NSCC Strait Area Campus celebrates graduates

Close to 500 adults participate in 19 adult graduation ceremonies

NSCC President Don Bureaux is pictured with NSCC Strait Area Campus Valedictorian Keisha Price-Pierro, who graduated from the Office Administration program on June 7 in Port Hawkesbury.

PORT HAWKESBURY: Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Strait Area Campus celebrated close to 300 graduates during a convocation ceremony last Thursday.

Photos by Mary Hankey
Students received their diplomas at the 2018 NSCC Convocation held at the Civic Centre in Port Hawkesbury on June 7.

Graduates received certificates and diplomas during the ceremony held in the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.

“NSCC is committed to giving students the tools and experience they need to succeed in their programs and beyond,” says NSCC President Don Bureaux. “Convocation is an exciting time and a chance for us to celebrate each student’s success and reflect on all they have accomplished as they embark on the next leg of their journey.”

Pictured are (from the left): Joel Boyer, Trades and Technology faculty; the recipient of the NSCC Alumni Rising Star Award, Stuart Cameron from the Culinary Arts, Ship’s Cook program; Shelley David, Faculty Culinary Arts; Vivek Saxena, Marine faculty; and Adele LeBlanc, Assistant Culinary Arts.

The 2018 Strait Area Campus valedictorian is Keisha Price-Pierro, Office Administration. A number of awards recognizing student achievement and success were also presented: Board of Governors’ Award, Ashley Kehoe, Cosmetology; Governor General’s Academic Medal, Teya Green, Electrical Construction and Industrial – Diploma; NSCC Gold Medal Award, Nicholas Archer-Antonsen, Bridge Watch Rating; President’s Award, Jeff Stubbard, Steamfitting/Pipefitting; and NSCC Alumni Rising Star Award, Stuart Cameron, Culinary Arts.

Excited graduates Kayla Blackwood and Falon Stevens are pictured before the Strait Area Campus Convocation where they received their diplomas in Natural Resources Environmental Technology.

“Convocation is a special time that celebrates the success of all our students as they walk across the stage and into their futures,” adds NSCC Strait Area Campus Principal Tom Gunn.

The college also awarded its highest distinction and grant honorary diplomas to four exemplary leaders in recognition of their contributions to the community and NSCC. The Strait Area Campus presented honorary diplomas to Elder Albert Marshall and Natalie MacMaster.

Respected Mi’kmaq Elder Albert Marshall received an Honourary Diploma in the School of Trades and Technology at the 2018 NSCC Convocation.

As a young boy, Marshall was taken from his family and placed in the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. He was profoundly affected by the experience and it led him on a lifelong quest to connect with and understand both the culture he was removed from, and the culture he was forced into. Through a guiding principle that he conceived, Two-Eyed-Seeing or Etuaptmumk, Marshall asks that people learn to see from one eye with the strength of the Indigenous peoples, and see from the other eye with the strength of Western knowledge – using both eyes for the benefit of all.

Etuaptmumk greatly impacted the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 2016 report, which called on educational institutions, like NSCC, to expand their contributions to the elimination of education and employment gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

The women’s traditional hand drumming group, We’koqma’q Qewiskwa performed for the audience before the convocation.

An acclaimed fiddler, author, radio-show host and business mogul, MacMaster has helped transform Nova Scotia – Cape Breton in particular – into an internationally-recognized region for folk, traditional, Celtic and Gaelic music and culture. With a heart as big as the sound produced by her fiddle, MacMaster has long combined her talent with her generous spirit to make a difference in the lives of others. As a positive representative of Nova Scotian heritage, culture and music, she has enhanced the province socially, culturally and economically, and has found success internationally — all while continuing to do what she loves.

Natalie MacMaster was awarded a Honourary Diploma in the School of IT and Creative Industries, and sent her thanks by video. Natalie’s mother, Minnie MacMaster, accepted the diploma from Board of Governors’ member Bob MacEachern.

Meanwhile, close to 500 adults will participate in 19 adult graduation ceremonies over the coming weeks, including the NSCC Strait Area Campus and the Petit de Grat campus of Université Sainte-Anne.

Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning provides free learning programs to Nova Scotian adults 19 years and over who have been out of high school for more than one year. The programs are offered in English and French in most communities across the province. They include the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults and General Educational Development (GED)prep courses, among many others.

Students had the option of having their diplomas presented to them by a parent and Kristen Boyd’s father, Lawrence Boyd, Academic Chair for Trades and Technology, handed Kristen her Advanced Diploma in Behavioural Interventions.

More than 8,047 Nova Scotians have received high school diplomas through the program since it began in 2001.

Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning and its partner organizations offer many tuition-free adult learning programs across the province. For more information call 1-877-go-NSSAL (1-877-466-7725) or visit: www.goNSSAL.ca.

Pictured are (from the left): Jan Barrett, Faculty Cosmetology; the Recipient of the Board of Governors’ Award, Ashley Kehoe from the Cosmetology program; and Tom Gunn, Principal of the NSCC Strait Area Campus.