New this week

February 18, 2020

Preston Sloan

College + community = careers

The path to Preston Sloan’s professional career started at Medicine Hat College (MHC) and has since come full circle.

It all began with an anatomy class.

Read more...


Headlines

ATA convention reminder   ·  Phone System Upgrade   ·  T4s available   ·  Signing authority   ·  Upgrading cultivates confidence   ·  Book space at Job Fair   ·  Wellness @ MHC   ·  Volunteers Needed   ·  CS Spotlight


Reminder! ATA Convention at MHC this week
The annual Southeastern Alberta Teachers Association Convention is taking place at the Medicine Hat campus on Feb. 20 & 21. Parking and campus food services will be in high demand on both days so please plan accordingly.

Facility Operations Advisory - NEC Phone System Upgrade
Installation of the upgraded phone system will take place the week of Feb. 18-21, 2020. A great deal of work has already taken place in preparation for the final stage of installation, replacing the current communication platform that reached the end of its lifecycle in December 2018. Please note that this project involves the Medicine Hat campus phone system (“land lines”) and does not impact mobile phones in any way.

Cutover to the new system is scheduled Feb. 19, 2020. Service interruptions of the voicemail and phone systems can be expected throughout the morning of February 19th. These service interruptions will be intermittent and brief.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. Your patience and cooperation, while we make this transition to the new system, is appreciated.


2019 T4 statements now available
The 2019 T4 statements have been distributed and are available on the web portal. If you do not have access to the web portal, you will receive your T4 in the mail.

Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions about your 2019 T4.


Signing authority delegation
Please note the following absence and change in signing authority:
  • Terry Chapman, vice-president academic, will be away Feb. 20 - 21. In her absence, signing authority is delegated to Dennis Beaudoin, dean of trades and technology.

Raymond Brackett

Upgrading cultivates confidence and opportunities for adult learners

The future is looking bright for Raymond Brackett, a hardworking, mature student in the Academic Upgrading program at Medicine Hat College (MHC).

Born and raised in Medicine Hat, the husband and father of two longed to make a better life for himself and his family, and knew it was time to try something new.

He had grown tired of working for minimum wage, and having dropped out of high school at the grade 10 level, the opportunities seemed limited. Then a friend recommended the Academic Upgrading program at MHC. Interested and with nothing to lose, Brackett applied to the program and hasn’t looked back since.

Brackett says he thoroughly enjoys the program, the instructors and the classroom atmosphere.

Read more...


Book space at MHC's Community Job Fair
The MHC Community Job Fair is Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For departments wishing to have a booth, please contact Shelly Drefs at sdrefs@mhc.ab.ca to make arrangements. Please note: ALL booths must have someone representing their area for the entire duration of the event.

We hope you can join us on February 26!


Employee Wellness banner

Free Fitness Classes
Enjoy free group fitness classes during the lunch hour and after work. Classes include yoga, Zumba, toning, cardio kickboxing and more! 

Winter Wellness Challenge
Join us for this fun points based challenge that encourages Active Living, Fitness, Mental Health, Healthy Eating, Social Health and Financial Fitness! This challenge will explore healthy competition in a team environment. Sign-up with a team of up to 4. Individuals are welcome too and will be assigned a team.

LEARN MORE

Fitness Centre
The Fitness Centre is open 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on weekends. Remember to scan in and out with your employee card. Please note: the centre is closed for classes this semester on the following days and times: 

  • Monday: 9 - 9:50 a.m. / 3 - 4:50 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 1 - 2:50 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9 - 9:50 a.m. / 3 - 4:50 p.m.
  • Thursday: 1 - 2:50 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 - 9:50 a.m.

Volunteers needed!

Rattlers Bingo Events
The Rattlers are looking for volunteers to help work their bingo events this semester. Please email Kristina Segall if you are able to help out on the following dates:

  • Feb. 23: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
  • Mar. 13: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Mar. 23: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
  • Apr. 5: 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Winter 2020 Continuing Studies Catalogue Cover

Start a new chapter

The new continuing studies catalogue is now available online, along with a new registration experience! We recently switched over to a new online registration system that includes a variety of exciting features, including:

  • Real-time online registration
  • Household accounts for the whole family
  • Mobile friendly design

Students can also:

  • View current registrations and class details
  • Reprint receipts and confirmations
  • View grades

Check out these training opportunities:

Productivity and Workplace Communication (Registration deadline: Feb. 21):
This specially designed 2 day series is focused on increasing your productivity and enhancing your skills in the workplace, dealing with challenging people, and conflict resolution.

