|Krupa Shah - 2019 Lloydminster Campus|
For Krupa Bhaveshkumar Shah, everyone has one thing in common – 24 hours in a day. “And you get to choose what you do with those 24 hours,” she says.
This philosophy by her older brother, Shah explains, is what motivated her to excel in her studies and beyond. Her leadership qualities and accomplishments are why she’s the 2019 Lloydminster campus President’s Medal recipient, an honour she received upon graduation on May 31.
“I am excited and very honoured to receive this award. To be recognized for my dedication to my studies and Lakeland over the past two years is a wonderful feeling,” says the business administration diploma graduate in the accounting major.
From Borsad, India, Shah travelled to Canada not only to pursue business studies but also to experience Canadian culture in a setting that would let her stand out. She says she found that at Lakeland.
Shah maintained a 3.51 GPA while confidently balancing school, work and life, and immersed herself in leadership roles.
For Lakeland, she served as a student ambassador and student member of Academic Council. She emceed at the 2018 Lloydminster Donor Appreciation Celebration and volunteered at the 2018 International Student Orientation.
Shah was also a peer tutor in math, accounting and microeconomics, and a resident assistant for the Lloydminster campus Residence. She was a member of Lakeland’s 2019 business case team, treasurer for the Business Club, and secretary and facilitator for Synergy Speakers Corner.
“There were times when I felt tired and overwhelmed, but I kept my brother’s advice in mind and stayed motivated. Another piece of advice came from my grandfather. He always encouraged me to learn something new every day, no matter how small,” she says.
For the community, Shah was a mentor and volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters. She also volunteered at the Lloyd Style Downtown Fashion Show, 2018 Diwali Celebration with Lloyd Gujarati Community, Lloydminster Sexual Assault and Information Centre's Little Italy Gala, Residence Life Leadership Conference and Pecha Kucha 3.
She credits much of her success to her family, as well as her instructors and Lakeland staff. “I can’t thank my parents enough for their unconditional love and support over these past two years. Even from the other side of the world, their support didn’t waver.”
Shah was also supported financially through Lakeland’s student award’s program. In 2018-19, she was the recipient of the Pat Tenney Award, Border City Rotary Club Award and Board of Governors Scholarship.
“I’m very grateful for Lakeland and the opportunities it opened up for me. I’m more confident than I thought I would ever be, and I learned many new things and gained new perspectives. I'm grateful for all that as well as the relationships I developed here. There’s not one person that hasn’t made a positive impact on my education and personal growth,” Shah says.
Shah will complete her employment with RBC Royal Bank’s Lloydminster branch and enjoy a vacation in to Toronto, Ont., before returning home to India. In India, she’ll help her father run their multi-generation tobacco processing business, as well as establish a new business. With no fixed date, Shah hopes to relocate to Canada in 2020 and continue her education.
|Sierra Unick - 2019 Vermilion Campus|
After her first week of classes, Sierra Unick knew she was going to be happy at Lakeland College.
As an environmental sciences diploma student, Unick and her classmates visited the Vermilion Provincial Park for a botany lab at the start of their program. They were tasked with learning about the different trees, shrubs, grasses and more.
"Getting thrown into nature, having to take notes about the plants you’re collecting and adding them to the plant book was great because we were contributing to a larger project,” says Unick, who completed the water conservation and management (WCM) major program. “This was one experience of many that didn't just tell me, it proved to me what Lakeland was about – student leadership."
At the start of her second year of studies, Unick was one of many environmental sciences students who traveled more than 3,100 kilometres to gain applied technical skills related to their major during Field Week. For Unick and her peers, their beyond-the-classroom experience took them to Hinton, Alta., which she says is one of the highlights of the program. Together, they completed a stream assessment, culvert assessment and other projects related to their field of study.
“It was an incredible opportunity to gain real experience in the field,” says Unick, who hails from Canora, Sask. “There is a finite amount of water that is available to us and we need to take care of that."
Fast forward to the end of Lakeland’s 101st academic year, Unick was one of approximately 555 graduates to celebrate convocation at the Vermilion campus. She was also recognized as the 2019 Vermilion campus President’s Medal recipient.
“Humbled and grateful are two words that come to mind,” says Unick. The 19-year-old was presented the award for her leadership and involvement within the college and community.
Since arriving at Lakeland, Unick immersed herself in a number of activities including volunteering for TD Tree Planting Day and serving as the Town of Vermilion Club representative. She was also the environmental sciences student representative for WCM and an active member of the Enviro Club. In 2018-19, Unick was a member of the Enviro Mentors and served as the Vermilion campus Students’ Association vice president of clubs.
