Paying tribute through a memorial scholarship

< More Stories
October 18, 2017
Everybody has someone who has made a difference in their life, someone who has left a deep imprint on their hearts and minds. For many Lakeland alumni, Phil Allen’s name comes to mind.
Photo of Phil Allen Memorial Scholarship recipient and group
As a former Lakeland vice president, basketball coach and professor, Allen’s reach was far when it came to inspiring his students to be the very best they could be. When news spread of his passing in January 2016, seven of his former students decided to commemorate Allen’s life and legacy through the creation of the Phil Allen Memorial Scholarship.

“He always taught his students to act, to be a difference maker and to be a positive force,” says Kristine Knourek, Class of 2007 business diploma and 2008 commerce degree. “Phil was the advisor who taught our classes as much about practical, real-life facts – like how critical it is to save your money and pay down your mortgage – alongside all of the book learning that comes with corporate finance, micro-economics, marketing and the Canadian banking system. He was the mentor who spoke to each of us like we were the most important person in the room.”

Joining Knourek to create this scholarship are six other business alumni from the Classes of 2007 and 2008: Preston Parsons, Delia Morgan-Tetz, Kelly Tobler, Leanne Hawes, Lacey Gartner and Kagan Kneen.

“There was no such thing as can’t with Phil. If he saw potential in you, he would drive you to make sure that you were the best that you could be,” says Kneen, Class of 2006 business diploma and 2008 commerce degree. “He played an integral role in who I’ve become and my belief in not giving up on people. If someone is struggling and if I see there is that potential there, I am never going to give up on them and I know I got that from Phil.”

The scholarship is available to full-time students in their second or subsequent year of studies in any business administration program. It’s awarded based on good academic standing and leadership qualities. The recipient must also be a current member of a Rustlers sports team. “This scholarship criteria is so on point with what Phil’s vision was and what it would have meant to him,” says Kneen.

Kellsey Sinnett was presented with the first annual Phil Allen Memorial Scholarship during the 2016 donor and award celebration at the Lloydminster campus. Four of the scholarship founders were able to attend the ceremony, together they represent different industries and live in three provinces.

“We know this is a small reflection of the giant of a man he was. We are aware we can never repay the learning, the kindness, the life lessons and the dedication Phil showed to every single student, both on the basketball court and in the classroom,” says Knourek, who shared a heartfelt donor speech during the celebration. “But, we do know our actions make a difference. We know our donation to Lakeland College and the creation of this memorial scholarship are a token of gratitude to such an amazing man. It’s a small way to recognize his force.”

Alumni who would like to contribute to the Phil Allen Memorial Scholarship can do so by contacting Shauna Zack in alumni & fund development, by calling 780 853 8628 or emailing

Photo: Kellsey Sinnett, centre, is the first recipient of the Phil Allen Memorial Scholarship, established by a number of business alumni who wanted to give back in memory of Allen.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience