Convocation 2007 – Graduate Interviews, Part 2 of 3

This is the second of a three-part Voice series featuring interviews with some of AU’s 2007 graduates.

For many graduates, convocation weekend was the first time they had seen the beautiful grounds and buildings of the AU campus, and they attended the ceremonies from places near and far, including Calgary, Alberta, and El Paso, Texas.

The Voice would like to offer its sincere congratulations to all of this year’s graduates, and knows that their accomplishments will encourage all those students who are still completing their studies at AU.

Darlene Peacock
Master of Health Studies

Darlene is pictured here with her granddaughter Mercades.

Darlene completed her Master of Health Studies over six years, and it was her perseverance that led to her success in the program.

She drew on that experience to offer encouragement to students who are still in the program, and her words of advice are to ?stay with it, persevere, and don’t give up.?

She travelled from Enoch Cree Nation near Edmonton to attend the graduation ceremony, and The Voice caught up to her and her granddaughter Mercades as they were enjoying the beautiful Athabasca campus and preparing for convocation to begin.

Darlene plans to continue on her current career path as a program liaison officer with Health Canada, and will put her degree to good use in that role.

Congratulations, Darlene!

William DeGagne
Master of Business Administration in Project Management

William began his studies in the Master of Business Administration’s Project Management stream in 2004 and completed the program in 2007, just over two and a half years.

He travelled from Winnipeg with his partner and mother to attend convocation and, as he donned his robe and waited for the graduate line-up to form, expressed surprise that the big day had arrived so quickly.

His advice to current students is to enjoy their studies and their time at AU, because ?it goes by so fast. It’s a wonderful journey and It’s a lot of fun, and It’s hard to believe It’s over.?

William currently works as a project manager in the consulting industry in Winnipeg, and knows that his degree will open up many more possibilities to him in the field.

Congratulations, William!

Elaine Clark
Master of Nursing

For her graduation from the Master of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner stream, Elaine enjoyed a family reunion along with the convocation ceremony: she was accompanied by her husband and son, her mother, and her brother and his family.

She travelled from beautiful Gabriola Island, B.C., and says of her AU experience that she ?really, really loved the fact that I could do my Masters online from a little island, and not have to travel or commute anywhere to do it. Otherwise I would have had to uproot my whole family. So my family got to stay on Gabriola Island and work and live, and I got to do what I wanted to do. It was the best of both worlds.?

Elaine completed her program in three and a half years on a part-time basis, and advises current students to ?buy a good computer. A good computer and a good printer.?

After convocation, she is looking forward to putting her degree to good use in the field as a nurse practitioner soon.

Congratulations, Elaine!

Karin Kratz
Bachelor of Administration

Karin lives in Comox, Vancouver Island, and had some inspiring words of advice for current AU students: ?If you believe you can do it, you can.?

She stressed the importance of enjoying the learning process itself and not worrying about the time it requires.

Karin originally started taking courses through AU in 1979. She took a 20-year hiatus and then returned to her studies, and as she said, ?here I am. So it can be done.?

An employee with the Department of National Defence, Karin doesn’t have specific plans for immediately after convocation, but believes that ?being able to complete the course in itself is monumental. The building of self-esteem that comes from being able to do it is important.?

She believes that ?the degrees themselves are of course helpful later on in life . . . but they are secondary? to the actual insight and knowledge gained.

Congratulations, Karin!

Samantha Fuhr
Bachelor of Professional Arts, Criminal Justice with great distinction

Samantha is pictured here with Ahmed Taha.

Samantha travelled from Edmonton to receive her Bachelor of Professional Arts in Criminal Justice.

For Samantha, one of the best things about completing her degree at Athabasca was having a convenient schedule.

She enjoyed being able to work at her own pace, and when asked what words of advice she has for current AU students she noted that she tends to procrastinate, and that she had to learn to overcome that in order to succeed in her distance studies.

Currently, she is employed with the City of Edmonton, but has plans to continue her education. She has recently been accepted to a university in Spokane, Washington, for a Master of Arts program.

Congratulations, Samantha!

Watch for more graduate interviews next week!

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