Bow Valley College instructors receive Best of Region award for presentation at ACBSP Conference

Christy Hemmingway and Raj Brar will share their winning presentation at the International ACBSP Conference in 2024.

We are excited to celebrate Chiu School of Business instructors Christy Hemmingway and Raj Brar, who received the Best of Region award at the Region 11 ACBSP Conference. Their collaborative project on "Creating Strategic Alliances with Industry for Student Success" earned them the opportunity to represent their institution and present their ideas at the International ACBSP conference – to be held in Miami, Florida in June of 2024.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is a global accrediting authority for business education. ACBSP, which represents 1,200 post-secondary schools from 60 countries, is divided into 11 regions, with Region 11 including all 26 member institutions in Canada.

When asked about how they became involved with the ACBSP and become conference presenters, Christy and Raj said, “Our leadership at the Chiu School of Business (Alison Anderson and Eddie Sargent) have been instrumental in spreading awareness of our program offerings and our brand. They made all faculty aware of the conference and the opportunity to pitch a presentation to be selected to compete in the Best of Region Presentation competition.”

From the pitches that came from all over Canada, five presentations were selected for the Annual Region 11 Conference in Kelowna, ours being one, and our colleague Kristy Calles being another,” they continued, “Which is very exciting that Bow Valley College had two of the five presentation spots!” 

To summarize their presentation and its contents, Raj and Christy explained that the topic of "Creating Strategic Alliances with Industry for Student Success" was very important to the financial services major because they have established strong connections with the financial industry to provide students with opportunities to engage and connect in meaningful ways with potential employers.

“Our presentation explored existing secondary research on the importance and impact of mentorship programs, networking, and engagement with the industry of study for students. We outlined the programs that we have jointly developed over the years for our learners, including our BMO Mentorship Program, Scotiabank Mentorship Program, TD Mentorship Program, and industry engagement events which include a resume and cover letter review event, speed networking, and a mock interview event,” they described.

“We then crunched the numbers and were able to demonstrate that our process has resulted in an 80% success rate of students who engage in these programs being hired into industry (between the years 2019-2023).” Christy and Raj also provided insight, guidance, and a workbook to outline how other post-secondary institutions could create their own programs to replicate this success.

Acknowledging that all presentations at the conference were inspiring and informative, winning Best of Region was a pleasant surprise and a great honour for both Christy and Raj. They expressed that reaching the International ACBSP conference was indeed a goal going into the event, and the opportunity to represent Bow Valley College and Region 11 on an international platform is an incredible honour.

Christy and Raj are looking forward to the upcoming conference, remarking, “It will be fantastic to hear the stories of our peers from around the world. We are most interested in learning the insights of academic professionals around the world and looking for ways to integrate our learnings into our campus community.

Please join Bow Valley College in extending a heartfelt congratulations to Raj Brar and Christy Hemmingway, and we wish them the best of luck at the International ACBSP Conference.

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