Graduating Student Awards Celebration: Recognizing student achievement and the generosity that makes it possible

BCIT pride was everywhere—from the graduating students who received awards to the donors who made it all possible. They joined BCIT President Kathy Kinloch and faculty and staff to recognize the achievements of our students at the 2019 Graduating Student Awards Celebration on June 18 at the Burnaby campus.

“The awards gave me time to learn about myself and the paths available to me,” said Terry Calderbank, a multiple student award recipient, and Electrical Engineering grad. “These awards gave me time to push my limits because I didn’t have to worry about how to make ends meet and just do the minimum at school.”

The awards, Terry continued, also gave me the time to contribute to BCIT in other ways. He was a peer tutor and led competitive archery at the Burnaby campus. He is already working in the automation industry, and is proud to say he’s discovered a love of teaching; he is the new co-op liaison at his workplace, noting that he’s already helped another BCIT student.

Guest speaker Nigel Bennett, co-founder of Aqua-Guard Spill Response (which provides state-of-the-art oil spill response solutions around the world), BCIT Mechanical Engineering alumnus, and 2018 BCIT Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, echoed Terry’s sentiments. He also encouraged attendees to “savour your award…but lift up others around you, just like the classmates of a dyslexic student lifted me up.”

Nigel added, “BCIT is a conduit that inspires change. With your talents, you have a great responsibility to lead and have the most impact on the world while we’re here. Choose to leverage what you know to create a better community, our global community.”

Congratulating the graduating students, BCIT President Kathy Kinloch said, “BCIT’s vision is to empower people, shape BC, and inspire global progress and we feel that our alumni—now over 185,000 strong—are helping to realize this vision. I have no doubt you will join their ranks and we look forward to your future contributions.”

Special thanks to Broadcast and Journalism student, Aiya Benaso for emceeing the event, and Board of Governors Faculty and Staff representative Judy Shandler who expressed gratitude for the donors who made these student awards possible.

“At the Foundation, we have the privilege of working with donors to realize impact for their philanthropic gifts – and there truly is a tremendous community of donors who make all we do possible,” said BCIT Foundation Executive Director Jackie Jacob. “From our indispensable industry partners, who help inform and guide our programs to be at the leading edge, to faculty and staff who give their expertise and time to our students, but also give in a myriad of ways including endowments and awards to ensure the success of our students.” She also thanked the individuals and families who chose to honour a loved one by supporting students.

This year, BCIT Foundation is proud to announce that $250,000 in student awards was distributed.

In closing, attendees watched a video depicting the journey of Ashley Verokosky. She is a current Medical Radiography student who, with the help of the Rix Family Bursary and support from the people in her life, was able to face an extraordinary health challenge and carry on the path to realizing her career goal.

Learn more about inspiring the leaders of tomorrow. See more photos from the event.

Top photo: Graduating student award recipient Maha Shehadeh (second from left) with her family

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