Celebrating NorQuest College’s Alumni Award winners!

April 26, 2024

Celebrating NorQuest College’s Alumni Award winners!

On April 25, 2024, NorQuest alumni gathered together for an evening of connection, community, and celebration during our inaugural Alumni Awards event. We are so incredibly proud of the accomplishments of all our alumni, but we wanted to take a moment and celebrate our amazing award winners.

Transformation Award winners

The Transformation Award celebrates alumni who have broken down barriers and displayed inspiring resilience. They not only transformed their life, but also the lives of those in their communities.

Congratulations to our 2024 Transformation Award winners!

Domingo Chavez


Domingo Chavez graduated from the Practical Nurse diploma in 1979 when NorQuest was still known as the Alberta Vocational College (AVC). He originally studied Maintenance Mechanical Engineering at the Technical State University of Chile and worked for the Salvador Allende’s government in Santiago.

On September 11, 1973, he was wrongfully detained as a prisoner when a deadly military coup invaded Chile. For almost a year, he experienced unbelievable hardship until he managed to flee the country and find temporary refuge in Buenos Aires.

After marrying his wife, Monica, they made their way to a new home in Edmonton. Both Domingo and Monica had to start over with their careers. As someone who found enjoyment and purpose in helping others, Domingo pursued the Practical Nurse diploma at AVC.

Three days after graduating, he found employment at the University of Alberta Hospital in the burn unit. The following day, a high-pressure pipeline in Millwoods exploded, leading to the evacuation of 19,000 people, many of which were injured and brought to Domingo’s burn unit for treatment.

Domingo’s career journey also included working as a Nursing Attendant in the Cardiovascular Surgery Department and as a Patient Support Services Navigator for the emergency unit.

But Domingo’s community impact stretches far beyond his inspiring work in healthcare. He also:

  • Co-founded the Chilean Community of Edmonton
  • Worked as the President of Latin American Communications Society
  • Produced the radio program “Chile Mi Pais” on CKER 1480 AM and 101.9 FM
  • Was appointed the Honorary Consul of Chile in Edmonton by the Government of Chile
  • Was an active member of the Education Find Advisory Committee of Human Rights, Citizenships, and Multiculturalism for the Government of Alberta
  • Is a current Professional Council Member of the College of Medical Laboratory Technologist of Alberta (CMLTA)

Today, Domingo is a very proud husband, father, grandfather, and community member. His passion for social justice and human rights continues to fuel his purpose of giving back and advocating for others.

In September 2023, he provided his story to the Museum of Memoires and Human Rights in Chile.

Patti Howell


Patti graduated from NorQuest College’s Social Work diploma in 2015. She was also part of the NorQuest Student Council and was a Student Member of the NorQuest Board of Governors. Since graduating, she has worked in a variety of human services roles with Boyle Street, House Next Door, Lives in Transition, and more.

During her early childhood, Patti experienced hardships that no child should ever have to face. She understands the challenges that come with abuse, poverty, and health concerns. Patti continues to share her story of hardship and healing so others who have experienced similar trauma know that they too can overcome the barriers in their lives.

In 2010, Patti survived a near-death experience and endured a long road to recovery. She wanted to draw on her spiritual strength to help others, especially women who had been sexually exploited and trafficked. But she knew she needed an education if she wanted to enter the helping profession.

She chose NorQuest College’s Social Work diploma and during her studies was awarded the Rachel’s Hope Bursary created by CEASE. After graduating from her program, she found employment with the Distinctive Employment Counselling Services of Alberta (DECSA) and worked as a Case Manager in the Transitions Program. In this role, she supported survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Throughout her career and personal journey, she experienced many ups and downs—from COVID to health challenges—but Patti always encountered each barrier with grace, dignity, strength, and a fierce determination to help others. She has also worked as a CEASE Peer Supporter and assisted with the EMPOWER U: Building Confident Futures program that teaches financial literacy. She coordinated the CEASE Annual August 14 Memorial to remember victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking who lost their lives to murder, suicide, addictions, or illness.

