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Grad day in Rankin

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Wednesday, May 02, 2007

RANKIN INLET - A total of 23 students graduated at Nunavut Arctic College's Kivalliq campus in Rankin Inlet this past week.

Reanna Sateana

Reanna Sateana was presented with the Ilagiiktut Ltd.'s 20th Anniversary Award for the highest academic standing in the management studies program during the Nunavut Arctic College graduation in Rankin Inlet this past week. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

The Class of 2007 had the main room at Kivalliq Hall bursting at the seams with friends and family members as six grads received their diploma and five their certificate in management studies, while 12 earned their office-administration certificate.

A large gathering of dignitaries were also on hand, including Education Minister Ed Picco, Rankin MLAs Tagak Curley and Levinia Brown, Nunavut Arctic College president Mac Clendenning and board chairperson Jose Kusugak.

The 2007 graduation marked the first time in recent memory the minister, board chair and college president were all able to attend.

The graduation was marked by a number of passionate and emotional speeches.

One of the afternoon's more touching moments came during the commencement address, when graduate Shawnee Outchikat thanked her sister, Mikki Adams, for encouraging her to continue her education and for believing in her at a time when she was having difficulty believing in herself.

Campus director Mike Shouldice said the 2008 graduation will probably be held at the Community Learning Centre as the graduating classes have outgrown the facilities at Kivalliq Hall.

He said even a slight delay and a false fire alarm at the conclusion of the ceremony couldn't overshadow an extremely positive day.

"The final exams are written very close to the actual graduation, so we normally have a letter in the blue folders the graduates receive to congratulate them and let them know they will receive their actual certificate or diploma as soon as they're signed by the board chair and college president," said Shouldice.

"For the first time since I've been in this position, the actual certificates and diplomas were in the folders received by the grads."

Shouldice said there's been a refocusing on the positive message people are sending out on post-secondary education recently. He said more people than ever before are talking about the benefits of furthering one's education.

"I'm very optimistic about the future in the Kivalliq region due to the development that's going to take place and the number of applicants we're receiving at the college.

"We hear the number of Kivalliq applicants to the Nunavut Sivuniksavut program is huge compared to the other two regions, and FANS is receiving a large number of applications from Kivalliq students also.

"That speaks well to the future of young people and families in this region.

"We could soon see a stabilization of the Nunavut workforce and that's exciting."