By Lethbridge Herald on October 17, 2023.
There were 267 students graduating and more than 170 of them were expected to cross the stage at University of Lethbridge’s Fall Convocation on Saturday.
The ceremony included an array of faculties including the School of Graduate Studies, the Faculties of the Arts and Science, Education Fine Arts, Health Sciences and Dhillon School of Business.
Jared Sandham graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in General Social Sciences and a Bachelor of Education in Social and Indigenous Studies.
“I’m really proud of myself,” said Sandham.
“I’m a little bit surprised. I didn’t think about it a lot after Thanksgiving and then it all kind of started flushing in. Soit’s great to see my peers that will also be walking the stage, family, friends, people I wasn’t expecting to see here and either they’re graduating or coming to visit. It makes me feel really thankful and fortunate that I got share this experience with other people and that other people are continuing on that journey as well.”
Sandham always had an interest in Social Studies and the idea of being a teacher was for him.
“As a non-Indigenous person, the importance of teaching about Indigenous issues is huge,” he said. “Especially in North America where it seems to be less than it should be and so I kind of take that responsibility personally and I am also a third generation education student by absolute chance. My grandmother and my mother got their B. Ed here at Lethbridge.”
He plans to substitute teach with the hopes of getting a permanent placement and next year go abroad to teach.
Stephanie Smith-Jones walked the stage with her Bachelor of Science Degree.
“I feel like it’s a long time coming,” chuckled Smith-Jones.
“I started thinking that I was only going to take four years and then it took six. So I’m glad the day has finally come and I’m excited about my future.”
Smith-Jones is currently working at a research station and has had the opportunity to apply for a job in Switzerland.
“I guess it opened me up to working where I am right now,” she said.
“It’s not where I thought I would be. I’m working with bugs, which I never thought I would be doing in my life. So I’m very thankful for the opportunity through the Co-op program to have gotten this chance to work with bugs and that’s what’s led me to Switzerland.”
Innocent Nicimpaye was happy with all the things he learned through work experiences and experienced that help shaped his future during his biochemistry degree with a minor in philosophy.
“I think I enjoyed the things I learned with my friends,” he said.
“I think all the different classes we could spend together, especially all the philosophy classes. Coming together, learning new ideas and kind of taking time to ponder with each other and learn more about it together.”
He’s contemplating pursuing his masters.
U of L also recognized Elder Christina Fox with an honorary degree, posthumously award went to Dr. Gülden Özcan for the first Graduate Student Mentorship award and Dr. Rita L. Irwin was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.