Lethbridge College celebrated its graduates at a fall Convocation in October, returning to a previous college tradition that saw more than 120 people receive certificates, diplomas and applied degrees in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium.
In alignment with the college’s Pandemic Response Program, only faculty, college leaders and graduates were a part of the in-person ceremony, although the entire community joined in the celebration at home and online.
“There was so much to celebrate about this remarkable group of grads, who showed true grit and perseverance in completing their post-secondary education,” says Lethbridge College President and CEO Dr. Paula Burns. “And we were thrilled to mark this shift from one annual convocation ceremony in the spring to two true graduation ceremonies each year – in the spring and fall – after students completed their practicum experiences, clinical placements and other work-integrated learning opportunities. We were thrilled to honour their achievements.”
One highlight of the ceremony was the recognition of the fall valedictorian, Kyla Hornberger, who earned a 4.0 grade point average and graduated with Honours with Great Distinction from the Interior Design Technology program. She describes herself as “a mother to five glorious humans, a believer, a dreamer, a creator, a doubter, someone who is deaf, someone who is hearing (thanks to technology),” and so much more.
At the age of 39, and despite past experiences where her deafness was not received with understanding, Hornberger decided to change her path and enrol in the Interior Design Technology program. She says taking the step to go back to school has opened doors she never could have imagined, and that “learning to live from a space of possibility and choosing to simply try has left me in awe and filled with gratitude. I had no idea of the community that would find me when I decided to leap.”
Cherie Bowker, chair of the School of Spatial Design Technologies, says “Kyla is inspired, and she inspires others. She is enthusiastic, illuminating every room she enters. She is creative, talented and ambitious. She is an interior designer extraordinaire, and I am so thankful to know her!”
Dragonfly Education Fund to help students soar to a better future
A $50,000 gift from a retired post-secondary education employee will be used to launch a new scholarship and bursary fund at Lethbridge College. The fund will support students with immediate unexpected financial barriers that keep them from completing their studies.
This initial donation from Jessica Bennett, who previously worked as a Records and Information Manager within the post-secondary environment, has been used to establish the new Dragonfly Education Fund. Bennett created this fund as part of a planned gift endowment designed to provide bursaries and scholarships to Lethbridge College students at the time they need it, as a way to promote mental health and student success. The gift is part of the college’s $1 million Ready to Rise Campaign, which is raising funds for new scholarships and bursaries that will provide support to students in need, helping them to rise up, meet the challenge, finish their education and be ready for their future.
Bennett says it was important to her to work with the college to create a fund that can accept donations of any size “as a way to bring together a community who is as diverse as the students who need our assistance.” She adds that she wanted to make a gift that would have a true positive effect on students and lead them to a better future where they can give back to their own communities. The first bursary has already been awarded to Shanjini Kumar, a second-year student in the Interior Design Technology program, who says: “Like everyone else, I have various obstacles to overcome daily, but being able to pursue full-time education in the wonderful environment Lethbridge College provides is truly such a blessing. This award will definitely help me continue on and fund my dreams. I feel extremely motivated going into my final year and I cannot wait to finally cross the finish line!”
For many students, scholarships and bursaries are the one support that make it possible for them to stay in school and complete their programs, says Ednna Stobschinski, a second-year Renewable Resource Management student and the president of the Lethbridge College Students’ Association. Lethbridge College saw a 100 per cent increase in demand for bursaries in December 2020 compared to previous years.
For more information about the Dragonfly Education Fund, or to learn more about other ways to support students at Lethbridge College, go to lethbridgecollege.ca/give or call the Development Office at 403-320-3457.
Practical Nurse Program By The Numbers
Research by Kristina Madarasz
Grads of Lethbridge College’s Practical Nurse program had a lot of good things to say about their experiences on campus. Here are a few highlights from our Practical Nurse alumni who completed the recent Graduate Outcome Survey and the Alumni Survey:
OF GRADS SAID THEIR PROGRAM DEVELOPED THEIR ABILITY TO WORK INDEPENDENTLY TO A GREAT EXTENT
OF GRADS SAID THEIR PROGRAM DEVELOPED THEIR ABILITY TO WORK WELL WITH OTHERS TO AN EXTENT OR A GREAT EXTENT
OF GRADS SAID THEY WOULD RECOMMEND THEIR PROGRAM TO OTHERS
OF GRADS SAID THEIR PROGRAM DEVELOPED THEIR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS TO AN EXTENT OR A GREAT EXTENT
Nursing on the Front-Line
Hannah Johnson (Practical Nurse 2021), Licensed Practical Nurse, works on the COVID Unit at Chinook Regional Hospital. To read reflections from our nursing graduates working in the pandemic, go to p. 12 or visit widerhorizons.ca.
Photo by Leah Hennel