Image Credit: Skills Canada
Image Credit: Skills Canada

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has another podium finish at the Skills Canada National Competition

A Sask Polytech graduate is realizing her goal to compete at the WorldSkills competition as part of Team Canada in Switzerland

This spring Leah Lucyshyn, a graduate of the Graphic Communications program, won gold in the Graphic Design Technology competition and the RBC Best of Region award for Saskatchewan at the 2022 Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC). The competition was held in Vancouver and saw more than 300 competitors from all regions of Canada participate in more than 35 skilled trade and technology competitions. 

“My Skills journey started in 2017 when I participated in the provincial Skills Canada Saskatchewan competition with my high school in the photography category,” says Lucyshyn. “For the last four years, my goal was to compete at WorldSkills with Team Canada.”

It’s been a bumpy road for Lucyshyn as she worked toward her WorldSkills goal with the Graphic Communications diploma program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted many of the Skills Canada provincial and national competitions. Lucyshyn participated in the provincial competition in 2019, finishing in fifth place out of five competitors. In 2020 no post-secondary competitions took place due to the pandemic. Using these setbacks as motivation, Lucyshyn picked herself up and kept working towards her WorldSkills goal. In 2021 competitions were virtual and Lucyshyn competed in the provincial and national competitions, taking home gold in both competitions. In the fall of 2021 Lucyshyn competed for Team Canada in the WorldSkills America virtual competition and took home silver and Best of Nation for Canada.  

“Despite my success, I still wanted to attend WorldSkills with Team Canada in-person. 2022 was my last chance to compete due to age eligibility.” says Lucyshyn. “Having the opportunity to travel for the national competition was surreal. I thought organizers were going to cancel the in-person Skills Canada National Competition. It didn’t feel like the competition would happen. I couldn’t believe I finally had the opportunity to get on a plane and travel to Vancouver for the in-person Skills Canada National Competition and compete to join Team Canada.”

Now Lucyshyn is a member of Team Canada and is one step closer to reaching her goal of traveling to compete at an international level. It’s been a long journey to get here, with much success along the way. Lucyshyn has competed in multiple Skills Canada National Competitions and a WorldSkills America International competition, collecting four Skills medals for Graphic Design Technology – three golds and one silver, along with two best of region/nations awards.

It’s been a busy summer as she continues to train for WorldSkills. Sask Polytech’s Graphic Communications instructors have set up multiple mock competitions for practice. This fall Lucyshyn will be competing online in the WorldSkills Australia 2022 Regional Competition. The mock competitions and regional competition will help Lucyshyn prepare for the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition in Aarau, Switzerland.  

“Since joining Sask Polytech, I’ve done everything in my power to get to the in-person WorldSkills Competition,” says Lucyshyn. “Winning multiple medals and joining Team Canada is overwhelming, but I’m here. I’m exactly where I’ve always wanted to be!”

“We are proud of our Graphic Communications students, who have worked extremely hard to prepare for their competitions, putting themselves in an excellent position to qualify for a spot on Team Canada,” says Cody Peterson, a Graphic Communications instructor. “Our students have had continued success at the Skills Canada National Competition as a result of their hard work, dedication and training, with students placing in the top three every year, since 2013."

“Right now, I’m focused on a good routine and living a healthy lifestyle before the WorldSkills Competition,” says Lucyshyn. I am also working full time as a graphic designer, so that is good practice. I complete a lot of mini-competitions and I do 30 minutes of learning and training a day. I watch a lot of educational videos; you can’t imagine how many videos there are out there on graphic design. The competition could be on anything – you need a broad scope of knowledge to be prepared.”

This is not the first time Sask Polytech has a student from the Graphic Communications program as part of Team Canada at the WorldSkills Competitions. In 2015, Roxanne Kanak competed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, earning a Medal of Excellence in the Graphic Design Technology category. In 2017, Kyla Henry tied for sixth and brought home a Medallion of Excellence in the Graphic Design Technology competition. Henry is now a Sask Polytech instructor and has been training and working with Lucyshyn to help her prepare for the WorldSkills Competition this fall.

“It has been amazing stepping into the role of trainer, motivator and cheerleader for Leah on this journey,” says Henry. “There is a certain thrill that comes competing in Skills and I can honestly say it’s just as exciting on the other side. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with someone like Leah who is just as passionate about the competition. She fought long and hard for this success and it’s paid off! There is no doubt in my mind that she is ready for the next level. We can’t wait to cheer her on while she does what she does best!”

“Our program is designed to engage students in their education and provides them with a lot of hands-on learning opportunities,” says Heather Craigie, program head of the Graphic Communications program and Interactive Design and Technology program. “We encourage our students to develop and hone their skills and we are really proud of their achievements. Good luck to Leah with her training and WorldSkills this fall.”

Kevin Skauge executive director of Skills Canada Saskatchewan adds, “It makes my job easier in supporting the skilled trades and technologies when I know what a committed team of faculty are making such a positive impact. The banners on the wall and commitment to Skills Canada Saskatchewan and up to WorldSkills are such a professional achievement for Saskatchewan Polytech students and faculty, I will always be grateful for the amazing support.”

“The faculty at Sask Polytech are really amazing, they just want you to succeed and reach your goals,” says Lucyshyn. “I love the challenge of the Skills Canada and WorldSkills competitions. I have enjoyed my learning and self-improvement journey. I’m a different person now, I’m a better problem solver and decision maker.”

Lucyshyn adds, “There are so many things you can learn and so many opportunities in graphic design. The industry is evolving so quickly. I encourage everyone to compete in Skills and to be a lifelong learner.”

The Graphic Design Technology, WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition takes place in Aarau, Switzerland on October 12-15, 2022.

October update! Congrats to  Lucyshyn for winning a Medallion of Excellence at the 2022 WorldSkills competition in Aarau, Switzerland. Leah is the third Graphic Communications graduate to earn a Medallion of Excellence in the Graphic Design Technology competition. Previous recipients include Kyla Henry in 2017 and Roxanne (Kanak) Symon in 2015.

The goal of Skills Canada and WorldSkills is to engage youth and promote all of the exciting and lucrative careers that are available to them in the skilled trades and technologies. Provincial, national and international competitions raise the profile and recognize skilled people, and show how important skills are in achieving economic growth.

Congratulations to all the Sask Polytech students and Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) apprentices who placed during the 2022 Skills Canada National Competition. Sask Polytech is proud of your accomplishments.

Name

Competition

Program

Medal / place

Adrien Bigchild

Bricklaying

SATCC apprentice

Gold

Clark Huber

Welding

SATCC apprentice

Silver

Mitchel Robin

Sheet Metal Work

SATCC apprentice

Gold

David Shields

Electronics

Computer Engineering Technology

Gold

Leah Lucyshyn

Graphic Design Technology

Graphic Communications

Gold, RBC Best of Region award for Saskatchewan and part of Team Canada

SCNC
Leah with Sask Polytech instructors Kyla Henry and Cody Peterson.
SCNC
Leah at SCNC.

If you are interested in competing in Skills Canada Saskatchewan, talk to your instructor, or visit skillscanadasask.com.  

Learn more about Sask Polytech’s Graphic Communications program.

Published Aug 2022.

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