Certificate in Interpersonal Communication (Registration deadline: Feb. 28): This series of four courses will help you learn to build positive relationships, turn negative situations into win-win, learn tools and techniques that allow you to effectively deal with negative or stressful situations, and assist you in learning how to communicate more successfully in any situation.

Canadian Electrical Code 2018 edition update (Feb. 28)
This course identifies and addresses changes relating to the 2018, 24th edition of the Canadian Electrical Code Part 1. With the guidance of an instructor, you will review the new rules, revisions and calculation changes. This code course is designed for journeyman electricians, master electricians and Safety Codes Officers who wish to keep their Status up to date as required by the Safety Codes Council of Alberta.

General Interest Courses:

Conversational French (Starts Feb. 25)
Explore a second language for the first time, or brush up on the basic French you studied long ago! Learn the fundamental tools to carry on a conversation while getting tips on pronunciation and the French culture.

Parent and Tot Sign Language (Starts Mar. 1)
Ages 1-3, accompanied by an adult. Get your wiggles out and join us in this high energy class where you will learn everyday signs using props, songs and games. A great class to enjoy with your little!

Parent and Child Sign Language (Starts Mar. 1)
Ages 4-8, accompanied by an adult. Join us in this fun and interactive sign language class. Explore every day and common signs with your child through dance, music, props and stories!

Dinner on a Dime (Starts Mar. 2)
Do you have a big family? Often worry about balancing nutrition vs cost? Worry no more!!! Chef Bubba has you covered. Come on in, and learn all about portioning, understanding your grocery bill, how to shop frugally, and how to make delicious meals that are healthy, and don't wreck your wallet.


Worth a Second Look...

Voluntary Leave Program
Medicine Hat College is offering a Voluntary Leave Program. Our intent is to enable people to make constructive decisions about their careers knowing that we will likely have fewer employees in the future. Applications are accepted until Feb. 28, 2020. This program is open to:
  • Faculty with full-time or part time regular or continuing appointments,
  • Support staff (AUPE) with regular, sessional, or recurring seasonal appointments, and
  • Management/excluded employees with regular appointments.

Employees interested in applying for this option are invited to complete an application and forward it to their supervisor and to the Interim Director of Human Resources. If you have questions, please contact hr@mhc.ab.ca.


Student Learning and Engagement Survey
Greater student engagement leads to better learning, improved retention and graduation rates, and ultimately improved life skills after graduation. We can take action to improve engagement by creating opportunities for our students!

Find out more by checking out the 2019 Student Learning and Engagement Survey Results!


ACAC volleyball and basektball championships at MHC

Championships celebrate women and girls in sport

Top athletic talent from across the province will take to the volleyball and basketball courts at Medicine Hat College (MHC) this winter when the Rattlers host two Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championships. The 2020 ACAC Women’s Volleyball Championship runs Feb. 27 – 29, with the ACAC Women’s Basketball Championship the following week from Mar. 4 – 7.

Billed as celebrations of women and girls in sport, organizers plan to engage local female students, athletes and leaders throughout each event with a variety of initiatives, including:

Fill it with Females
All girls aged 10-17 are invited to attend a special night(s) filled with inspirational female athletes and coaches! At the 2020 ACAC Women’s Volleyball (Wednesday, Feb. 26) and Basketball (Wednesday, Mar. 4) Awards Ceremonies, each registered female will receive a championship t-shirt, free access to the event, and an opportunity to meet one of the championship teams. Other opportunities include:

  • “Warm-up” time with Team Canada Beach Volleyball player Megan Nagy and keynote speaker, Dr. Sue Higgins, at the volleyball awards ceremony.
  • Keynote address with Team Canada national basketball player and University of Kansas basketball star, Krysten Boogaard, at the basketball awards ceremony.

Click here to learn more, or contact Dragana Vukovic at 403.504.3547 or dvukovic@mhc.ab.ca to register.

Get Benched
In an unprecedented move, FAME and the Medicine Hat College are running the popular Get Benched program at all 22 ACAC championship games! Get Benched allows young females between the ages of 10 and 17 to join the players’ bench for an immersive courtside experience.

Click here to register online. If you have questions, please contact Terra Petryshyn at 403.504.6765 or Dragana Vukovic. Winners will be selected and notified prior to each championship event.


