RDC recognizes community builders at 2019 Community Awards Banquet

Date posted: 
Fri, 05/24/2019
RDC's 2019 Community Award recipients

In a celebration held May 23, Red Deer College honoured three individuals and one community partner whose leadership, public service and commitment to community has impacted Red Deer and central Alberta in positive and lasting ways.

The Community Awards ceremony provided community members, RDC alumni and distinguished guests the opportunity to celebrate and honour the following award recipients:

  • Ron MacLean was recognized with the G.H. Dawe Memorial Award of Excellence for his work to promote Red Deer and central Alberta to the world.
  • Dawnine Jackson was posthumously presented with the Alumni Legacy Award for her contribution to the community through leadership and mentorship in her role in Recreation Administration for The City of Red Deer.
  • Scott Robinson received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his leadership in central Alberta sport organizations, especially as CEO of the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society.
  • Olds College was awarded RDC’s Community Partner Award in recognition of the relationship between these two partners that has manifested in the successful Campus Alberta Central collaboration, ongoing complementary program development, and the hospitality they showed to RDC students housed at Olds College during the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Ron MacLean - G.H. Dawe Memorial Award of Excellence recipient

Ron MacLean is a proud Red Deerian, and through his on-going and passionate role as an ambassador for this region, RDC was proud to honour him with the 2019 G.H. Dawe Memorial Award. In his decades-long career as a sportscaster, MacLean has been a vocal advocate for our region, and a proud central Albertan. He has promoted local athletes and supported the continued success of our athletic programs and teams.

MacLean grew up in Red Deer. He and his wife, Cari, met in high school and have been together since. Cari MacLean completed the Bachelor of Recreation Administration through the RDC – University of Alberta transfer program and, when she moved to Edmonton to complete her degree, Ron remained in Red Deer, working his way up at CKRD-FM, CKRD-AM and eventually, CKRD-TV. His hard work and dedication have paid off as he has enjoyed more than 30 years with Hockey Night in Canada. MacLean’s authenticity, commitment and expertise have endeared him to Canadians and hockey fans around the globe.

MacLean’s roots remain in Red Deer. The friendships he made growing up in central Alberta remain important connections for him and his family. He continues to emphasize the level of athletes our region produces and to promote investment in sport and sporting events for central Alberta. As honorary co-chairs of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, the MacLeans returned to Red Deer to support and promote the Games, meet volunteers and visit the venues and community spaces that served the Games, and which Ron helped fundraise for.

“It’s clear that no matter where Ron MacLean’s career takes him, he remains a Red Deerian at heart,” says Joel Ward, RDC President and CEO. “He models the kind of leadership we work to inspire in our learners, as he demonstrates good citizenship, community spirit and a commitment to lifelong learning. RDC is proud to present him with the G.H. Dawe Memorial Award for bridging central Alberta with the world.”

The G.H. Dawe Memorial Award is presented by RDC to a community member who best exemplifies the values of Mr. George Harold Dawe (1910-1999). The College community fondly remembers Mr. Dawe for his contributions to this institution and to education in general. Mr. Dawe helped establish Red Deer College in 1963 and held the position of its first administrative officer. His commitment and dedication to education was outstanding and will serve as a model of lifelong learning for decades
to come.

Through dedicated service, the recipients of the G.H. Dawe Memorial Award have helped advance the mission of Red Deer College and bridge the College to the central Alberta community.

Dawnine Jackson - Alumni Legacy Award recipient, awarded posthumously

Dawnine Jackson (Bachelor of Arts – Recreation Administration) established herself as a committed professional, a dedicated leader and an important mentor in her decades-long career in Recreation. She was known as a leader in community programming in central Alberta; the training systems and certification requirements that she originally established as part of the Collicutt Centre Water Park staffing model still stand today as the gold standard for operation. She was respected by her peers, colleagues and staff for her conscientious self-evaluation, her commitment to developing her team members, and her passion for leadership excellence.

However, she is remembered most for her kind and compassionate mentorship. Her career in recreation began with volunteer work in her teens and she remained passionately committed to this path for her whole life. She coached and mentored countless of our region’s young people as a swim instructor, lifeguard and gymnastics coach. In her career with The City of Red Deer, she impacted the lives of a generation of Red Deer youth through her work in community programming, and she left an indelible mark on the people she worked with daily. She mentored trainers, instructors and lifeguards to become effective leaders, and she inspired the young, enthusiastic lifeguards she worked with at the Collicutt Centre to become capable community contributors who are now adults, sharing their skills and abilities in our community. RDC is honoured to recognize the rippling impact that DJ’s kindness, encouragement, expertise and professionalism have had on the Central Alberta Region.

