Black History at Bow Valley College
Black History Month at Bow Valley College
Bow Valley College acknowledged Black History Month by celebrating our Black alumni. We spoke to them about life after BVC – focusing on their careers, their experience as Black professionals, and their impact within their fields and communities. Here are a few of our favourite inspiring alumni stories.
Izuchukwu Igwe – Izu for short – is a School of Technology alumni with a focus on Digital Marketing who is paving his way into motion graphics since graduating from the College in 2020.
“My decision to study at Bow Valley College was informed by the richness of the College’s program curriculum as well as the affordability and duration of my course of study. I also liked the location of the college and the diversity of the student community.”
“I am currently pursuing a career in motion graphics. It encompasses graphic design, illustration, and animation. Motion graphics is a new field that is not well known in the Black community. This means there is a lack of representation and some difficulty finding Black mentors.”
Izuchukwu’s venture into motion graphics is a step forward in increasing diversity and inclusion within the field.
Patience Muchena is a 2018 graduate of the College’s Practical Nursing program. Since graduating, Patience has worked in Whitehorse, Yukon as a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
“Working in the health profession or any profession during a pandemic is emotionally taxing. All I can say is we have come a long way, and we can only soldier on,” she says.
“There is still a lot more that still needs to be addressed when it comes to systemic racism and discrimination in Canada, but I do believe we are on the right track,” Patience says when asked what being Black in the LPN professions means to her. “I am proud to be Black, and being Black in my profession shows that times are changing, and we are now living in an inclusive world. As a Black person, let alone a Black woman, I can choose to work in any profession and be accepted, feel accepted, and feel like I belong.”
Timothy Afuhumbom Ndongndeh
A 2017 Business Administration graduate with a specialization in Public Relations, Timothy Afuhmbom Ndongndeh came to the College from Cameroon in search of affordable, quality, hands-on post-secondary education and concluded that BVC was the school for him.
“I think I got more than what I bargained for; BVC gave me a wholistic and rich Canadian higher learning experience and introduced me to some amazing people, who have over the years become family,” Timothy says.
Timothy currently works as a Workforce Coordinator in the Construction industry, specifically in Administration, HR, and Labour Relations. “Being Black in my field means I get to be a role model for other Black kids and to show them that they can become anything they want. I think representation is extremely important. It also is a privilege and honour because I get the opportunity to shape the future of our industry and actively contribute to the discussions on why it’s important to have proper representation, just by having a seat at the table.”
2001 Interior Decorating grad and Avenue Magazine Top 40 Under 40 honouree, Liz Nandee, is the principal designer and owner of Basic Black Designs Inc. She provides services in interior design, set design, celebrity design, and, more.
“My parents migrated to Canada from the Caribbean. Being a person of mixed race, born and raised in Canada, I grew up in the Black culture and have experienced first-hand how extremely difficult it can be, being a woman in a perceived male-dominated field. It has made me work harder as a woman of colour, to defy the odds and encourage others,” Liz says.
“Black History Month, to me, is about bringing awareness to the accomplishments of Black people. As it is my culture, I support Black History Month every February by supporting the arts at events such as spoken word, etc.
I also support Black culture every day of the year by sharing the achievements of people of colour, their stories, and the impact some have made in music, education, and business – breaking down barriers, giving hope to those that follow.”