News and Events

MHC honours the graduates and award winners of 2021

Black and white photo of grad caps and tassels with Congratulations Class of 2021 message
June 7, 2021

June is traditionally a flurry of activity at Medicine Hat College, as final event preparations are made and excitement builds to convocation day. While the celebration looks different again this year, the respect and admiration for MHC graduates and their accomplishments has never been higher.

“The Class of 2021 deserves a standing ovation. Despite the uncertainty of the past year, they chose to start or continue their education last fall and persevered through the many challenges to follow. Learning online, balancing work and life, dealing with the pandemic – they have faced so much and still were able to see their education through to the finish line. We couldn’t be more proud of our students than we are today,” says Kevin Shufflebotham, president and CEO of MHC.

With public health restrictions impacting the event plans that were in place, MHC will shift its celebration of graduates to social media this week.

Convocation traditions, like the celebration of award winners, will continue with the recognition of the Student of the Year, Governor General’s Academic Medal, Instructor of the Year, and Honorary Applied Degree recipients.

And the awards for 2021 go to…

Student of the Year: Amber Kornelson
As a recent graduate of the Mount Royal University collaborative Bachelor of Education program at MHC, Amber Kornelson made significant contributions to the college and community during her time at the college. Excelling in her pursuit of education, she maintained high academic standards throughout her four years and demonstrated her commitment to helping others both on and off campus.

Described by her instructors as an exemplary student, volunteer and future teacher, Kornelson received provincial award recognition from the highest levels of government, held leadership positions and contributed to entrepreneurial initiatives with Enactus MHC, and served as an ambassador and student representative with various college events and committees.

Instructor of the Year: Andrea “Andy” King
As a clinical instructor in MHC’s Health Care Aide program, Andy King is described by her students as the best mentor a student could have and has made a lasting impact on the lives of her learners as they set out to build their own careers in health care.

Her honesty, hard work, and patience are just a few of the qualities her students came to appreciate under her instruction. On many occasions, they commented on how she encouraged them to believe in themselves, even when they had doubts, and pushed them to be their very best.

Governor General’s Academic Medal: Amanda Schill
The historic Governor General’s Academic Medal is awarded to the student who receives the highest overall average upon graduation.

The year’s recipient is Amanda Schill, a graduate of the Practical Nurse program. Originally from a rural farming community, she made the decision to return to school as a mature student. While the transition back to the classroom was challenging at times, she found success at Brooks Campus where the small town atmosphere, supportive learning environment and strong bonds between classmates and instructors helped her reach her goals.

Known for bringing dedication, enthusiasm, collaboration, and critical thinking skills to the classroom and clinical placements, Schill was described as a wonderful peer-to-peer mentor and willing team player who is well deserving of this award.

Honorary Applied Baccalaureate Degree: Gerry Labas
Medicine Hat College is pleased to recognize Gerry Labas as the recipient of the 2021 honorary applied baccalaureate degree for his commitment to public service and education.

Labas’s career spanned 40 years, taking him from a private electrical utility, crown corporations, provincial government, a federal government agency, to the City of Medicine Hat where he served as Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Operating Officer – Energy Division until his retirement in 2015. He is an Institute Certified Director, Institute of Corporate Directors and recipient of Canada’s Commemorative Medal given in recognition of contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada.

Through his own journey of lifelong learning, first as a tradesman then post-secondary education at the technical and university level and finally completion of a master’s degree in business administration, he demonstrated the value of education as a key factor in personal growth and development. As CAO with the City, he led a program to financially encourage and support staff in their pursuit of higher education through MHC.

His commitment to MHC was also demonstrated through his participation on its Board of Governors, serving from 2004 – 2010.

“Convocation is the best day of the year at MHC and not being able to share this milestone with our college community in person is felt by all of us,” adds Shufflebotham. “On behalf of everyone at the college, we congratulate our graduates and award winners for what they have achieved and wish them success as their journey continues.”

Convocation 2021 will be celebrated throughout the week on MHC’s social media and website.