News and Events

Medicine Hat College celebrates student success at Convocation

Event will also be streamed online

June 6, 2019

Medicine Hat College (MHC) is excited to host this year’s convocation on Friday, June 14, 2019 in the college gymnasium.

A total of 493 students will graduate from certificate, diploma and applied degree programs, with another 84 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 Brenna McGillion, an occupational/physical therapist assistant graduate. 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.

McGillion is described as an energetic, kind, respectful and compassionate person. She has been on the college and president’s honour roll throughout her program.

Open to sharing her struggle with ADHD, she learned to manage her diagnosis and worked hard to ensure it wasn’t a barrier in her learning. She has continued to support other students by becoming an advocate for accessibility services at MHC.

McGillion has also been involved with numerous committees, including the President’s Student Advisory Council and the Therapist Assistant Programs Advisory Committee. She is a student ambassador and works closely with the Students’ Association as a peer supporter to ensure student’s needs are met. 

Shane Andrus, who teaches anthropology and interdisciplinary studies is receiving the 2019 Instructor of the Year award.

This fall will mark Andrus’ eighth year at MHC. He is described as attentive and compassionate and is known for treating his students with respect, dignity and understanding.

Andrus is an alumnus from MHC’s education program. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, Master’s Degree, and Doctoral degree at other institutions.

His professional career has spanned 26 years in Medicine Hat and Burstall. In addition to his private practice as a Certified Professional Counsellor, Andrus is also an ordained minister and an elected Public School Board Trustee with Chinook School Division.

Andrus was chair of the Burstall & District Fall Fair for two terms, chair of two election forums, and a founding member of a regional food bank. In 2014, he was named Burstall’s Citizen of the Year.

This year’s recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Medal is Abra Mahrer, a graduate of the practical nurse 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.

Mahrer always thought about a career in nursing and MHC’s practical nurse program at the Brooks Campus made it possible to pursue an education, close to her home in Rosemary.

As a student, Mahrer has shown exceptional work ethic in class, lab, clinical and preceptor sites. She is supportive of her fellow nurses and collaborative in a team environment. According to her instructors, Mahrer is talented beyond her profession. In the future she hopes to work with the elderly and gain more experiece in the areas of labour and deliver and maternity care.

During this year’s convocation, Parvin Camphor will receive the Honorary Applied Degree.

A resident of Medicine Hat for almost 40 years, Camphor has given her time and energy to many organizations including Saamis Immigration, Unisphere, and Worlds of Women Together. Drawing on her own experiences, she has helped integrate hundreds of newcomers in Medicine Hat and encourage long-time residents to celebrate the diversity they bring to the community.

Camphor understands first-hand the challenges of starting over in a new country. She fled religious persecution in her home country of Iran at the age of 19 and moved to the Philippines where she earned a degree in clinical lab science. Unable to return to Iran when her refugee status was in question, Camphor was accepted to Canada and arrived in Medicine Hat in the early 1980s.

She studied at MHC where she met her husband, and together they raised three children and ran a successful Brewmaster business. Because of her volunteer efforts and service to the community, she was nominated for the 2017 Samara Everyday Political Citizen Award, and was a finalist for the Medicine Hat Women in Business Inspire Award in 2018. She also received the Medicine Hat Lodge Hometown Hero Award in 2018.

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 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.