NC celebrated a world of achievement on November 15 at its Fall 2018 International Student Awards Ceremony.
The event aimed to recognize the best and brightest students from around the world who have achieved remarkable academic success with averages up to 98.71%.
“If not for Niagara College, none of this would be possible as this school has given me the confidence to strive forward and be the best that I can be,” said Helen McNish from the United Kingdom, who won the highest Grade Point Average among international students from the School of Justice and Fitness Studies.
McNish said she was honoured to receive this award multiple times throughout her time in the Fitness and Health Promotion program, and considers it a testament to NC staff and faculty who encourage students to strive to achieve their goals. She also expressed pride in having the opportunity to attend NC and excel in her studies.
“I believe Niagara College has given me the foundation to achieve all of my dreams in life,” she said.
After graduation, McNish hopes to pursue a Kinesiology degree through NC’s Fitness and Health Promotion bridging articulation with Brock University. Ultimately, she would like to pursue a career in the healthcare field as she strongly believes helping people will be a rewarding and worthwhile career choice.
McNish was one of 18 students recognized from across all of NC’s schools of study. The ceremony saw more than $12,500 in scholarships awarded due to the generous contributions of NC’s donors.
“My biggest motivation is my family,” said Minglu Sun from China, who was awarded the highest GPA among international students from the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport. She attributed her educational accomplishments to her upbringing.
“My mom has very high standards and taught me how to behave both at school and at work,” said Sun.
After studying in the Hospitality and Hotel Restaurant Operation program in the fall of 2012, she completed the Wine Business Management program during the winter of 2018, and is now in her third program at NC. She is also working as a student assistant at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.
In addition to recognizing the top GPAs in each School of Study, Guard.me, the provider of international student insurance coverage, awarded the Keith Segal – Guard.Me scholarship to five international students with the top GPAs.
The prestigious Dr. Mary Kilmer Tchalekian scholarship was awarded to Vasco de Castro Ferraz Neto. Originally from Brazil, this Computer Programmer student excels in academics and community involvement and is someone who strives to make a difference in the community.
He has not only demonstrated academic excellence throughout his program with an overall average of 94.50%, he also has created a group with his wife that assists Brazilians when they first arrive in Canada. Beginning with 10 members in 2017, the group has expanded to reach 177 incoming Brazilians and includes a website he designed to introduce Brazilian to the Niagara region.
Family is the biggest motivation for Castro Ferraz Neto, who noted that he is driven to be successful at NC in order to provide a better life for his family. He said that being awarded the Dr. Mary Kilmer Tchalekian scholarship further inspires him to continuously give his best in the upcoming terms of his program.
“It means so much to be awarded this scholarship because I come from a country with a different culture and a different language; I had to study a lot to start to speak English and worked very hard to be where I am today,” he said. “To be recognized for my work at Niagara College is something I never have imagined was possible.”
NC’s International Awards Ceremony is an annual event that strives to recognize the positive impact of international students who demonstrate academic excellence and contribute to the Niagara College community, and encourage students to achieve their dreams.