NNSL Photo/Graphic

Canadian North

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Aurora College celebrates class of 2012

Simon Whitehouse
Northern News Services
Published Monday, May 21, 2012

Aurora College celebrated its graduating class of 2012 as 53 students were recognized at the Explorer Hotel Saturday.

Graduates were celebrated not only for achieving their certificates, diplomas and degrees, but also for their perseverance.

Therese Mackenzie of Behchoko, who has a hearing disability, received her personal support worker certificate, which typically takes one year to complete. She said with support from her instructors, friends and family, she was able to work to have it done in three years.

"Right now I feel good and wonderful," she said in the company of two of her equally happy instructors, Wanda Roberts and Christie Murphy. "I never thought I would get here, but I made it."

Lynn Rose Tologanak, a business administration diploma recipient from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, gave the valedictory address on behalf of her class.

"Seek the spark that excites you," she invited her fellow graduates.

Tologanak herself was enthusiastic about business and developing her knowledge in economics.

"Business has always been something in my heart," she said after the ceremony, noting she hopes to perhaps further her credentials once her two young sons are old enough. But her passion clearly lies in economics.

"My eyes opened to economics and one of my teachers from high school asked me last year, why economics? Well, we live it every day, we just don't analyze it every day."

She commended her instructors for being helpful in pointing her in the direction she now wishes to follow. Her government instructors, for example, awakened in her and enjoyment politics. As such she hopes to get a job as an assistant to a politician in the future.

"I am working and planning on working in administration, but I would love a political job - assisting politicians and such."

Mayor Gord Van Tighem was the guest speaker and offered some life tips from his experience working in the banking industry and developing relationships along the way.

"The choices you make impact your future," he said at one point, encouraging students to be hopeful and positive about the future and to try to see the good in people.

He advised students to get involved in their profession and the community and to constantly prepare for the future. School president Sarah Wright Cardinal discussed some of the challenges the school faced, particularly in Yellowknife with funding shortages. She said the Yellowknife campus was "making a silk purse out of a sow's ear," but commended the hard work of faculty, support of families and dedication of students.

Other graduating students were equally celebratory, given some of the personal struggles and challenges they had to overcome along the way. Noelene Byrne of Yellowknife graduated with a social work diploma and said with a laugh that "being broke all the time" was one thing she learned to deal with during her studies. She said she was starting another related compressed spring course this week at the college, but commended the instructors for their assistance. "Aurora College has some amazing instructors," she said We are in good hands."

Fay Erasmus of Behchoko, is currently working for the Behchoko Social Services. She said she hopes her new social work diploma will allow her to continue to help work to improve the conditions in her community.

"I started in 2007 and it took me five years to finish over time," she said. "I accomplished a lot through a lot of hardships personally. I have been living in my own community and been travelling back and forth."

Erasmus appeared to be very happy as she peered excitedly at her diploma when receiving it. When asked if she was happy with her accomplishment, she stated, "Oh my gosh, yes. I am."

Graduate awards, certificates, diplomas and degress (Yellowknife Campus)

Board of Governors Staff Award for Service Quality: Jodi Brennan

Board of Governors Award for Instructional Excellence: Paula "Cookie" Letemplier

Hon. Certificante for Early Childhood Development: Reanna Erasmus

Board of Governor's Student Leadership Award: Joshua Gagnon

Clinical Excellence Award: Lorraine Westman

United Northern Workers Local 32 Award: Cheryl Fountain

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Amanda Bradbury, Fort Simpson; Carissa Chung, Yellowknife; Deborah Clunie, Yellowknife; Katelyn Rodney, Yellowknife; Gene-Mar Galasinao, Yellowknife; Michael Hand, Yellowknife; Laura Johnston, Yellowknife; Jessica Jonasson, Yellowknife; Angela Keats, Yellowknife; Justine Volk, Yellowknife; Raylene Weber, Yellowknife; Lorraine Westman,Yellowknife; and Shayna Young, Yellowknife.

Master of Nursing-Nurse Practitioner: Melinda Ells, Calgary; Kathy Gilmore, Yellowknife; Janie Neudorf, Yellowknife; and Kristin Richardson, Yellowknife.Social Work Diploma: Chelsey Armstrong, Yellowknife; Noelene Byrne, Yellowknife; Fay Erasmus, Behchoko; Brian Jasper; Yellowknife; Sarah Kelly, Yellowknife; and Melissa McDonald, Inuvik.

Personal Support Worker certificate: Tasmina Akter, Yellowknife; Wendy Ashley, Yellowknife; Faye Baton, Deline; Heather Kenny, Deline; Pearl Liske, Yellowknife; Raji Peyus, Yellowknife; Helna Poruthur, Yellowknife; and Miranda Stewart, Fort McPherson.

Community Health Representative Certificate: Jennifer Jonasson, Lutsel K'e.Business Administration certificate: Karlee Bell, Yellowknife; Courtenay Kakfwi, Fort Good Hope; Mishelle Lavoie, Inuvik; Goldie Modeste, Deline; Lea Pedersen, Yellowknife; Clare Ramirez, Yellowknife; Kylie Townend, Hay River; and Kari Williams, Yellowknife.

Business Administration diploma: Oscar Aguirre, Yellowknife; Cody Erasmus, Yellowknife; Tracy Ann Dolphus, Deline; Joshua Gagnon, Yellowknife; Heather Nakehk'o, Yellowknife; Cassandra Parrell, Yellowknife; and Lynn Rose Tologanak, Cambridge Bay.

Adult Education certificate: Ioan Astle, Yellowknife; Nicole Latour Theede, Yellowknife; Sandy Napier, Rankin Inlet; and Jim Stauffer, Whati.

Aboriginal Language and Cultural Instructor Certificate: Vivian Pellissey, Tulita.

  • Source: Aurora College

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.