Lethbridge College has a strong new voice to help build on and create relationships with its external partners, as Sandra Dufresne has been named to the newly-created position of director, External Relations and Community Engagement.
Dufresne has worked at Lethbridge College since 1990, most recently as a development officer in the Advancement department. Working closely with corporate and individual donors, she played a key role in the Possibilities are Endless campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in the college’s history, which raised $27.8 million for the college’s new trades and technologies facility, student awards and other initiatives.
“I am thrilled to work in advancing Lethbridge College in this new role,” says Dufresne. “The success of the Possibilities are Endless campaign has elevated the profile of Lethbridge College throughout our region, and I look forward to building on that success through engaging new partners.”
In her new role, Dufresne will work closely with government and community partners to pursue prospects for the continued growth and stability of the college. She will also be responsible for advancing the college’s priorities to various levels of government, looking for ways to link college strategies with government priorities to create new funding or partnership opportunities.
“Sandra has a proven record as a skilled communicator and passionate educational advocate,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “She also has extensive experience working with municipal and provincial governments as well as with community leaders. We look forward to having her represent the college as we look to strengthen our partnerships in the community, the province and across the country.”
Dufresne previously spent 12 years as the college’s alumni coordinator, where she managed the transition of the alumni association from an entity under the Alberta Societies Act to a supported office at the college; managed the change of the alumni board to an advisory council; and facilitated the development of its new mandate. She has a vast knowledge of the college and its programming, and many established relationships with industry leaders and government officials.
“I am tremendously proud to be aligned with Lethbridge College,” says Dufresne. “I believe the college system and the education we provide leads to employable graduates who bolster the economy and our society as a whole. In this new role, I can help facilitate opportunities that will ultimately benefit our students.”
In addition to her work at the college, Dufresne has served as a trustee and chair of the Board of Trustees for the Holy Spirit Catholic School Division, working closely with the Education Ministry and other school districts in the region. During her time on the board, she was involved in Economic Development Lethbridge as a member of Team Lethbridge; served on the Chamber of Commerce’s Business and Education Committee; worked closely with the Kainai Board of Education and local FNMI communities; and was the chair of the ATA and CUPE negotiating committees.