“Dawnine Jackson is a powerful example of the kind of leader we want our learners to become. She was a devoted professional, who was committed to lifelong learning. She mentored and guided young adults so profoundly that their lives were permanently changed. And she did all of these things with kindness, a spirit of inclusion and an authentic desire to see those around her succeed,” says Janice Wing, RDC’s Director of Community Relations. “We honour DJ with the Alumni Legacy Award for the indelible mark she’s left on our community, and the impact that those she touched continue to have.”


Scott Robinson - Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient

Through his work with the 2019 Canada Winter Games, Scott Robinson (Physical Education Diploma, 1988) has made a lasting impact on The City of Red Deer, the region and the nation. As a member of the Bid Committee, Robinson’s vision and organizational skills played a critical role in developing a bid package that was ultimately successful. As a part of the subsequent Transition Team, Robinson’s leadership as CEO of the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society was key to executing that plan. The Games resulted in significant social, cultural and infrastructure development that will impact generations of central Albertans.

But this role is only the most recent of a long career in sport promotion and administration. As an Executive Director with the Hockey Alberta Foundation, Robinson’s leadership and vision created new pathways to connect young athletes with supporters. In this role, he worked directly with students RDC’s Donald School of Business to create an economic impact study related to Hockey Alberta’s effect on the province’s economy, which created valuable learning for both the students and the organization.

As a student at RDC, Robinson overcame some initial challenges to become a successful student, and thrive as a student-manager of Kings Hockey and a member of the Kinesiology & Sport Studies society. Ultimately, Robinson went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Leadership from Royal Roads University.

“RDC is proud to recognize Scott Robinson with the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for his leadership, vision, and his many contributions to our community,” said Janice Wing, RDC’s Director of Community Relations. “His work ethic and perseverance serve as inspiration to our learners and a source of great pride for RDC. It is an honour to count this community leader among our Distinguished Alumni.”


Olds College - Community Partner Award recipient

RDC is proud to recognize Olds College with the 2019 Community Partner Award. The relationship between the two institutions fosters collaboration over competition, and this year, Red Deer College acknowledges three distinct ways that commitment has been demonstrated.

The ongoing joint venture, Campus Alberta Central (CAC), creates pathways for rural learners to earn or begin post-secondary credentials without leaving their communities. RDC and Olds College instructors and facilities help to deliver programming on-campus, online and at remote learning sites. Learning centres in Rocky Mountain House, Stettler, Drumheller and, now, Ponoka, further reduce the burden of travel and relocation, allowing more central Alberta students to achieve success in post-secondary studies without sacrificing other commitments, or leaving communities they love.

Secondly, RDC’s partnership with Olds College during the 2019 Canada Winter Games was vital to the success of the Games, critical to Red Deer College’s role in delivering them, and meaningful for RDC learners living in Residence who moved to Olds College’s campus when RDC became Athletes’ Village. Olds College’s staff, faculty and students provided an exceptional experience for RDC students, which reinforces the collaborative nature of the relationship between our institutions.

A third and meaningful collaboration is the long working relationship between institutions to develop and deliver a complementary program mix that maximizes the diversity of shared programming. This collaborative effort eliminates duplication and allows each institution to develop depth within the academic departments in their portfolio. Rather than split central Alberta into two smaller territories, viewing program mix through a combined lens has given both institution’s the opportunity to provide this region’s learners with diverse learning opportunities, deliver programs in a way that makes efficient use of resources and create opportunities for learners whose post-secondary choices would otherwise be limited by their inability to relocate. 

“Our partnership with Olds College is unique and it demonstrates the spirit of cooperation that Albertans are known for. The program mix we’ve been able to offer leaners by approaching our region as a whole would not be possible without collaboration,” said Joel Ward, RDC President and CEO. “The relationship between our institutions is one of great respect and genuine friendship, and we’re proud to say we can count on one another.”

Red Deer College initiated the Community Partner award to honour its many and varied partners and to celebrate the spirit of genuine collaboration that benefits the overall community. It is through these partnerships that RDC is able to provide access to expertise, leadership, innovation and facilities as well as to enhance opportunities for learners. These meaningful contributions assist in the development of Red Deer and our surrounding communities.


Photo caption (left to right): Joel Ward, RDC President & CEO; Stuart Cullum, Olds College President & CEO (Community Partner Award recipient); Pat Quesnel (Ron MacLean’s lifelong friend, who accepted the G.H. Dawe Memorial Award of Excellence on behalf of recipient Mr. MacLean); Elle Werenka, Dawnine Jackson’s daughter (Ms. Jackson was posthumously recognized with the Alumni Legacy Award); Diane Cauvin, Dawnine Jackson’s mother; Scott Robinson, CEO, 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society (Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient); Morris Flewwelling, Chair, RDC Board of Governors

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For additional information contact:

Brent Forster     
Communications Strategist - Corporate    
work: 403.342.3389
Shelley Newman 
Communications Strategist – Corporate 
work: 403.342.3299