Skip to content

Georgian students strike gold at Skills Ontario competition

Stinson and Mills brought home Georgian’s first gold medals in the Mechanical Engineering and Hairstyling categories

The switch to a virtual competition from an in-person one didn’t deter Georgian students from capturing gold at the Skills Ontario Competition held on May 12.

Erik Stinson brought home Georgian’s first medal – a gold – in the Mechanical Engineering CAD category. The 24-year-old from Bond Head is in his third year of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. This was his first time competing in the Skills competition.

Georgian faculty member and team coach Tanveer Sayed was extremely proud of Stinson’s performance.

“I was honoured to mentor Erik in the Skills Ontario competition,” said Sayed. “He’s been a student of mine for several courses now and has always come to class prepared, while excelling at the tasks and projects he’s worked on. He exhibits a maturity and professionalism beyond his youthful age. I’m very happy for him; he has a great engineering career awaiting him.”

Stinson said that when he started his program he was really impressed by the rigorous nature of the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) courses.

“I dedicated a lot of extra time to practising my mechanical CAD skills to try and make the most out of this opportunity and I really grew to enjoy it,” he noted. “My professor encouraged me to compete in the competition and provided me with lots of advice and practice material, which helped me prepare. Skills Ontario was right in the middle of the final week of the semester so there was really no time to get ready in the days leading up to it. I was satisfied with strictly being a competitor and giving it my best shot, so as you could imagine, the win was a wonderful surprise.”

Stinson explained that the competition was split into two halves – each two hours. The first half required competitors to design, model, and create drawings for a longboard within given specifications. The second half required them to design, model, and create drawings for a splash guard for the wheels of the longboard. The design had to be identical for all four wheels, be attached without any extra fasteners, and had to be 3D printable.

Stinson has an eight-month co-op term starting in the fall and plans to further his education with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, followed by his Professional Engineering (P.Eng.) designation.

Georgian also won its first gold medal in the Hairstyling category.

Hairstyling student Emily Mills is in her final semester. “Throughout my childhood I was constantly practising different hairstyles from videos I watched on YouTube,” said the 21-year-old from Newmarket. “I was talking to my grandmother one day and she asked me why I didn’t go into hairstyling. So, I applied to Georgian’s Hairstyling program in the fall of 2020, and ever since the first day I’ve realized this is the career for me.”

“We’re so proud of Emily’s amazing job at Skills Ontario,” said Davina Hooper, Georgian faculty member and team coach. “This year’s competition looked very different due to lockdowns and COVID-19 protocols. Emily is one of the most dedicated competitors I’ve ever worked with when preparing for the Skills competition. She hasn’t let any of the struggles of the pandemic get in her way. She’s definitely a role model for everyone. I’m so proud of her accomplishments and know this industry is going to take her to incredible places.”

Mills explained competitors had to complete three things in their virtual competition: a cut, hairstyle and colour theory with certain specifications. The cut had to be asymmetrical with the shortest part of the hair above the chin, styled smooth with a middle part. The hairstyle instructions were no part, low bun with a twist and the colour theory had to be something modern.

Mills said she learned many things from the competition but the most important was learning to believe in herself, her strengths, and knowing she’s more capable than she gave herself credit for. “I’m grateful to everyone who made this happen, and thankful for the opportunity to represent Georgian College,” she said.

Once she graduates, Mills plans to work in a salon in Newmarket to complete her apprenticeship and participate in future competitions.

Both Mills and Stinson moved on to represent Ontario in the virtual Skills Canada National competition, held May 26 and 27. The winners will be announced on June 15.

Dr. Bill Angelakos, Dean, Technology and Visual Arts at Georgian, said he was pleased Georgian could continue its support and commitment of their partnership with Skills during COVID-19.

“I’m very proud of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and students who participated in both the provincial and national competitions this year in the new virtual format,” said Angelakos. “This truly illustrates their resilience and ability to overcome many different obstacles and our students had an opportunity to put into practice skills we know today’s employers are looking for like creativity, innovative thinking and problem solving.”