Three retired North Island College faculty members from the Comox Valley have been honoured with emeritus designations, recognizing their dedication to students and contributions to the NIC community.
Brent McIntosh, Susanne Sampson and Frank Niscak were presented with their designations at NIC’s year-end celebration on May 31.
“It’s an opportunity to recognize the incredible work that our staff do and the impact they have on the lives of their students, co-workers and the NIC community,” said Laurie Tulloch, chair of NIC’s emeritus committee.
McIntosh’s career at NIC spanned nearly 30 years, starting as a history instructor. He was an early adopter of newer teaching models, including blended learning. McIntosh went on to become NIC’s first distributed learning co-ordinator, helping to integrate new teaching and learning models to improve access for students across the region.
McIntosh retired in 2017, but continues to work with NIC to assist with curriculum review and program development.
“It’s hard to quantify the impact Brent has had on everything we do at NIC,” said NIC president John Bowman. “Through his entire career, his focus has been making sure students have the resources, access and supports to achieve their goals.”
Sampson retired from NIC in 2018 after 26 years teaching in the School of Fine Art and Design, both in fine arts and interactive media. She was responsible for developing NIC’s first graphic design diploma and NIC’s initial interactive media programs.
Sampson’s understanding of the strong links between students and industry led her to establish the interactive media advisory committee, which connects programs to industry needs. She also initiated the graduation showcase and guided student tours to Vancouver and Victoria to meet industry professionals.
“Susanne was committed to her students, ensuring they were always learning the most up-to-date, industry-relevant curriculum so they would be successful in the field,” said Megan Wilson, interactive media program coordinator. “Susanne’s legacy of building industry connections and fostering those relationships has made NIC’s interactive media programs the success they are today.”
Niscak also taught in NIC’s interactive media programs and was fundamental in the development of the mobile application development certificate and the web and mobile application development diploma. Both programs are highly successful in preparing graduates for employment in the tech industry.
He was known for his commitment to mentoring students, helping them with job applications, working freelance or starting their own business.
“Frank’s focus on supporting students was inspiring,” said Wilson. “He was also an invaluable resource for his fellow instructors. His relentless dedication to research has shaped our approach to curriculum design and has ensured that we are always on the cutting edge of the technological changes in the industry. I’m so proud to see both Frank and Susanne receive the title of emeritus designate.”
Also recognized at the ceremony were Mary Pat Thompson, a former education assistant Indigenous focus instructor from Port Alberni, and Janet Moody-Lackey, a former counsellor, advisor and chair of student services in Campbell River.
Emeritus nominations are put forward by NIC faculty, support and administrative staff. To be eligible, recipients must have worked at NIC for at least 10 years, demonstrated teaching, service or research excellence and contributed significantly to student success or the educational community.