Wider Horizons

Every spring, about 1,500 individuals make the important transition from being busy students to proud alumni of Lethbridge College. Many have jobs waiting for them when they cross the stage (or receive their diplomas or certificates in the mail), and they may be eager to move on to the new chapter of their lives. To get some perspective on what these soon-to-be-grads are thinking and feeling – and to try to capture a moment in time before that new chapter starts – we approached some students and asked them to take a selfie at a place on campus that was meaningful to them, and then to tell us a little bit about that place and their time as a Lethbridge College student. Here’s what they had to say.

Alessandra ALESSANDRA GAFFORIO


Program: Practical Nursing

Hometown: Milan, Italy


Why is the place in this photo special to you?
Because here is where I can practically apply what I’ve learned in class. I’m happy being able to practice and master those skills on the mannikins before using them on patients. I also think my patients are happy about that too! The open labs and high fidelity situations are actually my favourite activities in this program – they are such great learning experiences. I’m thankful we have them.


Tell us about one great LC memory or experience.
The Cinnamon Roll Party! At the end of last year, one of our instructors bought an insane amount of cinnamon rolls to cheer us up. It was actually so sweet of her. It was one of the hardest semesters we had, and it was comforting to know that we have instructors who care so much about us.


What are you looking forward to after graduation?
Sleep! I will take a very long and deliberate nap right after my last exam. It’s going to be so good! In reality, I’m looking forward to my preceptorship. I have applied for both long term care and rural ICU. I don’t know where I will end up yet, but I’m sure they will both be great experiences and I’m so excited about it. After that, I will get ready for my licensing exam.
I’d love to stay and work in Canada, and maybe in a few years I will go back to school to continue my education.


Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?
A shout out to all the PN instructors, to the SPHERE team and their acting skills (#STELLA), and to Amanda from Advising.
Last but not least, to all the PN students who will graduate this April.


Lara LARA GAWRYLUK

Program: Educational Assistant certificate (distance learning program)
Hometown: Turner Valley, Alberta

Why is the place in this photo special to you?
My classroom in my home has given me and my family all the flexibility a busy wife and mother of two needs. When I first started this program my youngest was only in kindergarten, so studying at home allowed me to raise my children and pursue my dreams of becoming an educational assistant. 

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience.
The most memorable experience while completing my certificate would have to have been during my first practicum. I was placed in a kindergarten class, and on the last day of my practicum, my supervising teacher said to the children to go give me a hug and say goodbye. It was then that I was swarmed by 19 little students and placed in the biggest group hug I have ever been in. I will never forget how appreciative I was to have worked with such amazing children, for it was in that moment the countless hours of studying were all worthwhile. 

What are you looking forward to after graduation?
I am looking forward to continuing my education and pursuing my Educational Assistant diploma.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?
I would like to send a shout out of thanks to Lorraine Leishman, for it was in her friendly, compassionate guidance that I was able to navigate the pressures that come from continuing one’s education as an adult. I would also like to send a note of appreciation to Rupertsland, for they have financially sponsored my certificate program. One last shout out would have to go the Troy Scotney, for behind the scenes he always went above and beyond to ensure that I had all my financing and books ready for the next semesters. I can’t wait to meet all my teachers at graduation for they were all so amazing!

Anything else you’d like to add?
Prior to commencing on my journey towards obtaining my Educational Assistant certificate, I always knew that I wanted to work alongside teachers and support the youth. But I now feel that I have the required education and skills to work with and support teachers towards designing and implementing programs that will help students reach their full potential and maximize their school experience.

Andrea ANDREA KOWALCHUK

Program: Business Administration - Accounting
Hometown: Lethbridge

Why is the place in this photo special to you?
During my two years at the college I spent countless hours in the IB Commons doing homework. It was a great location to be if you needed quick access to an instructor and it happens to be where a big prize cheque with my name on it is hanging!

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience.
My greatest experience was helping represent Lethbridge College and winning first place at the Alberta Deans of Business Case Competition 2017! The whole experience was beyond words and one of my proudest moments. 

What are you looking forward to after graduation?
I’m looking forward to painting in my art studio before it all begins again in September at the University of Lethbridge.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?
I would like to thank all of the instructors in the Business program for being so supportive throughout my journey here and helping me achieve my goals.

Alex ALEX MABIN

Program: Massage Therapy
Hometown: Lethbridge

Why is the place in this photo special to you?
This place is special because this is where I spent most of my time learning massage skills, but more importantly, learning about myself as an individual who is evolving. It is also where I developed important and valuable relationships with not only my peers but my instructors.

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience.
I cannot describe one experience because my entire student career has been filled with many experiences that are important to me. Having been at the college, I have learned so much more than just what I need to start a career. I’ve learned strength as a women, mother and friend. I’ve learned so much about other people and other cultures. I’ve learned how to bond and develop long lasting relationships and, most importantly, I’ve learned that I can be independent as a woman and need not rely on anyone – and that I’ve got this.

