Preparations are underway for Medicine Hat College’s annual convocation. This year’s celebration will take place on Friday, June 9, 2017 in the college gymnasium.
A total of 509 students will graduate from certificate, diploma and applied degree programs, with another 181 apprenticeship students completing their studies at MHC this spring.
The morning ceremony will start at 10 a.m. and will see grads from the Division of Arts, Education and Business and the Division of Trades and Technology. The afternoon program will begin at 2 p.m. and celebrate students from the Division of Science and Health.
Several awards will be handed out at the ceremonies including Student of the Year, Instructor of the Year, Governor General’s Academic Medal and Honorary Applied Baccalaureate Degree.
This year’s Student of the Year award will be presented to Sheryl Dowler, a mother of five and a practical nurse graduate from the Brooks campus. This honour is given to an individual with exceptional academic standing and someone who has made a significant contribution to the cultural, social or recreational life of MHC.
Dowler always wanted to attend college but with young children at home she followed her mother’s footsteps and waited to go back to school until after raising a family. During Dowler’s first year of college her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and Dowler, herself, was diagnosed with cancer in her final year of study. With help and support from her family and MHC Brooks campus staff, not even surgery and chemo could stop her from completing her program. Moving onto the next chapter of her life, Dowler looks forward to staying in touch with the college staff and her fellow classmates who became another family to her during this difficult journey.
Debby Fortin will receive the 2017 Instructor of the Year award. Fortin has instructed in the college nursing program for 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s of Nursing degree from Indiana State University. Fortin takes great joy in watching her students grow in knowledge and most importantly, in confidence, as they proceed through the program. She has clearly made an impact on her students, garnering over 50 signatures on her award nomination.
This year’s recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Medal is business student Jordan Pomrenke. The medal was created in 1873 to encourage academic excellence across the nation and is awarded to the student who receives the highest overall average upon graduation.
Growing up on a farm near Assiniboia, SK, Pomrenke’s path has wound through bible school and Guatemala before landing at MHC. His time in Central America helping a mission base and children’s home piqued his interest in seeing people and businesses partner financially with those types of organizations. Pomrenke has completed his diploma, majoring in accounting, and will now focus his upcoming Bachelor of Business Administration on entrepreneurship, with the goal of starting a business to help support people working in third-world countries.
During this year’s convocation celebrations, business person, philanthropist, and Medicine Hat native, Bill Yuill will receive the Honorary Applied Baccalaureate Degree. Yuill is well-known in the region for his business endeavours and work with sports teams. The Yuill Family Foundation has supported local initiatives including the new J.H. “Hop” Yuill Fitness Centre at Medicine Hat High School and the Marjory E. Yuill Cancer Centre. While his work and reach extend far past SE Alberta, Yuill has kept the Medicine Hat community front-of-mind.
Yuill’s legacy of work ethic, initiative and dedication to others has served Medicine Hat well, and represents a beacon of inspiration for this year’s graduating class.
The college will once again host distinguished representatives from all levels of government at the ceremony. Additionally, faculty members and staff will form a gauntlet to honour the graduates as they cross Centennial Hall to enter the gymnasium. For more information on MHC’s graduation ceremonies, visit www.mhc.ab.ca. The ceremony can also be viewed on a live web stream for friends and family who can’t attend. The live streaming link will be available from the MHC website on Friday.
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