When Unick returns to campus in the fall as a bachelor of applied science: environmental management student, she will also be returning as the president of the Vermilion campus Students’ Association.
“I really love Lakeland. It’s a place that I can truly say that I feel at home,” says Unick, who’s working as a research assistant for an agricultural company over the summer. “It’s somewhere where I am happy to be and proud to be. I am super excited to be a Lakeland grad. I hear really good things from industry – as soon as they get one Lakeland grad, they want another and another.”
|Jonathan Kuzek - 2018 Lloydminster Campus|
Instead of following the crowd, Jonathan Kuzek took charge of his Lakeland College experience with his father’s words in mind.
“I was always told by my dad if you aren’t a leader you’re a follower, so at Lakeland being a leader was important to me. I took the initiative to stand up, make the right calls and take on responsibility,” Kuzek says.
The heavy oil power engineering graduate displayed great leadership and college involvement during his time at Lakeland. He mentored classmates and peers; looked after the Lloydminster campus heating plants and energy labs beyond his program; was an ambassador for his program during program info sessions; and was known to lead by example, be a problem-solver, and always had a positive attitude.
Outside of his studies, he was the marketing and event coordinator for the 2017-18 Lloydminster Students’ Association and helped plan various events at the Prairies on campus.
Being a leader was second nature for Kuzek. It was because of his academic excellence and outstanding leadership abilities that he received the 2018 President’s Medal upon graduation.
“It's quite an honour to receive the highest honour a student can get. It’s quite the experience to be the only student on the Lloydminster campus to receive it,” Kuzek says.
During his final academic year, Kuzek was the recipient of numerous scholarships and bursaries including the Centennial Energy & Petroleum Achievement Award, Lloydminster Students' Association Bursary, Kasian Architecture General Award, and Saskatchewan Innovation & Opportunity Scholarship.
To sum up his time at Lakeland, Kuzek says it was the people who made it all worthwhile.
“The amazing people I met this year are one of a kind. They all gave me an experience that can't be duplicated. Attending Lakeland was so nice because you can easily have a personal relationship with almost everyone including instructors.”
|Graham Letts - 2018 Vermilion campus|
Taking complete advantage of everything Lakeland College has to offer was Graham Letts’ goal. The crop technology graduate not only achieved this goal before graduating on June 1, but was also recognized as the 2018 Vermilion campus President’s Medal recipient for his leadership and involvement.
“There’s only one student on the whole campus to receive the award, so I feel pretty privileged and honoured,” says Letts, of Westlock, Alta. “I really enjoyed the whole student-managed aspect of Lakeland College. Having that practical experience, I think that’s an excellent model for learning.”
Letts immersed himself in the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland (SMF); he successfully applied for the general manager position of the crop technology team and describes the experiences as invaluable.
“You get to jump into operations with your peers and it’s completely hands-on. With a team of 38 students, things don’t always run peachy keen,” Letts says with a laugh. “But this experience gives you the opportunity to learn from your successes and mistakes.”
One of the highlights of Letts’ Lakeland experience was being able to experiment with new crops. “On the family farm you tend to stick to traditional farming practices, but when you come to Lakeland you have the opportunity to leverage the industry and try something out of the box,” he says.
This year the SMF crop team designed a soybean soil temperature trial and tried a cocktail brassica radish grazing mix.
Making strong connections with his classmates proved to be another highlight for Letts. “Every one of us has a different perspective so being able to facilitate discussion with classmates, hear everyone’s opinions and try to make it welcoming for all was key.”
Letts’ hard work paid off at Lakeland. During the 2017-18 donor appreciation celebration, he received eight awards: Alberta Wheat Commission Scholarship in Crop Technology, Louise McKinney Post-Secondary Scholarship, Beaton Family Agricultural Bursary, ARAMARK Canada Ltd. Award, New Holland Agriculture Award, The Leonard and Mary Burton Farm Management Award, Growing Alberta Scholarship, and the Ron and Faith Kenyon Academic Award.
As a generational alumnus, Letts is happy to share his Lakeland experience with his grandfather, Park Letts, Class of 1955. “It’s pretty special to have this connection. He came back to the college for my final SMF presentation and took a tour of campus – it blew his mind how much Lakeland has grown and changed.”
Outside of class, the father of one assisted with the Tractor Club races during Little Royal, volunteered with a youth summer camp and was active with his church.
Reflecting on his Lakeland experience, Letts encourages future Lakeland students to capitalize on what the college has to offer. “Take full advantage of every opportunity you have at college to expand your knowledge, make contacts and network with classmates,” he says. “Connect with your instructors; they’re an invaluable resource that you would pay big dollars outside of school for one-on-one consultation with.”
|President's Medal Winners|