She Has A Name playwright Andrew Kooman receives Provincial Award of Excellence

Published Saturday, June 16, 2012



Red Deer College Alumnus &

She Has a Name Playwright Andrew Kooman

Receives Provincial Award of Excellence

She Has a Name playwright Andrew Kooman received the Outstanding Alumnus Provincial Award Celebrating Excellence (PACE Award).


Preparing graduates for successful careers and successful lives. This is something that Red Deer College takes seriously. And the College’s pride as an institution when we can recognize one of our alumni formally for their success in life and contributions they’ve made to their community is palpable.

RDC alumnus, Andrew Kooman, was recognized on Wednesday night by the Association of Alberta Colleges and Technical Institutes (AACTI) and the Government of Alberta for his outstanding contributions to his community and for work he has done abroad. Andrew received an Outstanding Alumnus Provincial Award Celebrating Excellence (PACE Award).

“We were honoured as a College to nominate Andrew for this prestigious honour. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him in his current role at RDC and so to be able to celebrate this success with him last night at the PACE Awards banquet was very special,” says Red Deer College Board of Governors Chair, Shelley Ralston.

Kooman is a graduate of RDC’s Bachelor of Arts (English) collaborative degree with the University of Calgary (2003), and the Multimedia Web Developer program (2008). He currently works at RDC as a Public Relations Consultant.

In addition to his career at RDC, Andrew is a successful author and playwright. He is passionate about many social issues such as the human impact of war, poverty, and the AIDS pandemic, to name a few. Through writing and independent filmmaking he has raised awareness and prompted action by citizens and government. This summer, his play about human trafficking, She Has A Name, is touring Canada.  

“Andrew Kooman embodies the drive and spirit of connecting with our communities close to home and abroad, through meaningful work, that we like to see in all Red Deer College alumni,” says Chris Stelmack, RDC Alumni Association Chair. “Congratulations Andrew – you are truly an outstanding RDC alumnus!”

The PACE Awards are awarded every two years by AACTI and the Alberta Ministry of Enterprise at the AACTI Board of Governors’ Conference.

Kooman was nominated for this award by RDC, with supporting letters from a past instructor, members of the community and Member of Parliament, Joy Smith (Kildonan-St. Paul in Manitoba), with whom he’s worked in the past. He was chosen as recipient of the Outstanding Alumni award by a panel of five judges, from a field of individuals who were nominated by Alberta’s 16 colleges and technical institutes.  

“I was surprised to learn about the nomination and am humbled to receive the award,” says Andrew Kooman. “The best part of the award is to be able to direct money through a bursary to deserving students.  Education has opened doors for me and it’s exciting to, in a small way, help open doors for others.”

As part of the PACE Award recognition, Kooman received a $5000 scholarship bursary in his name which he has chosen to direct to Red Deer College’s Foundation, assisting students who demonstrate leadership, creativity and a commitment to helping people in need.



About the Association of Alberta Colleges and Technical Institutes (AACTI): Since 2002, AACTI has been an advocate for 16 publicly-funded post secondary institutions in Alberta. In addition to providing a forum to advance their collective messages, AACTI has also been a catalyst both for the adoption of system-wide operating efficiencies and for the pursuit of new initiatives tailored to strengthen AACTI members' relationship with industry, community-based non-government organizations, and government.

RDC is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Arts Centre. First opened in 1986, this state-of-the-art community performing arts centre has housed the training of over 40,000 actors, technicians, musicians, filmmakers, and dancers that contribute to the vibrant arts and cultural scene of Alberta. 25 years has culminated in approximately one million audience members who have been entertained, taught and delighted during more than 5,000 performances and events.

About RDC: Red Deer College has served the needs of students and the community for more than 45 years. With greater than 75 programs to choose from, we pride ourselves on providing a practical education, in a genuine and sustainable learning environment. Our 7,800 full-time and part-time credit students and more than 13,000 continuing education students are at the core of everything we do. RDC – when you get here you understand

For more information on RDC, please visit our website:

For additional information, contact:
Jeff Maser
Marketing & Communications Coordinator, RDC


Andrew Kooman Profile from PACE Award Nomination

Already an accomplished author and playwright, Andrew Kooman’s works have been published around the world and translated into 10 languages. Based in Red Deer, AB, Andrew gives focus to the challenges and social justice issues encountered by people globally; Mr. Kooman has seen much of the world and shares his experiences through “page, stage and screen”.

Andrew first graduated from RDC in 2003 with a B.A. in English and subsequently a Multi Media Web

Developer Certificate (2008). During his undergraduate studies he was greatly influenced by a

distinguished member of the College’s faculty, the late Dr. Birk Sproxton. A nationally acclaimed writer, Dr. Sproxton is attributed by Andrew for having instilled a sense of wonder at verse and acting as an influential role model, during his four years of instruction.

Within Mr. Kooman’s already extensive body of work, his plays Shelter, Josephand She Has A Namewere official selections of Scripts At Work in Red Deer and have been granted workshops and public

readings in Canada and the United States - including the 2008 Nextfest Festival of the Arts. She Has A Name was also recognized with the 2009 SAW/APN Award. Burnt Thicket Theatre, in partnership with Raise Their Voice, produced a critically acclaimed, sold-out World Premiere of She Has A Name in Calgary in February 2011. She Has A Name is currently on a 13 city cross-Canada tour.

Andrew’s work also includes the novel Ten Silver Coins: The Drylings of Acchora and

Disappointed by Hope: Migrants and Refugees in Search of a Better Country. His works of poetry include God/heand the handcrafted chapbook So Far.

Andrew speaks and teaches on a variety of subjects, including creativity and justice issues through his work with Raise Their Voice. Travel and inquiry have taken him around the world to collaborate and assist non-profit organizations, work in film, and have changed his world. His writing work for non-profit organizations has been featured in 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless with more than 100,000 copies in print.

Andrew’s writing about issues of injustice has expanded his art and opened doors of meaning to him as an artist, affording him the opportunity to travel the world to see firsthand extreme areas of poverty, the realities of AIDS, the human toll of war, political persecution and human trafficking.

A full appreciation of Mr. Kooman’s body of work is reflected in his website:

From the impetus and inspiration of his years at RDC and mentorship of faculty, Andrew has been able to gain unique insight into what he describes as the undeniable value and beauty of the human spirit and the complex reality of our shared and diverse human experience”. Mr. Kooman has maturity and experience well beyond his years and his work has achieved meaningful impact on changing andbettering the human condition.