Monday, June 9, 2014

Meet the Douglas College valedictorians for Summer 2014

With this month's graduation ceremonies, many Douglas College students were recognized for their accomplishments. It was also an opportunity to honour a group of the college's most academically successful students: the valedictorians. And here they are...

Alexandra Berry
Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care

Alexandra believes that loving what you do is the key to success. In her case, that means helping children and families.

A child-support worker, Alexandra started at Douglas in 2010. Since then, she says, the college has become a second home.

“Douglas has offered me a supportive place to thrive not only as a student but also as a community member. I will truly miss being here.”

Alexandra is known for excelling in her classes and being demanding of herself. As one instructor says: “I knew that if Alex did not get a top grade, she would be in my office within days to discuss how she could improve her performance.”

With her time at Douglas coming to a close, Alexandra now plans to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Victoria.

Devin Carlson
Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation

Devin wants a career in which he can make a positive impact in people’s lives. After several years in the construction industry, he came to Douglas College to pursue that goal.

“I returned to school so that I could pursue a career that I love and Douglas has provided me with the education and practical experience to do so successfully.”

During his time at Douglas, Devin stood out academically and made a good impression on his instructors and classmates.

One instructor describes Devin as a strong communicator who holds himself to high standards. Says the instructor: “Devin is respected by his peers and the faculty, not only for his outstanding academic ability, but also for his honest, genuine interactions and true soul.”

Stephanie De Anna
Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching

Stephanie plans to become a high school teacher and sees her time at Douglas as an important step along that path.

Stephanie started at Douglas as a general studies student but soon switched to Sport Science. In that program, she says she met dedicated instructors and a group of classmates who became her friends.

“Douglas College helped me achieve my goals by providing an absolutely incredible program with instructors who were dedicated and passionate about teaching and helping their students.”

Now that her time at Douglas is ending, Stephanie is preparing to for the next chapter in her education: teacher training at SFU.

Evan Harding
Certificate in Office Administration—Legal

Evan  is known as a meticulous student and also someone who is a pleasure to work with.

During his time at Douglas, Evan showed he has both a strong academic ability and a winning personality.

As one instructor says: “He has the most infectious smile. I always felt happier any time I had the opportunity to interact with Evan.”

Evan is already on his way towards a successful career as a legal administrative assistant. He recently started work at a law office in New Westminster.

Chris Hill
Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting

Chris believes that life is too short to pursue something you don’t truly care about.

During his time at Douglas, Chris says he not only gained valuable knowledge about accounting, but also acquired and honed the skills needed for meeting and overcoming challenges in the real world.

His fondest memory of Douglas was being part of the case competition team with his fellow students. He says it forced him out of his comfort zone and helped him make friends.

The next step for Chris is to get a job at an accounting firm and eventually become a Chartered Professional Accountant.

Milo Leraar
Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies

Milo has many standout memories from his time at Douglas, including helping to present a professional development seminar on safety on campus for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied students, and getting lost in Bear Creek Ravine Park while looking for soil samples for his Geography class.

Milo came to Douglas as a low-income parent. He decided to get a college education so he could get a better job and help support his family.

With plans to become either a social worker or sign language interpreter, Milo is well on his way towards success.

Kristin Ross
Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Kristin considers herself to be a life-long learner and she plans to continue her education long after she’s left Douglas.

Kristin says her experience at Douglas has helped her confirm that she picked the right profession.

In fact, her career is already off to a strong start. She was recently hired to work in the emergency department of a local hospital.

Says Kristin, "At Douglas, I have always felt supported by the instructors and encouraged to keep working towards my goals. I feel that the numerous clinical experiences and comprehensive seminar courses of the BSN program at Douglas has allowed me to successfully develop my practice as a student and feel ready to enter the ‘real world’ of nursing."