with warmth and sunshine to end summer. As we move into fall, your Alumni Team is ready to help you get back into routine with some great offerings. Read the full issue for a few upcoming dates.
Photo of Juliet Mawusi at the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival
Inspiring social change through film Juliet Mawusi (Radio Television Journalism ‘21) is working to develop eye-opening documentaries to educate people and promote social change. Her documentary, Being Black in the Nova Scotian Music Industry, did just that.
On the left, a photo of Heather O'Brien, VON's logo in the middle, and to the right, a photo of Kristen Beaton.
Grads Heather O’Brien and Kristen Beaton memorial awards – celebrating their care and compassion The families of Heather O'Brien and Kristen Beaton, along with the VON and help from NSCC Alumni Relations, have established annual memorial awards celebrating their lives.
Columbia Southern University (CSU) logo
NSCC, CSU partner on transfer agreement NSCC has partnered with Columbia Southern University (CSU) on a transfer agreement for students studying occupational health and safety.
Sherri on stage at her convocation receiving her diploma.
Finding empowerment in education Sherri Butler (Business Information Technology ’99, Office Administration ’00) enrolled at NSCC as a young single mother to build a better future for her son. She had a full-circle moment when she was hired by NSCC.
Photo of lighthouse during sunset
Monthly eNews: August 2022 This month, read about the impact of donor giving, accessibility support for the Mi'kmaq Honour Song, how alumni can access sponsored tuition for the new Start-Up Accelerator program and NSCC Alumni's Instagram launch!
Asian woman standing outside a campus and holding a blue sign that says "Alumni for Life"
5 tips to make the most of your NSCC alumni connection Are you a new graduate joining the alumni community? Here's a list of our top five tips to help you make the most of your NSCC alumni connection.
A headshot of Laura Roy.
Alum nominated for GRAMMYs, JUNOS and ECMA in 2022 Laura Roy (Music Arts '12) is an up-and-coming voice in alternative R&B. The singer-songwriter has released 2 EPs, multiple singles and collaborated with many artists. Learn about her latest career milestones.
Photo of man in a large garage wearing a hardhat and safety glasses. The NSCC Foundation & Alumni Relations logo in white above a blue banner that reads, "Strength in Community" and "NSCC Foundation and Alumni Relations Annual Report on Giving 2021-2022"
Annual Report on Giving Our community raised over $5.6M in funding to create new programs, build student awards and provide necessary financial aid for thousands of students across the province. Read impactful student stories in NSCC Foundation and Alumni Relations' 2021/22 Annual Report on Giving.
Photo of cliffs
Monthly eNews: July 2022 July is setting the tone for summer with great weather and celebrations. In this issue, learn about alumni resources and offerings including ongoing education for Social Services grads, great prizes for those who take the Grad Survey (class of 2021), and how to join NSCC in the upcoming Sydney Pride Parade.
Overhead photo of a graduating class sitting in a theatre with a words added that read, "New pathway agreement in Social Services"
New pathway agreement in social services Recent NSCC Social Services grads can now earn their Bachelor of Arts Degree at Mount Allison University in just two additional years if eligible. Read more about this new learning opportunity.
Photo of the Marshall family by a fireplace.
It’s a family thing: three generations of NSCC alumni The Marshall family has three generations of NSCC alumni from more than six different programs. In 1965, Ross Marshall graduated from Bell Road Campus and recently, Ross Bartlett graduated from Ivany Campus in 2022.
Photo of lake
Monthly eNews: June 2022 This month has also been filled with celebration as we welcomed the class of 2022 into our alumni community. Learn more about our newest grads, alumni making their mark, and be sure to check out our giveaway in honour of National Indigenous History Month.
Photo of Kate Eillot, NSCC alum (PR '14) and founder of Up Public Relations.
Grad-owned business 'Ups' their NSCC connection Kate Elliot (PR '14) has always been an active alum in the NSCC community. During the College’s 25th anniversary, she reached a personal goal when her business was hired to help with celebrations.
Two women walk in a flowery field carrying camera equipment.
Alum duo makes visual reconnection with College As students, Jane Nicholson and Kristen Brown created Arrow & Knot Productions. This year, their videography company reached a huge milestone after being selected to be part of NSCC’s 25th anniversary.
Photo of vineyard
Monthly eNews: May 2022 It’s great to feel the sun’s warmth and watch nature flourish as we move towards summer. May has been active for our community with the wrap-up of NSCC’s 25th anniversary, adding to the nostalgia that many alumni share this time of year.
Photo of Stephanie Joline on set at Night Blooms with crew and cast members
Alum feature film hits local theatre Stephanie Joline (Radio Television Arts ’04) has a feature film, Night Blooms, playing at a Halifax theatre! After graduation, Stephanie made her own career path in Nova Scotia’s film industry, where she creates space for diversity whenever possible.
Photo of purple flowers
Monthly eNews: April 2022 April has been an exciting month with NSCC’s Kindness Project setting the tone to step back and share what we can. We also recognize Earth Day this month and are excited to share our latest 25-minute video, along with other updates and offerings.
Photo of yellow flowers
Monthly eNews: March 2022 There are many changes happening this month and we want to help you move into this next season with some hope and kindness. Check out fresh resources, initiatives and updates that are sure to put some spring in your step.
Photo of trail in forest filled with snow
Monthly eNews: February 2022 The winter weather may be unpredictable, but you can depend on us for the latest resources, stories and updates to get you through. February has also been a time of learning and perspective as we recognize African Heritage Month.
Photo of 2022 calendar
Monthly eNews: 2021 Year in Review In 2021, we’ve all had to adapt to a “new normal,” although what that looks like is different for everyone. For us, the result has been a year spent mostly online, juggling home, work and life, but deeply invested in adapting our alumni offerings to be of most value to you, our alumni.
Foundation Report
NSCC Foundation Annual Report on Giving As alumni, you know firsthand the impact an NSCC education can have, and for many of you, the support from our generous donors and the College community meant all the difference. The 2021 Foundation Annual Report shares incredible stories of perseverance and dedication, traits that are very common in our alumni community. For those of you who have been able to pay it forward through the NSCC Foundation, we thank you and our students thank you.
Chrissi Cochrane with guitar
Crissi Cochrane shares the sweet sound of success Crissi Cochrane is a Music Business alum with over 13 million listens on Spotify. She co-founded a music co-op and is currently crowd-funding her first animated music video. But what's most impressive about Crissi is how she's giving a hand-up to others in her community as she makes her way to the top.
people with moving boxes
Advertise Your Rental to NSCC Students - FREE We know the rental market is challenging right now. Advertising for tenants can be time-consuming and expensive. If you have a room, an apartment or a unit to rent, you can list your vacancies for FREE on or call 1.866.766.0767 and help NSCC students find housing.
Kara Friesen
From farm to table Kara Friesen has launched a local meal-kit business with produce straight from Nova Scotia farms. Kara’s vision for this sustainable business was supported by the Scotiabank Entrepreneur in the Making Program and enabled her to bring farm fresh to the Annapolis Valley and HRM.
juno keizer in work gear
Finding community at NSCC Alum Juno Keizer, a proud father of two daughters, and recent participant in the Irving Pathways to Shipbuilding Program, shares his experience on the program and the community support that made the journey worthwhile. View his story and others as part of the NSCC Foundation Lead the Way campaign.