49 Langarans

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Stephanie Ovsenek

Langara Alum | Nutrition Management Leader

Stephanie is currently the BC Representative of the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management and a past President of the Pacific Society of Nutrition Management. She completed the Nutrition & Food Service Management program at Langara as a single mother. Between summer semesters, Stephanie gained valuable experience and insight as a Sales Representative for Charles Masson Inc. allowing her to better understand the needs of food service providers across the healthcare sector. The dedication she showed during her practicum at Vancouver General Hospital led to a supervisor position upon graduation, where she managed a team of twenty people.

In 2003, Stephanie was recruited by Ray Cam Community Centre, who received a grant from the Vancouver Foundation to create the Families in Action program for multi-barrier lower east side residents. The objective was three-fold; training community members in food service for future employment; ensuring maximization of budget and adherence to cost saving, and finally producing nutritious healthy meals for children at inner city daycare centres. To overcome language and learning barriers, Stephanie created a graphic cookbook for this program utilizing pictorials of both ingredients and measurements. 

In 2006, Stephanie spearheaded a program at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, training at-risk women for careers in food service. This experience steered her to a position with Marquise Hospitality as a quality assurance manager and finally on to the WestCana Services/Proadmin team where she performed various operational roles leading to her current position as Director of Compliance and Quality Assurance. Stephanie has welcomed numerous Langara students for practicums and passed on firsthand knowledge of working in the foodservice industry.

Along with her Nutrition & Food Service Management diploma, Stephanie also holds a Certificate for Baking and Pastry Arts from Vancouver Community College. She attended BCIT and completed courses in HACCP and HACCP Auditing. Stephanie has been a Certified Basic and Advance Foodsafe Instructor for the Government of British Columbia’s Foodsafe Program and has taught for the past 18 years. She is a strong advocate for volunteerism and believes that grassroot participation can make a real difference.  In the past she held the position of Board President for both Ray-Cam Cooperative Community Centre in Vancouver and Sunset Heights Cooperative Housing.

49 Facts — NO. 3

A stone wall that stands along Oak Street and West 12th Avenue in Vancouver is a remnant of the original King Edward School and Vancouver City College.

Meet more 49 Langarans.

  • Kelley Lee

    Kelley Lee

    Langara Alum | Global Health Researcher

    Dr. Kelley Lee is an internationally renowned expert in global health, named among the world’s 50 key thinkers on globalization, 100 Women Leaders in Global Health, and top Canadian Women in Global Health List in 2018. She joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in 2011 as Associate Dean, Research and Director of Global Health. She is currently a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Health Governance. Her research focuses on the need to strengthen collective action to address global health challenges including tobacco control, communicable disease outbreaks, and antimicrobial resistance. She is presently co-leading a project, in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority, to study commercial tobacco use in five BC First Nations communities. Prior to SFU, she was a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK where she spent over 20 years. She was a core member of two major studies at the World Health Organization, co-establishing the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Change and Health, and chairing the WHO Resource Group on Globalization, Trade, and Health. She has authored over 120 peer reviewed papers, 60 book chapters, and 14 books. She is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

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  • Gail Sparrow

    Gail Sparrow

    Langara Alum | Indigenous Leader

    Gail Sparrow is a former Chief of the Musqueam First Nation. An alumna of Langara, she returned to the College as an Elder-in-Residence, helping to provide a supportive environment for Indigenous students. She played a key role in strengthening the connection between the Musqueam and the College, educating the Langara community on the history, culture, and teachings of the Musqueam and the land on which the College is located. Gail was also instrumental in Langara receiving its Musqueam name, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓, which means house of teachings. Outside of Langara, she has been a passionate community advocate as a Native Employment Specialist with Canada Employment and Immigration Centre, Project Manager with Tribal America Consulting Los Angeles California, Community Development Director with the Musqueam Indian Band, Owner with LIFT Computer Institute, and as the President and Owner of Native Personnel Services.

  • Deborah Williams

    Deborah Williams

    Langara Alum | Playwright, Director, Actor

    Deborah is a graduate of Studio 58, Theatre Arts program and an award-winning writer, actress, director, and theatrical event organizer. She has worked on numerous productions over the last three decades, including Lowest Common Denominator, After Jerusalem, Clybourne Park, Importance of Being Earnest, MatchMaker, 5@50, Becky’s New Car, Hir, and many more. She also curates, hosts and produces The Flame, a sold out monthly storytelling series she co-founded 11 years ago. She facilitates storytelling intensives to empower participants of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to craft and share their own true stories. Deborah is probably best known for her award-winning play Mom’s the Word. The story surrounding the joys and challenges of motherhood resonated so strongly with audiences that it not only toured Canada four times but has also broken box office records around the world in 14 languages and 19 countries. Mom’s the Word received the 1995 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Play or Musical. The show also birthed two sequels that have toured across Canada: Mom’s the Word 2: Unhinged, and Mom’s the Word 3: Nest ½ Empty. Deborah has been nominated for ten Jessie awards and won three.

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