Selkirk College School of University Arts & Sciences Honours Top Students
As Selkirk College students prepare for the final push to the end of the Winter Semester, students and instructors in the School of University Arts & Sciences (UAS) gathered on the Castlegar Campus last week to recognize outstanding achievements and accomplishments.
The annual UAS Excellence Awards Ceremony was held in The Pit and provided a nice wrap on months of learning for those who have worked hard to accomplish their educational goals.
A total of 72 students were recognized with some receiving more than one certificate. The awards are not solely based on grades and it’s up to each instructor to define excellence.
“The Excellence Awards Ceremony is all about the students so it is such a fun event,” says UAS English Instructor Tracy Punchard.
“Students come out to cheer on their peers, students provide the entertainment and speeches, some bring their parents or their children. It is so rewarding to see their talent and enthusiasm.”
The afternoon featured a wonderful speech from Madelaine Snelgrove who was chosen to speak on behalf of UAS students. The following is an excerpt from Snelgrove’s address to fellow students and UAS instructors:
In college, we learn four things that infinitely define how we step into the world.
The first is that you can build your life around whatever it is you love to do. I spent much of my childhood designing and creating dream homes and worlds. As I grew up I thought it was just something silly I did, not realizing I could take it further in my life. After studying with Allison Lutz in Geography, I learned that there is actually a profession out there where those talents are coveted. Now I’m waiting to hear back from schools about attending an urban planning program in the fall.
The second thing we learn is that we’re supposed to ask questions. We are naturally curious people and we have been put in this space that not only allows us to question, but also supports us to ask questions of the questions. Because let’s be honest here, do we ever actually get a straight answer or do we just get more questions? And yeah, we get to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and not knowing the answers. We learn that there are far more questions than there are answers. And we learn to be comfortable with that as well.
Thirdly, we learn how to help ourselves. And I don’t mean to the buffet. We learn how to remove any obstacle that stop us from getting what we want. We learn how to ask for help, how to systematically remove perceived barriers, how to get off our asses and take charge of our own lives, rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
Lastly, possibly the most imperative lesson we learn, is that we are not all the same. We’ve all walked through those front doors with our own story. And I’m sure most of us would like to believe our own story is the most important one. We each juggle the stresses of school, work, and everything else differently than anyone else around us. So to be able to walk out those doors for the last time with empathy for others is, what I think, the best lesson to have learned.
In an homage to Tracy Punchard teaching me how to properly write an essay in her English 110 class: I’ve got the introduction, and the body, it’s now time to conclude with a brief summarization of what we’ve all learned. Build your future based around what you love, ask questions and question the questions, navigate through the difficult stuff, and remember that everyone around you is living through their own story.
Over the next few weeks, students in all programs will be putting the final touches on semester-end projects and preparing for final exams. For those completing their studies at Selkirk College, the Graduation 2016 Ceremony is set for Friday, April 22 on the Castlegar Campus.