Award Recipients:

Paul A. Elsner Award:
Shari Olson and Peter Nunoda

Director's Award:
Brenda Thames

Gary L. Filan Scholoarship

Exemplary Leadership Award Recipients
Yehia Bahei-El-Din, Shadia Sobhy Fahim, and Idelia Smith


South Mountain Community College

About Dr. Shari Olson:

Bio Coming Soon


Red Deer College

About Dr. Peter Nunoda:

Dr. Nunoda, who holds a Ph.D. in History, brings an extensive list of skills and more than 30 years of post-secondary experience to the College. He was an instructor in the Departments of History and Native Studies for 12 years at the University of Manitoba, where he conducted research projects on various topics, including Aboriginal health education and Aboriginal student retention. Dr. Nunoda’s subject matter expertise in Aboriginal health also led him to an international position with the Indigenous Health Unit at James Cook University in Australia.

Dr. Nunoda served as the Program Director for Aboriginal Focus Programs from 2000-2002 and Director of Access Programs for the next five years at the University of Manitoba. From 2007-2011, he was the Dean of Faculty of Health at the University College of the North. Then, he served as Vice President, Academic and Research at Northern Lights College (NLC) for three years. Under Dr. Nunoda’s guidance, domestic enrolment grew three per cent and the number of international students skyrocketed 75 per cent at NLC through a Strategic Enrolment Management Plan.

Since August 2014, Dr. Nunoda served as the President of Vancouver Community College (VCC). He is a big proponent of collaborating with, and connecting with, the community. Along with Central City Foundation, VCC has hosted Fair in the Square, connecting over 3,000 community members at a festival of food, music and activities. In partnership with Vancouver Trolley Company and funding from Telus, the VCC Dental Clinic hosted Tooth Trolley for pre-registered children and their families, providing free dental exams, seminars and fun activities.

Dr. Nunoda began his term as RDC President in September 2019.


President, West Hills College Coalinga

About Dr. Brenda Thames:

Brenda Thames has over nineteen years of experience in instruction, student services, and administration in California Community Colleges. Brenda has a passion for developing the capacities of individuals, institutions, and communities. She is committed to maintaining educational access, facilitating student success, and attaining equitable educational outcomes for students in community colleges.

Brenda is a 2016-2017 Fellow with the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. In 2014 she completed the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management. Brenda has served in a broad spectrum of positions at Modesto Junior College, American River College and at the Los Rios Community College District Office including adjunct faculty, tenured faculty, faculty coordinator, department chair, program director, dean, and vice president in both Student Services and Instruction.

In addition, Brenda has over five years of experience as a mental health clinician in county social services, county mental health and California Department of Corrections. Brenda earned a BA with a double major in Sociology and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley, MA in Social Work from the USC, and a MA in Public Administration from USC. Brenda is a doctoral candidate in Education with a concentration in Community College Leadership at Oregon State University.



Gary L. Filan Scholarship Recipient


Gary L. Filan Scholarship Recipient


Idahlynn Karre Exemplary Leadership Award Recipients

Hover over photo to read summary.

Prof. Yehia Bahei-El Din

Vice President for Research
and Post-graduate Studies
and International University Ranking

The British University in Egypt (BUE)
Cairo, Egypt

Prof. Shadia Sobhy Fahim

Dean of the Faculty
of Arts and Humanities

The British University in Egypt (BUE)
Cairo, Egypt


Idelia Smith

Associate Vice President
Academic Affairs

Holyoke Community College
Holyoke, Massachusetts

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