Lethbridge College’s 64th convocation will include a first: the naming of a valedictorian. College leaders selected Business Administration student Ashley Pierson, a graduate of Cardston High School, to fill the role at this year’s convocation ceremonies May 27 and 28.
Pierson, who holds a 4.0 grade point average and will graduate with Honours with Great Distinction, has been active at the college and in the community throughout her college years. She has worked as a peer tutor in the Learning Café and is a student representative on the Lethbridge College Students’ Association. Outside of school, she can be found singing in the Ventus Women’s Choir and volunteering in the community. Business instructor Dr. Cheryl Meheden was impressed with Pierson the first time she met her, at the Alberta Deans of Business Case competition in 2019 where Dr. Meheden was the faculty advisor.
“She was a first year, which was a bit unusual, but she ended up emerging as the informal leader of the group,” recalls Dr. Meheden. “Her communication skills were amazing. She would listen before she talked and was always very attentive to people and heard what they had to say. There is a depth and a breadth about her, and it all culminates in this extraordinary human being who we call Ashley!”
Pierson says Dr. Meheden ended up being a key mentor for her at the college. “She saw my potential far before I saw it myself,” Pierson explains. “She coached me and passed on a portion of her vast knowledge at the Alberta Deans of Business Competition. She embodies the bold and courageous businesswoman that I aspire to become. I am thankful for her undeniable support and guidance.”
Incorporating a valedictorian into the convocation experience is something that college leaders have been looking to do for many years. This year, as the college switches from holding one convocation ceremony the day after finals end to a true graduation ceremony after all final marks are submitted, is the ideal time to also introduce the new student honour.
“The valedictorian represents the graduating class, and the honour is based on a combination of academic achievement and service to the college and fellow students,” explains Marko Hilgersom, Registrar. “Our previous convocation ceremonies had many celebratory speeches from college leaders, and the valedictorian will now inject that student voice into the ceremony, while showcasing the brilliant students we have at Lethbridge College. I cannot think of a better student representative than Ashley, as our first valedictorian, and I look forward to hearing her voice as part of Spring Convocation 2021.”
Donors improve the student experience in all areas
From equipment to financial aid to work-integrated learning opportunities to training materials, donors make a difference in the lives of Lethbridge College students every day. The college celebrated the generosity of its donors in March, highlighting the many ways they directly affect the lives of students. While many recent initiatives were launched and supported in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the generosity of the southern Alberta community was apparent well before the pandemic and continues to support the day-to-day lives of students. In 2020-21, the college disbursed more than $650,000 in student awards to more than 460 students, helping to relieve the financial challenge of attaining a post-secondary education. In addition to providing financial support, the college was also able to help ensure students were connected by using donor funds to supply more than 100 students with gifts or loans of laptops, while 35 students received internet subsidies. Tangible donations, such as hard hats to Wind Turbine Technician students or industrial safety clothing for Powerline Technician students, also helped to reduce their program expenses and prepared them to enter industry. And practicum experiences and work-integrated learning opportunities give students the hands-on training they need to be ready to contribute to their employers. To learn more about donor-related projects at Lethbridge College, or to get involved, visit lethbridgecollege.ca/give.
Ford of Canada donates new vehicles to Lethbridge College
Students in Lethbridge College’s automotive programs have received a boost from Ford of Canada and Dunlop Ford. The college received two new Ford vehicles, which will provide students with the opportunity to get hands-on training with some of the latest technology available in vehicles. The vehicles had previously been flood damaged, and minor repairs, as required, along with a thorough cleaning were completed by Dunlop Ford prior to making the donation. The partnership also provides the college with access to the Ford ACE Program, a web-based training program that can help students obtain valuable knowledge of Ford/Lincoln vehicle systems and that is a subset of the same courses taken by current Ford dealership technicians.