NC’s Jamie Consoli wins Award of Excellence in Counselling Practice from Ontario College Counsellors

Press Release

May 18, 2022

On May 16, Niagara College counsellor Jamie Consoli was granted an Award of Excellence in Counselling Practice by the Ontario College Counsellors (OCC/CCCO) at their annual general meeting. The OCC/CCCO is the committee representing counsellors from all 24 of Ontario’s publicly funded colleges.

“We’re so pleased that Jamie’s leadership is being recognized both at the College and provincially in college counselling circles and at the professional counselling level,” said Jay Burdon, Niagara College’s associate director, Health, Wellness and Accessibility Services. “Jamie is truly committed to continuous improvement, always seeking ways to improve professionally and personally, but also finding ways for the College to improve how we deliver services to our students each day.”

While the province-wide meeting was held virtually, Consoli and a small group of colleagues tuned in together on campus. Burdon presented Consoli with a certificate in recognition of her contributions. The award came as a surprise to Consoli whose nomination was supported by many of her NC colleagues, including Burdon, Shanyn Porter, and Jennifer Babin.

“Meegwetch (thank you)! I am incredibly humbled to be recognized by my colleagues at Niagara College and across Ontario. I am deeply passionate about honouring student wellness and creating culturally safe spaces – especially for Indigenous students, persons of colour, and students with gender-diverse identities,” said Consoli.

Consoli is Mushkego Cree and a member of the Moose Cree First Nation. She is a staunch advocate for Indigenous mental health. A member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, she is NC’s only Indigenous Counsellor, supporting students at both NC campuses.

Consoli has worked diligently to tailor her counselling techniques to the unique needs of NC students using a blend of traditional and Western approaches. Consoli holds a Masters of Education from Western University and has worked at NC since 2014.

“As an Indigenous counsellor, I honour the teachings of my Elders, Gookums (grandmothers), aunties, and mentors throughout my life (and who’ve walked before me) in my counselling practice, so to be recognized for this work is beyond meaningful. The privilege to hold space and bear witness to students’ voices and stories inspires me every day to gently push boundaries and strive to do better,” she said.

Consoli embodies the true spirit of NC in her commitment to the service of students.

“Jamie clearly demonstrates excellence, passion, and innovation in her counselling practice,” said fellow counsellor Babin.

“Jamie has an innate ability and gift to create safe and productive spaces for others to work through their life challenges, confront obstacles and begin or to return to, their healing journeys,” said Porter, MPOWER Community Program Manager/Educator. “Her approach to addressing the needs of a marginalized group of individuals, who have a strong desire to succeed, and fully participate in their Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, is a balancing act that Jamie honours through her own life experiences of walking within two worlds.

To her colleagues, Consoli is an inspiration.

“Jamie’s energy is infectious and inspires us to not only do good work, but great work,” said Babin. She added that Jamie has facilitated workshops for staff and faculty to deepen their knowledge of cultural safety and awareness training, Indigenous mental health, and decolonization.”

Consoli credits the HWAS team for their collective support for NC students.

“I feel such gratitude to work alongside them every day! Meegwetch for your energy and effort in all that you do!”

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales
Director, Communications, Niagara College
905-328-4101
[email protected]

Jessica Torok
Communications Consultant, Niagara College
519-809-7634
[email protected]

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