Alumni in the Spotlight

Life of service its own reward, says Bill Powalinsky

Bill Powalinsky has spent his life in service to his communities

Bill Powalinsky doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon. 

At an age when most people are enjoying retirement, the CEO of the Prince Albert and District Community Services Centre is still too busy helping others to stop, and so he’s happily still working. 

“And I’m loving it,” says Powalinsky, 69. “I’m working with a tremendous agency and staff. We’re making change in the community and with individuals’ lives and its very rewarding.” 

In June, CTV Saskatoon selected the STM College alum as its Hometown Hero for the work he’s done throughout his life, and continues to do. 

“It’s an organization that I often said I’d like to work for,” he said of the Community Services Centre. 

The organization offers employment and budget counselling centre, operates two SARCAN recycling depots and runs the paratransit and seniors transport programs in the city. 

About 1,000 people a year come through its doors for employment services, a program in which Powalinsky takes particular pride.  

Service to others has been a hallmark of his character. He has served with various groups and organizations over the years in P.A., as well as the other places he’s lived during his career. 

“I’ve always had a bent for being involved on one board or another, and volunteering for different things.” 

The Kinistino native attended STM from 1972-1976, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree. 

He remembers the warm welcome he received on orientation day from faculty and students that quickly turned into fast friendships. 

“We were able to make connections very early,” he said. “My haunt was the cafeteria. I would typically show up at 7:30 or 8 in the morning, and I might still be there at 8 at night. Of course, I would be in and out for classes, but we had a perennial bridge game that would start in the morning. The players would change, but the game would go on. You would come down and sit in for a while, then maybe go off to the library, come back and play a few more hands and then go grab a bite to eat. It was a real social event.” 

He joined the student executive in his second year, and even served as president of the St. Thomas More Newman Alumni Association from 1973-1978, and helped develop the first Five-Year Plan for STM. 

After Powalinsky earned his degree, he stayed in Saskatoon for a while, had a short career in real estate and then says he fell into career with federal government, first in Kinistino, then Melfort and Prince Albert. He went on to help his parents operate four group homes for people of various ages with intellectual disabilities, and credits their example with instilling the belief and benefits of community building. 

He also remembers many of the professors at STM who had an influence on him, as well as the classes that shaped him. 

“The sociology and psychology classes were useful, but it seemed like the most blended and practical application was social psychology – the study of groups,” he said. “I’ve facilitated a lot over the various careers I’ve had, and I think that gave me a solid base to develop that interest. So, I think that’s been character forming.” 

“I think just the ability to learn and research was something that I’ve carried with me and the ability to work as a team was something that was very critical in my character development.” 


Sylvia Regnier passionate about STM College

During National Volunteer Week 2021, St. Thomas More College honoured longtime volunteer Sylvia Regnier.
The staff, faculty, alumni and students of STM owe a debt of gratitude to a passionate supporter of the College.
Regnier (’70) has served as the St. Thomas More College Newman Alumni Association Committee representative on STM Corporation for six years, with her second term ending on Dec. 31, 2020.
“We hope that it brings Sylvia great joy to know that she has had a tremendous impact in the STM community, particularly in the lives of students,” said Kari Sinkewicz, Manager of Development and Alumni Relations. “Sylvia continues to serve on the STMNAA committee, and we are pleased to celebrate her tremendous generosity through her volunteerism, advocacy, and caring donations to support the College.”
Regnier, who is also a past president of the STMNAA, said that serving the STM College community as a volunteer has been very enjoyable and intellectually stimulating over the years.
“Through the STMNAA committee, and serving on STM Corporation, I have learned so much about the history of the College and I’m pleased to continue to be an active, engaged member of the STMNAA committee,” said Regnier. “I would encourage anyone else considering this opportunity to get involved. I genuinely feel I’ve gained more from serving on the STMNAA and from the students than I have given.”


Get Involved!

You are invited join the STMNAA committee today!

The STMNAA committee welcomes other alumni to join this active group of volunteers who work to support and develop creative initiatives that benefit alumni and the College.

This dedicated group of alumni is committed to building a strong social, intellectual, and spiritual community of STM and Newman Alumni by encouraging their lifelong involvement with the College and with each other.   

Join today and reconnect with fellow alumni, make new friends and help make a real difference in the lives of STM alumni and students. 

For more information on how you can become involved with YOUR alma mater, contact: