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kyʕaʔaʔmiɬtm iʔ aʔ tsmamayaʔəm iʔ scqəɬnwiɬns
(Celebrating student success)
I was honoured to be part of the Annual Aboriginal Graduation celebration that took place on the evening of June 6th. Two graduating student speakers, Nathan Greyghost, Bachelor of Arts graduate, and Carmen Chelick, Master of Science graduate, shared their educational journeys with 183 guests, including fellow graduating students, their families, community members, faculty and staff. This year included a special recognition of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip who received a Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa in November, and his wife, Penticton Indian Band Counsellor Joan Phillip. Both were honoured for the dedication, perseverance, and leadership they have provided to Indigenous Title and Rights. Grand Chief Phillip and Counsellor Phillip were blanketed by Aboriginal Programs and Services Elders in Residence Eric Mitchell and Chris Marchand.
2019 Convocation highlights & recognition
In June we celebrated almost 2,000 students as they walked across the stage and accepted their degrees. Over 1,725 students received their undergraduate degrees, while 215 students earned master’s degrees and 40 students obtained doctorates.
- UBC Okanagan awarded its first ever Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Inclusion, Democracy, and Reconciliation prize this year to Gabriel Dix who has been part of initiatives that exemplify all three areas – both in our community and overseas.
- Celine Edwards, a new Bachelor of Science in microbiology graduate, received the Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Leadership Prize for academic excellence and leadership.
- Ryan Hoiland obtained his PhD this June (his 3rd degree from UBC) and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal for his research on how the human body adapts to low oxygen levels such as those experienced at high altitude.
- Two students who crossed the stage this year, Michelle Jorgensen and Kathleen Cusmano are both vision impaired and graduated with Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology.
Interdisciplinary Co-Op Program celebrates first graduating cohort
The UBC Okanagan Co-op Program celebrated its first graduating cohort this year; 38 students conferred their degrees with a co-op distinction. The re-developed cross-campus co-op program was introduced in 2016 and spans many disciplines, including arts and sciences, fine arts, human kinetics, and management. Since 2016, the program has seen continued growth year over year, with a 51% increase in applicants last September.
During the program’s first graduation celebration, two students were recognized as the UBC Okanagan Co-op program’s Students of the Year: Melany Sanchez (BSc) and Jackson Traplin (BA) were recognized for their dedication to their work, curiosity and willingness to dive into new challenges, and their unwavering sense of responsibility and commitment in all they do.
“My co-op experience as a research assistant in the Office of the Provost has not only broadened my workplace skills, but it has instilled in me the confidence to continually strive for excellence in all of my future professional pursuits” says Traplin, one of the award recipients.
Both students truly embody the spirit of Co-op and we are so pleased to recognize their accomplishments as they begin their next chapters. Applications for the 2019-20 intake for the co-op program will begin September 1st.