Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) celebrated 2023-2024 Grande Prairie campus graduates this past week in the Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre. Over the course of two-days, the graduating class of over 200 students were cheered on by NWP faculty and staff, as well as many friends, family, and supporters.

The ceremonies, which were emceed by Provost and Vice-President Academic, Dr. Terry Kowalchuk, featured speeches from staff and faculty as well as the polytechnic’s 2024 valedictorian and salutatorian. This year, the Paul J. Evaskevich Valedictorian Award was presented to Melborne Baiting.

Baiting travelled from the Philippines to pursue a Business Administration Diploma as an international student and excelled in his studies, achieving the highest-grade point average among graduates. He now plans to build on this success in NWP’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree program and offered the following advice for fellow students. "I take great pride in representing the class of 2024 and our achievements,” said Baiting. “Success, as I learned, relies heavily on well-defined goals and mental well-being. As the saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

Nkeiruka Odoh, an extraordinary Bachelor of Science in Nursing student, received the Beth Sheehan Salutatorian Award. Odoh moved from Nigeria in 2019, initiated her studies soon after, and managed her education during the COVID-19 pandemic, all while being a new mother.

Both she and her husband, also a Nursing student, would wake up and study from 1:00 to 4:00 am before catching a few more hours of sleep. On receiving the award, Odoh said, "This award shows that with determination and persistence, I can achieve anything I set my mind to."

NWP President and CEO Dr. Vanessa Sheane congratulated award recipients and 2024 Grande Prairie graduates, noting their unwavering commitment and array of career opportunities now within reach.

"Convocation is a significant milestone that marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another,” said Dr. Sheane. “Our students' dedication and resilience have brought them to this moment, and it is truly our privilege to celebrate their success. I am confident that they will continue to make NWP proud in their next steps.”

Dr. Terry Kowlachuk echoed the praise, “Our graduates have proven themselves in their academic pursuits, demonstrating commitment and readiness to make a significant impact in their respective fields. We are incredibly proud of their accomplishments and looking forward to seeing their contributions in the broader learning community."

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Information provided by Northwestern Polytechnic