FCCS Celebrates students' journey

Carlee Mills, Student Reader for the Bachelor of Arts ceremony for FCCS students

Carlee Mills, Student Reader for the Bachelor of Arts ceremony for FCCS students

The Dean’s office and FCCS faculty members who were present at convocation were absolutely thrilled to witness our students walk across the stage on June 7th.

“This is the culmination of years of sacrifices and a lot of hard work. Our students, their families and other loved ones can be proud of their achievements. Well done indeed!” says FCCS Associate Dean, Dr. Marianne Legault.

After years of hard work and dedication, forty-four FCCS students graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, twenty-one students graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and ten Masters students completed their degree.

Carlee Mills, graduating with a BA (major in English), was chosen as this year's Student Reader.

“It is an immense honour to be chosen; I wish I could put into words how much it truly means to be acknowledged in such an amazing way.” Says Carlee.

Carlee gave a thoughtful speech at the graduation ceremony, leaving her fellow graduates with some inspiring words. “I am surrounded by inspiring and inspired individuals. Standing here today, and looking back on our time here, it feels like we could do anything. Embrace change. I think it is important to not just exist in the world, but yearn to change it. I know that UBCO’s class of 2018 is capable of making tremendous changes.”

And to the students who are still working on completing their degree, she leaves this advice, “I think that the best advice I could give is to not be too hard on yourself. There will be times when you feel that nothing you do is good enough or that you aren’t cut out for University. The key is to not give into those feelings and push through. Not everything you do in University will be 'pure gold.' There will be times that you have to just tell yourself “next time” instead of dwelling on it.”

Aside from this whirlwind of being able to speak at graduation, Carlee said that a highlight of her time at UBC Okanagan is the ability to have taken a lot of very interesting courses; courses from Ornithology and Anthropocentrism to Punk culture, taught by some of the most inspired individuals who foster their students' interests in the subjects.

“What stands out to me about Carlee is her dedication,” says George Grinnell, professor of English. “When given the chance to design and execute a project entirely of her own making for a Do-It-Yourself themed assignment, she worked with a partner from our class to create an hour-long documentary film, which was a massive undertaking.”

After the ceremony, a reception was held in the Creative and Critical Studies building for all of the FCCS graduates and their guests to continue the celebrations of the day.

FCCS Graduation Reception

FCCS Graduation Reception

Dean Traister giving a toast to the 2018 gradating class

Dean Traister giving a toast to the 2018 gradauting class









Dr. Bryce Traister, Dean of FCCS, addressed the attendees wishing the graduates great success as they embark on their next stages of life, “I congratulate the students and their families on the occasion of their graduation. It takes a village for a student to achieve a degree, and it has been a pleasure being part of your journeys as young artists, readers, thinkers, and writers. I only just got to meet many of you on stage for the first time, and I certainly hope that it won’t be the last. Best wishes for your successful futures, and don’t be strangers to the FCCS!”

MA English grads Brittany Rhodes & Francesca Gimson with instructor Melissa Jacques (centre)

MA English grads Brittany Rhodes & Francesca Gimson with instructor Melissa Jacques (centre)

Marianne Legault with her students Jolene Hayter and Jenica

Marianne Legault (centre) with her students Jolene Hayter & Jenica McKenzie










FCCS is also pleased to recognize the achievements of the following graduating or continuing students who received awards for their outstanding academic performance this year:

  • Moozhan Ahmadzadegan, DVC Purchase Award
  • Evan Berg, Asper Scholarship
  • Arden Boehm, FCCS Dean's Award for Artistic Excellence; BMO First Art nominee
  • Megan Butchart, FCCS English Scholarship
  • Taylor Carruthers, Craig Hall Memorial Visual Arts Scholarship in Printmaking
  • Sari Elizabeth Dale, Creative Studies Prize in Creative Writing
  • Sarah Ellis, Okanagan Visual Arts Scholarship; Asper Graduating Prize; Head of Class (BFA)
  • Joshua Fender, Elinor Yandel Memorial Award in Fine Arts
  • Mat Glenn, Creative Studies Department Award; BMO First Art nominee
  • Angela Gmeinweser, Murray Johnson Memorial Award in Visual Arts
  • Ayla de Grandpre, FCCS French and Spanish Scholarship
  • Toby Handford, Kelly Curtis Memorial Scholarship in English
  • Jill Janvier, UBC Okanagan Visual Arts Award; DVC Award for Artistic Excellence
  • Safeera Jeffer-Hirji, FCCS Cultural Studies Scholarship; R.M. Middleton Student Prize; Head of Class (BA)
  • Sarah Kapp, DVC Purchase Award
  • Patricia Leinemann, Norma and Jack Aitken Prize in Visual Arts; BMO First Art nominee
  • Jenica McKenzie, FCCS French Essay Prize; FCCS French Scholarship
  • Darren Patterson, Dr. Shelley Martin Memorial Scholarship
  • Sarah Polak, Asper Scholarship; New Monaco Enterprise GP Corp. Award in Sustainable Development
  • Emerson Rogers, FCCS Art History and Visual Culture Scholarship
  • Amy Salter, Jack and Lorna Hambleton Memorial Award
  • Kara Sikora, DVC Purchase Award
  • Sarah Spencer, FCCS Visual Arts Scholarship; Frances Harris Prize in Fine Arts
  • Emily Thomas, FCCS Interdisciplinary Performance Scholarship
  • Hayden Ward, Creative Writing Prize
  • Felicia Watterodt, German Canadian Harmonie Club Prize in German Studies
  • Melissa Weiss, FCCS Creative Writing Scholarship
  • Natalie Whiteman, International Student Faculty Award
  • Aiden Wilhelmina de Vin, Doug Biden Memorial Scholarship in Visual Arts
Safeera Jeffer-Hirji, recipient of the Cultural Studies Scholarship & the RR Middleton

Safeera Jeffer-Hirji, recipient of the Cultural Studies Scholarship & the R.M. Middleton Student Prize

Sarah Ellis, Head of Class (BFA)

Sarah Ellis, Head of Class (BFA)


Leave a Reply