Wendy Rolfe: Giving back to students and the community
For more than 30 years, Wendy Rolfe ‘86 has committed her work to serving Mohawk College students.
By Melicka Aldridge, third-year Journalism student
Since graduating from the Office Administration program at Mohawk College, Wendy Rolfe ‘86 has dedicated her time and energy to supporting Mohawk College students and engaging in her community.
During Wendy’s time as a student, she was an active member of the Mohawk Students’ Association (MSA) as a student leader. Upon graduation, Wendy became a full-time employee at the MSA and has climbed her way up over the last 35 years to her current position as the director of student experience. In this role, Wendy oversees a team of individuals that manage student services, programming and events, governance and advocacy, along with marketing and communications to help deliver the best student experiences.
Not only does Wendy prove to be a great support to the MSA, but she also has been a supporter of the Mohawk College Foundation for many years. She says that donating to the foundation felt like another way she can help guide student success and show her appreciation for the college.
“I always knew that I wanted to work at Mohawk College in some way, shape, or form. Students are my passion, and I see the need for students who have to use a food bank, can't afford a locker, or just students who want to get involved and don't know how to,” Wendy said. “Any contribution I can make to helping students contributing to the foundation to support the financial needs of students I'm happy to do.”
In addition to Wendy’s contribution to Mohawk College, she has also been an active volunteer for Kin Canada since 1993. Kin Canada is a service organization that aims to enhance the lives of Canadians through charity and service work. Wendy is a current member of the Kinette Club of Grimsby and has volunteered at both the district and national levels. At the district level, she served as a governor and district service director, amongst many other positions. The clubs in her district managed to raise over $370,000 for cystic fibrosis research along with other community projects. At the national level, she served on the national board of directors and chaired the 2022 national convention in Hamilton. Wendy is also a member of the Hal Rogers Endowment Fund Board of Trustees, which gives bursaries to post-secondary students all across Canada.
“I believe that the experiences and personal development that I’ve gained through Kin speak directly to the work I do at the MSA, leading a team that focuses on the support and experience of our students,” Wendy said.
In honour of her outstanding achievements, Wendy was the recipient of the Alumni of Distinction Award in 2018. This award recognizes graduates for their career achievements and exemplary community service that can inspire future generations at Mohawk.
But that’s not all, in 2022 Wendy also received a Kin Lifetime Achievement Award from Kin Canada and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Managers in Canadian College and University Student Centres (AMICCUS-C).
As part of the MSA’s new strategic plan, Wendy is working with a team to develop a Journey to Leadership plan that will help student employees build their leadership skills.
“It's not just about giving students a job,” she explained. “It's about helping [students] create experiences within the MSA that pique their interest, develop core competencies and leadership skills. It's helping them build themselves up as leaders to carry forward into their future career path.”
Wendy plans to continue paving the way for student success at the MSA and giving back to the community in her partnerships with Kin Canada.
This story originally appeared in the print issue of Spring 2023 InTouch magazine.
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