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UNBC to celebrate 26th Convocation

The University of Northern British Columbia will grant more than 700 credentials during the 2019 Convocation beginning Friday in Prince George.

Among the highlights of this year’s Convocation will be the installation ceremony for Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell Sr. who is set to become UNBC’s seventh Chancellor. Dr. Gosnell will be installed during the College of the Arts, Social and Health Sciences (CASHS) convocation ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Friday at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.

Six graduation events will take place this year in five northern B.C. communities. The official convocation ceremonies take place at the Northern Sport Centre this Friday, followed by Celebration of Graduates in Gitwinksihlkw, Terrace, Quesnel and Fort St. John next week.

Honorary degrees will be granted to Jo-ann Archibald, an Indigenous educator, researcher and scholar during the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences (CASHS) ceremony and forestry industry pioneer and philanthropist John A. Brink at the College of Science and Management (CSAM) ceremony.

This year’s valedictorians are Bachelor of Arts graduate Emilio Caputo (History, minors in Philosophy and Political Science) of McBride, B.C. (CASHS) and Raliat Abioye (Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) from Toronto (CSAM).

May 31 – Prince George – CASHS Ceremony

The ceremonies begin with a procession from the Bentley Centre to the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre at 9 a.m., followed by the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences (CASHS) ceremony at 9:30 a.m. At 11:45am, or immediately after the ceremony., CASHS students will have their class photo taken at the ceremonial stairs. In the case of inclement weather, processions will take place solely at the Northern Sport Centre.

Several awards and honours will be presented at this ceremony:

  • Founding Faculty member and School of Social Work Professor Dr. Glen Schmidt, who retired in September 2018, will be bestowed the title of Professor Emeritus.
  • History/Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Associate Professor Dr. Jacqueline Holler, Assistant Psychology Professor Dr. Loraine Lavallee, Health Sciences Assistant Professor Dr. Chelsea Pelletier and Anthropology Assistant Professor Dr. Farid Rahemtulla will receive University Excellence in Teaching Awards.
  • Assistant Psychology Professor Dr. John Sherry will receive a University Excellence in Professional Practice Mentorship Steward Award, while Social Work Professor Dawn Hemingway and Associate History Professor Dr. Dana Wessell Lightfoot will receive University Excellence in Service Awards.
  • International Studies Assistant History Professor Dr. Nathan Andrews will receive a University Excellence in Research Award.
  • Shirley Giroux, will receive the Governor General’s Gold medal, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement at the graduate level.
  • Giroux will also receive her PhD in Health Sciences. Her doctoral study titled Like being pecked to death by a chicken: Resilience and work-family equilibrium in teacher/mothers, explores the resilience strategies used by parent and non-parent teachers in their caring roles. Described as an exceptional learner and researcher, Giroux, as a mother of two herself and a principal, played these roles while completing her degree.

May 31 – Prince George – CSAM Ceremony

The class photo for the CSAM students will take place at 1:15 p.m. at the ceremonial stairs, followed by their procession from the Bentley Centre to the Northern Sport Centre at 2 p.m. The CSAM convocation ceremony will run from 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Several awards and honours will be presented at this ceremony:

  • Dr. Ken Otter, a biology professor in the Ecosystem Science and Management Program, will receive the University Excellence in Professional Practice Mentorship Stewardship Award.
  • Physics Professor Dr. Ian Hartley and Dr. Lisa Wood, a plant biologist in the Ecosystem Science and Management program, will receive University Excellence in Service Awards.
  • Geography Professor Dr. Gail Fondahl and Environmental Engineering Professor Dr. Jianbing Li will receive University Excellence in Research Awards.
  • Kasandra Johnny-Turbide will receive the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation that recognizes a graduate who embodies academic excellence as well as a passion for reconciliation. Johnny-Turbide is graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate student, she held positions in the Northern Undergraduate Student Society, first as a Women’s representative, and then as an Aboriginal representative. She also worked with the Women’s Memorial March for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, volunteered with the Metis Day and Residential School Survivor day, and steered, informed and created materials for the education about sexual violence against women and consent.
  • Ryley Jewsbury will receive the Governor General’s Silver Medal, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement at the undergraduate level.
  • Jewsbury is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in mathematics. Jewsbury excelled academically as an undergraduate, while also participating in the University Research Experience program, the Natural Sciences and Research Council research program, and the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. He also tutored other students in math and computer science at the Academic Success Centre. He sees programming and mathematics as puzzles waiting to be solved, understanding there is no single path to the right answer, rather that experimentation and creativity are needed to reach a solution.

June 3 – Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a – Ts’oohl Ts’ap Memorial Hall – 1 p.m.

Ten students will receive Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute-UNBC credentials this year, including four students who will earn Bachelor of Arts degrees in First Nations Studies.

Four students will receive Certificates in General First Nations; four students will receive Certificates in Nisga’a Studies, while four more will receive Certificates in First Nations Language: Nisga’a.

June 4 – Northwest (Terrace) – R.E.M. Theatre – 2 p.m.

Forty-four students will graduate this year, including 22 who will receive Bachelor of Science Nursing degrees; 13 students will receive Bachelor of Education degrees; eight students will receive Bachelor of Social Work degrees; and one student will receive a Bachelor of Science (Integrated degree).

June 6 – South-Central (Quesnel) – Quesnel Campus – 10 a.m.

Forty-three students will graduate this year, including 20 who will receive Bachelor of Science Nursing degrees; 13 students will receive Bachelor of Social Work degrees; eight students will receive Diplomas in First Nations Language; and two students will receive Certificates in First Nations Language.

June 7 – Peace-River Liard (Fort St. John) – Northern Grand Hotel – 7 p.m.

Eight students will graduate this year and all of them will receive their Bachelor of Social Work degrees.

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