In her volunteer role with The Journey Team, she offers quarterly weekend retreats for women in recovery. She supports women who are living with many challenges, low self-esteem, poverty, and health concerns. Through self-care activities and the chance to express their creative sides in a community of care, they leave the weekend knowing they are worthy.

Patti is also a proud mother of five children and a grandmother to her 13-year-old grandson.

Community Leader Award winner

The Community Leader Award celebrates a NorQuest alum who is leading change within their community. They exhibit strong leadership skills and are committed to helping others and contributing to positive social change.

Join us in congratulating the 2024 Community Leader Award winner!

Hannah Stone


Hannah graduated from the Community Support Worker program at NorQuest College in 2023 with an impressive GPA of 3.97. While studying full-time, she volunteered within the college and across the city, demonstrating strong leadership skills and a commitment to supporting marginalized and at-risk groups. She was also the recipient of the college’s Shine Award that recognizes students who ‘shine’ in the classroom.

During her volunteer work, she has helped Edmontonians living in poverty and struggling with food security and homelessness. She also organized a trip to Three Hills, Alberta to assist in the community’s first Pride event.

After graduating from her program, Hanna gained employment at the George Spady Society as an Outreach Worker. In her role within the harm-reduction sector, she supports individuals with complex mental health needs, substance-related disorders, and houselessness.

Hannah’s enthusiasm for advocacy and sparking positive social change has been evident in the past two years, and she will, without a doubt, continue to lead change within her community. She has been a dedicated ally to the 2SLGBTQ community in Edmonton and across Canada for over 20 years. She has volunteered at many pride events, including ones hosted at MacEwan University and NorQuest College.

Hannah has always looked for ways to give back to her community and those in need, even before her time at NorQuest. Coming to the college and completing her program only amplified her ability to help others and uplift her community.

Difference Maker Award winner

The Difference Maker Award celebrates an alum who is currently employed by NorQuest College and is committed to upholding NorQuest’s values. They make a difference in the lives of both students and staff and continuously strive towards making the college an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive place of learning.

Congratulations to the 2024 Difference Maker Award winner!

Hanna Corpuz


Hanna is currently an Instructional Assistant for the Therapeutic Recreation program at NorQuest College. She graduated from the same program in 2020 and entered her career as a Recreation Therapist during the height of COVID.

In her role as an Instructional Assistant, she works closely with instructors and students to ensure a smooth delivery of the course and lab material. She is also responsible for planning and implementing lab courses. In fact, she has developed several case scenarios, learning activities, and open lab experiences to help students prepare for their future careers.

Hanna consistently embodies a team player approach as she lives out the college’s We>They value. She collaborates with the Therapeutic Recreation team, colleagues within the Faculty of Health Studies, and external partners to ensure students are receiving the best, most relevant education possible.

She also exemplifies the college’s value of having honest conversations. Hannah creates safe spaces for honest (sometimes difficult) conversations with fellow team members and students—all with the intention of making the program and educational material better. Her honest feedback helps students to expand their skills and step outside their comfort zones to engage in meaningful classroom participation.

While Hanna has only been with the Therapeutic Recreation team for about a year, she has already made an incredible impact. Her ability to start small and think big is reflected in her transformation of the program’s processes. She has taken the lead to coordinate professional learning opportunities for students.

Hanna is committed to her own professional growth and is working towards obtaining her national designation for recreation therapy, CTRS. Her passion for therapeutic recreation, dedication to student success, and commitment to continuous program improvement make her an invaluable part of the Therapeutic Recreation team and the broader NorQuest community.

Congratulations to our winners!

Wow! As a college, we are so inspired and proud of the contributions NorQuest alumni have made (and are continuing to make) in their workplaces and communities. We are thrilled to recognize, honour, and celebrate their accomplishments.

But we also want to thank all those who attended and supported NorQuest’s first Alumni Awards event. Without you, none of this would have been possible.

Nominations for the 2025 Alumni Awards will open in Fall 2024. Subscribe to the alumni newsletter to receive updates on future awards, alumni benefits, and to stay connected with the NorQuest Alumni community!