Mental health first aid workshop coming to MHC
Through funding provided by the Provincial Post -Secondary Mental Health Grant, we are pleased to offer a two-day mental health first aid workshop facilitated by the Canadian Mental Health Association. The workshop will run Friday, Mar. 13 and Saturday, Mar. 14 in room CC186 at the Cultural Centre. This workshop (normally, $150/per person) is FREE to all MHC staff, students and faculty. 

The workshop focuses on Mental Health First Aid for Adults who interact with youth (ages 12 – 24) as mental health problems often first develop during adolescence or early childhood. The course teaches first aid skills to help someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. The course also provides information about depression, anxiety disorders, self-harming behaviours and substances related disorders. Anyone who is interested or may come in contact with individuals dealing with a mental health problem or crisis can benefit from the course.

Only 25 spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. To register, please contact Marie Wanty at mwanty@mhc.ab.ca.


Online directory changes
To address the issue of online security at Medicine Hat College, changes have been made that impact external/off campus access to the existing phone directory.

MHC employees and students using a computer or device connected to an internal IP address or college WiFi (on campus) will still have full access to the online directory. Users from any other source will be redirected to a new web page that includes a list of commonly contacted departments, generic email addresses and phone numbers. We understand there may be challenges as we work through this transition, but it is a necessary step to protect individuals and our operations from serious cybercrimes.

IT is also enabling Multi-Factor Authentication on a volunteer basis to any staff or faculty member that would like to have an extra layer of protection against such events. When this feature is enabled and one enters their username and password to log into a system (like email), they must also take some action on a personal device (like a cell phone) before they are allowed access. With Multi-Factor Authentication enabled, a potential “hacker” would not only need the correct username and password for an account, but also the physical device to which the extra code was sent. In other words, it turns a cell phone into a kind of physical “key” for one’s digital accounts.

If you are interested in using this security feature, please contact the call centre at callcentre@mhc.ab.ca.


Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
The college continues to receive a massive amount of spam on a daily basis. While IT systems block or quarantine the vast majority of it from ever getting to one’s inbox, they can’t block everything. Some of these messages ask the receiver to enter their username and password and can be extremely convincing. They impersonate a Supervisor, IT, the President, the CRA, etc. and often convey a sense of urgency to pressure one into giving up their account information in order to access the data or use the account in future attacks. If this happens, IT must reset the password on any account that might have been compromised (yeah, we hate that too) in order to ensure the security of the account and the data it can access.

This causes a lot of trouble for everyone affected. To that end, IT is enabling Multi-Factor Authentication on a volunteer basis to any staff or faculty member that would like to have an extra layer of protection against such events. Multi-Factor Authentication is fancy terminology for a feature that many people are probably already using on their personal email or social media accounts. When this feature is enabled and one enters their username and password to log into a system (like email) they must also take some action on a personal device (like a cell phone) before they are allowed access. This usually takes the form of a entering a code received via text message. With Multi-Factor Authentication enabled, a potential “hacker” would not only need the correct username and password for an account, but also the physical device to which the extra code was sent. In other words, it turns a cell phone into a kind of physical “key” for one’s digital accounts.

Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication does require jumping through a few hoops, but once enabled is fairly seamless and poses only an occasional minor hiccup in workflow. It is far less disruptive than having one’s password reset constantly.

If you are interested in using this security feature, please contact the call centre at callcentre@mhc.ab.ca or by phone at 403.529.3899 to enable your account. MFA instructions are also on the Source home page under Quick Links titled MFA Instructions.

David Borella
Manager, Client and Application Support
Phone: 403.504.3564


From the Office of OH&S: Coronavirus update
As of Feb. 18, 2020, the risk of contracting the coronavirus remains low to Albertans and there have not been any confirmed or probable cases in the province. Based on an information from Alberta Health Services and the government, the following recommendations have been made:

  • Individuals who have been in Hubei Province, China should self-isolate until 14 days have passed since they last visited.
  • Individuals who have visited mainland China (outside of Hubei Province) in the past 14 days should monitor themselves daily for symptoms such as fever or cough for 14 days after their return.

As always, to help protect against all respiratory illnesses, you should:

  • use good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing
  • stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
  • consult the Travel Health Notice for China before leaving the country if travelling abroad
  • contact your primary health provider or 811 Health Link if you have questions or concerns about your health

For more information about coronavirus, please visit the Alberta Health Services website.