Board of Governors' Biographies
The Board of Governors provides an important role for Red Deer College. Below you can read about the professional and personal achievements of RDC's Board of Governors' members.
Guy Pelletier, Chair
Guy has a long history with Red Deer College dating back to 1987 when he graduated with a Business Administration diploma. After completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Calgary, he returned to RDC as an employee. Guy continued his connection to the College in a volunteer capacity after moving to the private sector in 1996. He served on a variety of committees with the Alumni Association, the Foundation, and two terms on the Board of Governors.
Guy works as the Vice President of the Red Deer Region for Melcor Developments. Melcor has been an active residential and commercial real estate developer in central Alberta for over 40 years. He has a strong belief in the immense value of education in all forms. He served two terms (one as Board Chair) as a Trustee for Red Deer Catholic Schools. Guy is a committed community volunteer having served on many Boards and Committees – most recently as a Board member for the 2019 Canada Winter Games held in Red Deer.
Guy shares his love of Red Deer with his wife Lee Ann. Together they have three children – one in high school and two attending university.
Dr. Peter Nunoda, RDC President
On September 3, 2019, Dr. Peter Nunoda began his term as the 11th President at Red Deer College (RDC). Prior to his appointment at RDC, Dr. Nunoda served as the President of Vancouver Community College (VCC) from 2014 - 2019.
Holding a Ph.D. in History, Dr. Nunoda brings more than 30 years of post-secondary experience to the College. He was an instructor in the Departments of History and Native Studies for 12 years at the University of Manitoba, and his subject matter expertise in Aboriginal health led him to a position at James Cook University in Australia.
He has also served as the Program Director for Aboriginal Focus Programs and Director of Access Programs at the University of Manitoba. From 2007-2011, he was the Dean of Faculty of Health at the University College of the North. He also served as Vice President, Academic and Research at Northern Lights College (NLC) from 2011 - 2014.
Susan Briggs is the Academic Records Coordinator at Red Deer College where she supports Academic Council, Academic Policy Committee, is the institutional lead for the Provider and Program Registry System (PAPRS), and is responsible for the Academic Calendar. These roles have allowed her the opportunity to liaise with all Schools and many departments across the college community. Susan has served on the AUPE Professional Development Committee for 6 ½ years, 3 ½ of those years serving as the committee's Chairperson. She has been with RDC for a total of 9 years.
Susan has a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Political Science from St. Francis Xavier University. She has completed professional development at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business and continues to pursue her education.
Susan is proud to call central Alberta home and has volunteered for youth minor sports including coaching minor soccer and managing several minor hockey teams. As a parent of two high school teens, she is passionate about education, and is especially passionate about helping to shape RDC’s future.
Charlene Burns is an experienced educator who has a strong knowledge of Alberta’s educational system. As a long-time teacher and administrator, Charlene’s wealth of experience includes working as a teacher, Cree instructor, college librarian, vice principal and principal. She taught in her home community of Maskwacis, formerly Hobbema, for many years. Since 2011, Charlene has been the Community Capacity Development Coordinator for Aboriginal Ministries with the United Church of Canada.
Charlene served as a board member on both the Central Alberta Child and Family Services Authority Board and the Central Alberta Persons with Developmental Disabilities Board. She has also volunteered through Samson United Church throughout her life.
Charlene and her husband, Russel, reside in Ponoka and have three grandchildren.
Emeka Nwachukwu is a Canadian who was born and spent his earlier years in Nigeria. As a professional Project Manager, Emeka works with organizations to address challenges by implementing solutions to meet unique needs of technology, resources, financial constraints and quality using project governance and controls principles.
Emeka is a resident of Red Deer where he lives with his wife and three young children in beautiful Central Alberta, within reach of the prairie, lakes and mountains.
Emeka is passionate about community engagement, poverty and hunger eradication, food security, and children education. As a child growing up in Nigeria, Emeka realized that the only way to escape poverty was to study and get good grades in school. But beyond the school walls, in the village of Mbaise in southeast Nigeria where he grew up, Emeka knew first-hand what it means by “it takes a village to raise a child” because the community was very much involved in instilling morals into young children as well as in lending money to parents in need of paying school fees for their children.
Julie has extensive experience in providing assurance (audit), tax, succession and business advisory services to a variety of public sector and nonprofit clients. A passion of Julie’s, she also leads clients through financial fluency and governance sessions in an effort to help her clients better understand their financial reporting.
A proud member of the central Alberta community, Julie is involved in a variety of volunteer and non-profit governance roles, including on the board of the Downtown Business Association.
A resident of Red Deer, Julie is married to her high school sweetheart, Darren and has two children – one in RDC and one in high school.
Julie is passionate about adult education, and Alberta’s public institutions. She looks forward to working with Red Deer College’s leadership and stakeholders towards fulfilling the vision of RDC.
Scott Robinson joined the KESA Team in the fall of 2019 after spending 4 years as the CEO of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. Scott joined the Games as the CEO in September 2015 following a 23-year career with Hockey Alberta. During his time at Hockey Alberta, he held various portfolios including Coordinator and Manager of High Performance, Senior Manager of Hockey Development, Senior Manager of Business Development and, for the last ten years, Executive Director for the Hockey Alberta Foundation.
Scott started his academic career at Red Deer College where he studied Kinesiology in 1988 before graduating with a degree in Sport Administration in 1991 from the University of Alberta. In 2012, he completed a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University. While at Royal Roads, Scott was selected from his cohort of 48 students to receive the Founders Award signifying his dedication to sustainable and innovative leadership. Most recently Scott was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award at Red Deer College in 2019.
Scott resides in Red Deer with his partner Dawna and has two children one attending post-secondary and the other in public school system here in Red Deer.
Dr. Cyrus Taheri
Dr. Cyrus Taheri completed his BSc and MSc in Biological Sciences in Iran. Before moving to Canada, Cyrus was a visiting scholar in Finland and Germany for around two years. Cyrus completed his PhD in Applied Microbiology from the University of Saskatchewan in 2013. As a postdoctoral researcher, he worked at Lethbridge Research and Development Centre from 2014 to 2016.
In 2016 Cyrus joined Red Deer College, where he has been teaching courses on microbiology and cell biology. Cyrus is also involved in undergraduate research in applied and environmental microbiology. He has co-authored several peer-reviewed articles and one book chapter, and has acted as a peer reviewer for several scientific journals. Cyrus has a deep passion for teaching and research and has led several science outreach projects for high school students, including students in First Nation communities of Alberta.