Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Douglas College Valedictorian fires up future

Nicole Pruden, Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching,
Class of 2011 and Valedictorian

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

On the first day of her final year in the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching program, Nicole Pruden suddenly realized she did not want to be a teacher. Fighting fires intrigued her more, and she immediately began to research a career in that field.

But instead of slacking off or quitting the program, Nicole continued to excel in her studies to earn her degree. What's more, she graduates as Valedictorian this week. "To finally graduate after five years of post-secondary education is an amazing feeling, but to graduate as Valedictorian is somewhat surreal," she says.

When her instructors heard she'd been chosen as Valedictorian for the Faculty of Science and Technology, they applauded the decision.

"Nicole was an active leader and positive contributor," says Gord Sturrock, Co-coordinator of the Sport Science Department. "She always performed well under pressure and was extremely supportive of her classmates, often going out of her way to make a contribution. Her strength lies in her ability to stretch the typical boundaries found in most learning environments, leading to a much more valuable learning experience."

As for Nicole, she's heading to Texas this Fall to take a 12-week program in firefighting. It's the next step in fulfilling her goal of having a job where she's physically active. "I’ve known since high school that I wanted to build a career where I wouldn’t be sitting at a desk for hours on end every day."