Courtesy of the Mount Saint Vincent University

(L-R) Mount President Dr. Ramona Lumpkin and Dr. Joan Glode. Photo by MSVU

Halifax – On October 28, more than 340 students graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University (the Mount) with a wide range of degrees in Arts, Science, Education, and professional programs.

The Mount bestowed honourary degrees on distinguished leaders in human rights and medicine. Dr. Joan Glode and Dr. Margaret Casey each addressed graduating students during their respective ceremonies.

Dr. Casey urged graduates not to stand on the sidelines of life, but to consider their individual responsibility to use the tools they have acquired to make positive change in the world. “Whatever you can give matters,” she said. “Each of us has a role. Opportunity for changes exists in each career path.”

Dr. Glode, sharing powerful life stories of several Mi’kmaq teens she has worked with during her career, spoke of the need for every individual to have a clear sense of belonging and identity. Canada, she said, is an aboriginal country and collectively “we need to do things in new and different ways” in order to deepen our sense of belonging and connection to our roots.

Fall convocation also marked a number of “firsts” for the Mount. Dr. Sheila A. Brown, President of the Mount from 1996-2006, was named the Mount’s first President Emerita for her exceptionally distinguished service to the University during her term in office. The University recognized its first graduates from the Bachelor of Science (Science Communication) program, a unique degree blending science and communication studies.

Finally, Halima Abdille, the University’s first World University Services of Canada (WUSC)-sponsored refugee student from Somalia, graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Student awards were also handed out during the ceremonies. Dayle Eshelby (Lockeport, NS), who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Peace and Conflict Studies), came away with a number of prizes, including the Valedictorian Prize, the President’s Prize, and the Kappa Gamma Pi award.

Jennifer Whytock of Dartmouth, a graduate of Master of Education (Curriculum Studies) program, was awarded the day’s second Valedictorian Prize.

The President’s Prize, awarded to a graduate whose generosity, energy and commitment enriches the University, was also presented to Christin Terakita, Master of Arts (Family Studies and Gerontology), Calgary, AB.

An additional Kappa Gamma Pi award, for scholarship, leadership and service, was presented to Nicole Lawrence, Bachelor of Public Relations, Halifax, NS.

Senate Awards of Distinction recognize students who graduate with distinction and with the highest aggregate in their diploma or bachelor program and were awarded to:

  • Beth Baker, Master of Education (Literacy Education), Jeddore, NS;
  • Thea Brown, Master of Arts (Family Studies and Gerontology), Vancouver, BC;
  • Meghan Fisher, Master of Arts (School Psychology), Bathurst, NB;
  • Melissa Russwurm, Master of Public Relations, Steeves Mountain, NB; and
  • Marissa Van Engelen, Master of Science (Applied Human Nutrition), Port Franks, ON.

The Graduate Thesis Award is a special award presented to a student who has completed a thesis of exceptional quality, and was presented to Thea Brown, Master of Arts (Family Studies and Gerontology), Vancouver, BC.

About Mount Saint Vincent University

Recognized as a leader in flexible education, applied research, and a personalized approach to education, Mount Saint Vincent University has been nationally recognized among undergraduate universities in Canada for our success in Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grants and for having one of the lowest student-to-professor ratios. The Mount is committed to providing the best university experience for all members of our community and to developing thoughtful, engaged citizens who make a positive impact on their world. For additional information about the University, visit

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