Digital Communications and Media student Rachel Gelowitz (she/they) has been named valedictorian for Lethbridge College’s Fall 2023 Convocation. She will lead the procession of graduates and speak at the ceremony planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
“I’m honoured to have been chosen to represent the fall 2023 graduates, and I look forward to upholding the same values that got me here for many years to come,” says Gelowitz, who earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average at the college. “It’s quite gratifying and validating to be valedictorian after all of the challenges I’ve overcome and all of the work I’ve put in.”
Gelowitz, who graduated from Wetaskiwin Composite High School in 2020, says what they will remember most about their time at Lethbridge College is the personal growth they experienced in the DCM program. “The program itself forced me to get out of my comfort zone and confront my social anxiety that, at times, felt rather crippling,” Gelowitz says. “During my second year, I was able to meet with Dalaine Kubik, a therapist at the college, who helped me practise self-compassion and gain a better understanding of myself. Although not related directly to the college, I also found out near the end of my final semester that I have autism spectrum disorder, which was and still is a big adjustment. Overall, I went through a lot of change and growth while at the college, and that means the most to me.”
Lethbridge College DCM instructor Martina Emard was thrilled to learn that Gelowitz would be representing her class as valedictorian. “From day one, I noticed Rachel was a methodical student who always sought to understand the ‘why’ of her learning,” says Emard. “She took on classroom challenges with precision and did not let fear of failure stand in her way of trying new techniques and skills. I personally saw significant professional growth in her second year, with her contributions to Expressions magazine and her ability to process feedback and immediately apply it to her work. I’m honoured to have been a part of her learning journey at Lethbridge College.”
Gelowitz says Emard was an instructor who made a difference in her learning career. “I felt like I could be myself around Martina,” they say. “She shares a passion for design too, and her free-spirited demeanor gave me permission to unmask a bit.”
Gelowitz plans to take a short break after graduation before embarking on a career in graphic design, and says they would like to be a junior designer at an agency for their first position to maximize their learning potential. “The joy I felt doing graphic design was unlike what I felt doing anything else, which is how I knew I could stand to do it for a career,” says Gelowitz.
This year’s Fall Convocation will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium. For more information, go to lethbridgecollege.ca/convocation.