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Georgian administrator to receive OCASA Doug Light Excellence Award

Innovative leadership in co-operative education on the college, regional, provincial, national and international level have lead to honours for veteran administrator Lisa Whalen of Georgian College. During 30 years at Georgian as support, faculty and administrator, Lisa has championed Co-operative Education, and has expanded partnerships with business and industry  to support student learning through work placements.

She will receive the 2012 OCASA Doug Light Award for Administrative Excellence at the annual OCASA Professional Development Conference June 26 at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, Ontario.

Lisa’s work at Georgian  “making Georgian the lead national college on continuing education programming” has strengthened connections with community and industry partners “to prepare our students for a changing work environment” said her peers in the nominating her.

On the national level, her leadership on the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) committees and on the Board of Directors “demonstrates countless hours of commitment to the association at both the regional and national levels,” says the CAFCE website.

On the international level, she has developed and delivered co-operative education programs and provided training to faculty at colleges in China, India and represented Georgian in London, England with the Student Work Aboard Program (SWAP).

Lisa began at Georgian in 1982 as teacher and placement officer. In 1987 she became Co-operative Education Consultant, and in 2004 was promoted to Manager, Co-operative Education and Career Services.

In addition to recognition by CAFCE, as recipient of the Albert S Barber award  her list of committee memberships totals 62 years. She has received awards from EWO  (Education at Work Ontario) and is chair of the Government Relations committee. Lisa has made presentations to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Government Services, Ministry of Revenue and Georgian Board of Governors.

Her achievements at Georgian include the implementation of ORBIS software to facilitate co-op placements, and she also merged Career Services and Co-op Education departments to facilitate collaboration. She is an active member of a group exploring experiences of student, employer and faculty in work placements – a project initiated by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

The OCASA Doug Light Award for Administrative Excellence is awarded to an administrator who has demonstrated professionalism through outstanding leadership, contributions to community, and excellence of performance. The award is named for the late Doug Light who served 26 years as a college administrator, including terms as president of two colleges, Centennial College in Scarborough and George Brown College in Toronto.