Holland College | Transitions Staff and Rotations



Home > Programs > Transitions Staff and Rotations

Transitions Program Staff

Joan Diamond – Program Coordinator
Joan Diamond has been employed with Holland College since 1998. She began as an instructor and quickly realized her passion for working with young adults. In 2003, she became program coordinator for the Holland College Transitions program and continues to work with the Transitions team to enhance the program. Joan is a graduate of the UPEI Bachelor of Education and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Tourism Administration programs. She is presently working on her master’s degree in Integrated Studies through Athabasca University with a focus on Adult and Community Education.

Charlottetown Transitions Team

Trades with Rob Colborne – Supervisor/Mentor
After graduating from Saint Francis Xavier University with a BA, Rob moved west and worked in the oil fields for nearly eight years. Rob has been with Holland College as a mentor in the Transitions program since 2004. He is the supervisor for the Charlottetown program and is the mentor in the Trades Rotation.

The Trades rotation gives students the opportunity to sample a wide range of programs. It combines hands-on practical sessions along with guest speakers from various Holland College departments. The Trades and Technology rotation stresses the idea that trades are about using your head, not just your hands. Thinking, creativity, and the ability to work on your own are the main focus of this section.

Activities include: building and testing a scale wind turbine, building a carpentry project that each student will take home, an electrical project, plus a tour of the inner workings of the CAST building and an in-depth discussion with the instructor from the Energy Systems Engineering Technology program.

Arts and Media with Ryan Maxwell
Ryan has been with the Transitions Program since 2010 after spending several years in the food and beverage industry.   He has a BA from UPEI, majoring in Psychology and is currently working toward completion of his Certificate in Adult Education.

Ryan is also head coach of the Holland College Women’s hockey program and has been coaching at the college for seven years.  He enjoys working with students and helping them reach their potential through personal, academic, and athletic goals.

Students in the arts and media rotation are exposed to the following programs: Fundamental Arts, Graphic Design, Photography and Digital Imaging, and Journalism. During the rotation students meet current Holland College students, instructors, and community professionals with a focus on hands-on activities.

Activities include photography basics, editing videos, stop motion animation and photo-journalism, supplemented with tours of local studios and galleries.

Business with Allison Cooke
Allison Cooke began her mentoring role with the Transitions program in 2006. She comes to Charlottetown from Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she received a degree in Psychology and Sociology from Mount Saint Vincent University. She brings with her a great deal of experience in the youth care field, working as an early childhood educator and facilitating the teen program with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, a position that allowed her to gain experience while travelling the world.

The Business rotation gives students a first-hand experience of what it might be like to take the Business Administration program at Holland College.  Topics include marketing and advertising, human resources and financial planning. Students develop a mock business plan and learn what goes into creating their own business. Group work is a main focus of this rotation, and students tour local businesses and network with members of the business community. Activities also include sessions with Holland College business instructors and current students. Team work is the key to succeeding in this rotation.

Health and Community Studies with Chris Connolly
Chris Connolly started with the Holland College Transitions program in 2009. He has extensive experience in hospitality and tourism. Prior to his employment at Holland College, Chris worked for the Eastern School District as a substitute teacher and developed a true passion for educating and helping young people. Chris has been involved in athletics at the college for seven years as an assistant coach to the Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs. During his time with Transitions, Chris has planned and facilitated Culinary, Hotel and Restaurant, Golf, Business and Trades rotations.

This rotation gives students exposure to the various Health and Community Studies programs offered at Holland College. It involves hands-on activities combined with guest speakers, tours and volunteering at soup kitchens and continuing care facilities. Students will get a feel for what it might be like to work in this field. Program areas covered this year include Human Services, Child and Youth Care Worker, Early Childhood Care and Education, and Practical Nursing.

Hospitality Rotation with Amy Fraser
Amy has been working as a mentor in the Transitions Program since 2012. She has a certificate in Tourism and Travel Management from Holland College, her Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality from UPEI and is currently completing her Certificate in Adult Education. She has been the mentor for the hospitality rotation for the past four years. Amy spent many years working in the hospitality industry and combines her industry knowledge with her education to design an action-packed rotation.

This rotation gives students exposure to the following programs: International Hospitality Management, Tourism and Travel Management, Marketing and Advertising Management, Golf Management, Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts, and is complemented with various industry tours related to the above programs. All programs and tours provide hands-on experiences for the students, giving them an excellent overview of expectations and career options. Activities include use of the mock travel agency, tours of local hotels, experiencing the golf simulator, cooking demonstrations and much more!

Summerside Transitions Team

Trades with Nat Croken Supervisor/Mentor
Nathaniel grew up in Kensington and is a graduate of Kensington Intermediate Senior High. After high school, he took part in an exchange program to Iceland, where he lived for a year. He graduated from UPEI in 2003 with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology, and recently completed a Master of Education degree, also at UPEI. Nathaniel began working as a Transitions mentor in 2004 and now combines his mentoring role with that of supervisor in the Summerside program.

The Trades and Technology rotation of the Transitions program, which takes place on the Summerside Waterfront Campus, includes Electrical Technology, Automotive Technology, Electromechanical Technology, Precision Machinist, Carpentry, Wind Turbine Technician, and Marine Training.

This rotation gives students a view of what working in a trade will be like. It includes hands-on practical sessions that demonstrate the fact that trades people need to know how to use their heads as well as their hands. Students learn about the importance of critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to work alone and as part of a team. Activities include building small carpentry projects such as benches, bat houses, tool boxes, recycling bins, picnic tables and dog houses; electrical conduit bending, wiring doorbells and electrical outlets; tire balancing; soldering; climbing safety, and disassembling and reassembling a scale wind turbine.

Policing and Athletics with Steve Tessier
Steve joined the Transitions program in 2014. He is a graduate of the Bachelor of Business Administration program at UPEI, where he also took part in an international exchange at the Helsinki School of Economics. While at UPEI, he played four years of varsity soccer and has remained involved in the sport. He coached assistant for six years with the Holland College Women’s Soccer team.

Steve is responsible for the Policing and Athletics rotation, which includes: Police Science (Cadet), Basic Firefighting, Sport and Leisure Management, and Conservation Enforcement. One of the most important aspects of the students’ participation in this rotation is the respect they develop for law enforcement officers.

Activities include driver training, fire arms safety and use, tactical handcuffing, pressure point control tactics, take down and defense tactics, attending docket days in the courthouse, prison searches, cell extractions, crime scene village, tours of jails, police station, Provincial fire training center. In addition, students are introduced to the Sport and Leisure Management program and participate in various indoor and outdoor physical activities.

Health and Community with Jillian Jeffery
Jill graduated from the Human Services program at Holland College in 2011.  During her time in the field, she worked in many different areas including the school system and group homes. Shortly after graduating from Holland College, she continued her studies through an articulation agreement with UPEI, and graduated with a degree in Psychology. During her time at UPEI, she traveled abroad for part of her summer and volunteered in a community in South Africa.  Jill is responsible for the Health and Community rotation.

This rotation introduces Summerside area students to a variety of Charlottetown-based programs. Students learn about these programs through hands-on activities, guest speakers from health and community-related programs, tours of college labs, and off-campus tours within our community