More than 100 Selkirk College students in the School of University Arts & Sciences (UAS) have been recognized for their outstanding achievement during the 2017-2018 academic year.
The annual UAS Excellence Awards was held earlier this month with the most outstanding students in all subject areas presented with certificates from faculty in the program.
“Students put so much of themselves into their education,” says UAS school chair Tracy Punchard. “These awards allow us to celebrate the determination, enthusiasm and curiosity that students bring to their studies”.
The UAS program provides the opportunity for students to take a variety of university-level classes in subject areas that include science, the humanities, social sciences, earth sciences, mathematics and engineering. With the advantage of small class sizes, students are able to begin working on their degrees with full transferability to post-secondary institutions across the province and across Canada.
Harman Singh was chosen to represent to the class during the ceremony at the Castlegar Campus where he spoke about the challenges he faced coming from his home in India.
“Growing up in India I thought I was an excellent student,” Singh told his peers. “My teachers thought so, my parents thought so, my friends thought so. They must be right! Even my friends used to call me a walking dictionary and I dreamed about winning a Nobel Prize.”
The second-year student explained that soon after arriving to Selkirk College in 2016, he began to struggle. With the added stress of living on his own, working a part-time job, language issues and no close friends, Singh told those gathered that he was broken inside and his marks reflected it.
“Without my perfect marks I didn’t know who I was anymore,” Singh said. “What I did know was that things needed to change. This time it wasn’t going to be easy, but I had to find a way.”
With his Canadian post-secondary graduation the ultimate goal, Singh endured.
“Asking for help was something I never had to do before and I was embarrassed, but I knew I wanted to do better,” he said. “School is still harder for me than it ever was in India, but I learned an important lesson: excellence doesn’t happen when everything is easy. It was not until I struggled that I learned what excellence really means. When we fall down, we must find a way to stand up. Failure is sometimes the path to the greatest success.”
Many of the scholars who received UAS Excellence Awards joined fellow students in all Selkirk College programs on Friday (April 27) at the Grad 2018 Ceremony on the Castlegar Campus.
Learn more about the Selkirk College School of University Arts & Sciences at: selkirk.ca/uas.