Preparations are currently underway for Medicine Hat College’s convocation. This annual celebration will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 in the college gymnasium.
A total of 545 students will graduate from certificate, diploma and applied degree programs, with another 176 apprentice students completing studies at MHC this spring.
The morning ceremony will start at 10 a.m. and will see grads from the Divisions 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 Degree.
This year’s Student of the Year award recipient is Surina Grover, a university transfer science student. 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.
Grover is described by her instructors as academically brilliant and hard working. Born and raised in Medicine Hat, she graduated from Medicine Hat High School with honours and received various scholarships for her high academic achievement and outstanding school service.
She has shown leadership, both on and off campus, through her involvement as co-vice-president and co-president of the Science and Engineering Undergraduate Society as well as by volunteering with various organizations, such as the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital’s cancer clinic, cystoscopy clinic, Montessori Children’s House and Big Brothers & Big Sisters Program.
Grover will transfer to the University of Alberta this fall where she has received the Dean’s Entrance Citation in Science Scholarship. There she will continue her pursuit of a career in research related to the health care field.
Anna Schottner receive the 2018 Instructor of the Year award.
Schottner started her academic journey at MHC. As a student, she received the academic excellence award. She later went on to complete an undergraduate degree from the University of Lethbridge (U of L) and obtained her Masters of Education from the U of L, where she was faculty-nominated for the Governor General’s Gold Medal Award. Prior to becoming an educator at MHC, Schottner worked in various women’s health clinical settings ranging from the postpartum unit and normal newborn nursery, to labour and delivery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Schottner is now in her 28th year of teaching at MHC.
This year’s recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Medal is Kyle Akerstrom, a graduate of the information technology software and internet development co-op program. The medal was created in 1873 to encourage academic excellence across the nation. It is awarded to the student who receives the highest overall average upon graduation.
Akerstrom was born and raised in Medicine Hat. In his early days programming was a passion but after working as a welder in 2012, and being laid off during the 2015 recession, he turned his hobby into a career.
Described by one instructor as an excellent student whose projects went above and beyond the requirements, including the development of his own crypto-currency, Akerstrom is always eager to help his fellow classmates. He was also an active volunteer for the Trades and Technology Expo at MHC.
During this year’s convocation, Dr. Lorne Taylor will receive the Honorary Applied Degree.
Dr. Taylor taught at the University of New South Wales in Australia, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Saskatchewan. He later left academia to return to Medicine Hat and assist with his family-owned and operated cattle, grain and construction business.
A former MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat, Dr. Taylor served in legislature for twelve years as the Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of Innovation and Science, and the Minister of Environment. During his time, funding was passed for the creation of the Supernet for all Alberta communities. He also supported initiatives like Alberta Innovates, Water for Life and the Electronic Recycling program.
After retiring from the government in 2004, he chaired and was involved in the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Agency. He also served three terms as chair for the Medicine Hat Public School Board.
The college will once again host distinguished guests from the city and province at the ceremony. Additionally, faculty members 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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