What are you looking forward to after graduation?
After grad of course I’ll be looking forward to starting a career in my field of education. But most importantly I’ll be starting my life. I get to have stability for myself and my son, and I will have opportunity to give us the best lives we’ve ever had and deserved. I plan on learning even more after graduation by travelling and spending time with close friends and even possibly continuing my education.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?
I would like to give a shout out to my instructors Rosemary Shannon and Brent Gaudreau, for they have believed in me, encouraged me and even held my hand through tough times when I needed it. They have made me stronger as a person and completely inspire me in so many more ways that just as instructors. I have never had two people in my life who completely rooted for me through thick and thin the way these two people have. I owe so much thanks to them for not just educating me in massage, but for being there and saying all the right things whenever I needed it. For my other thanks I would like to thank every single one of my classmates, as I have found so much love and support and kindness from these people. They have taught me so much about myself and about the world, and I owe them so much love and thanks. Most people who are finishing up their second year get sick of their classmates, but for me it’s going to be a struggle to quit these guys when we graduate. I have never meet such a beautiful group of so many different personalities, but they ALL have one hell of a great sense of humor. I can honestly say I have never laughed so hard around a group of people. I just want them to know if they see this, every single one of them has done something to me that has completely brightened my soul as a person.  I love all of you guys and wish ALL OF YOU truly the best in your careers and lives. I won’t forget a single one of y’all and I’ll always owe thanks to all of you for helping to contribute to making me the woman I am today.

Clinton CLINTON M. POTTS

Program: Licensed Practical Nursing
Hometown: Brocket, Alberta

Why is the place in this photo special to you?
Lethbridge College has made me grow as a person. The instructors have pushed me to the limits and when I thought I wasn't going to make it, the instructors always pushed me. Even though the courses were tough I never gave up. It was the hardest thing I have ever done [which I could accomplish] through the support of my parents, my friends, and my belief in myself.

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience.
One time I remember I had two big assignments due and I started the day before they were due. I had to put together a mouse skeleton from Kelly Oikawa’s Bio 0095 class, and I had a paper for forensic psychology due, too. I spent the whole day putting that skeleton together and naming the bones (Ramona Stewarts lab wasn't any easier). It was hard but I managed to get a 7.5/8 on it. I felt so proud of myself.

What are you looking forward to after graduation?
Working and paying off my student debt.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?
Helen van Nistellrooy is the BEST instructor and I hope she knows through the time I thought I wasn't going to make it, she called Loretta, Loretta called my mom, and my mom called me and said Helen was worried. I never had an instructor care as much as Helen and by her caring so much, that made me know I was capable. Helen, if you're reading this, please know your words and support meant the world. I'll never forget the support, and I’ll never forget you. Also thanks to Christopher Grignard who was forever supportive and although I was only in his class one semester, he never forgot to support me when he saw me. Because of these people, I pushed forward.

Anything else you’d like to add?
It’s a tough road, but it’s worth it.

Stephanie STEPHANIE SAVAGE

Program: Digital Communications and Media
Hometown: Sydney, Nova Scotia

Why is the place in this photo special to you?
This is the Endeavour room at Lethbridge College. This is where we create the newspaper and share our stories.  Essentially it is our mini newsroom. It's special to me because in this room I have found my voice as a writer. This room gave me the chance to present ideas without fear of judgement or feelings of inadequacies.

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience.
I have had so many incredible times at Lethbridge College that I will never be able to put in to words. Most notably, being chosen as the recipient of the Troy Reeb Internship. The trip took me to Global news headquarters in both Toronto and Ottawa and gave me the opportunity to experience the industry first-hand. The experiences I had and the contacts I met will prove instrumental in my future, and I can never thank Troy Reeb and Lethbridge College enough for this opportunity. It was truly life changing.

What are you looking forward to after graduation?
I’m not sure if people ever “find themselves” or “get their lives together,” but one thing is for sure, I’m excited to figure out what I love to do and attempt to make a career out of it. From the jobs I’ve held and the projects I’ve managed in the past, I’ve learned what I do and do not enjoy doing. I’m sure I’ll continue learning as I progress through my career, but for now I can piece together what I love doing to create my ultimate job, and that’s pretty remarkable. After all, the goal of life is not to have a job, but to do what you love.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?
Thank you to all of my teachers here at the college. Instead of just seeing me as another student passing through and spending the counting down days in their classroom, they recognized something special inside of me and helped that to flourish. To all the amazing faculty and support staff, every day I stepped foot on campus I was welcomed with a warm smile and a caring thought. From the college president to the maintenance crew, every single one of you has impacted my time here in a positive and incredible way. My many bosses, teammates and friends on campus: The LCSA, Recruitment, Student Services, Kodiaks staff etc. You have all taught me important lessons that I will take with me throughout my life and I will never be able to thank you enough.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Lethbridge College has been my home for the past two years. Moving forward I can't wait to see where the world takes me, but also know that I can always come back home.

Trish TRISH SWANEK

Program: Child and Youth Care
Hometown: Lethbridge

Why is the place in this photo special to you?
The place in the photo is special to me because it is where my instructors’ offices are, and without my instructors I wouldn’t have made it. My instructors gave me the confidence, patience, determination, and strength I needed to succeed.

Tell us about one great LC memory or experience.
One great LC experience that was significant to me was going to the Child and Youth Care Camp during my first year. At the camp I became close to many classmates and even became close friends with some of them. Without this experience, I would be lacking some very key people who contributed to my success.

What are you looking forward to after graduation?
Honestly, I’m looking forward to getting out into the CYC field and getting my hands dirty – so to speak. I cannot wait to begin my journey as a youth worker and make a difference in children, youth, and families lives.

Any shout outs or thank yous you want to share?
Shout-out to my instructors for all their help and motivation: Allen Ledyit, Ron Solinski, Donna Kalau and Wendy Weninger! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Wider Horizons
Wider Horizons
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