MSVU Valedictorian Erin-Tomlinson. (Submitted photo)

BEDFORD: Three students at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) in Bedford were among the award recipients announced on May 28.

The three—Fraser Smith of Beaver Bank; Thomas Hobbs of Fall River; and Brianna Drover of Middle Sackville—were among the 700 students who graduated MSVU during the spring 2021 virtual graduation.

Student successes celebrated

The grad celebration videos, divided by faculty, recognize the academic achievements of close to 700 students from more than 30 countries. These students have officially achieved their degrees, diplomas and certificates in arts, science, education, and professional programs, and become part of MSVU’s network of more than 35,000 alumni worldwide.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the cancellation of in-person convocation ceremonies this spring, MSVU made sure to celebrate the significant accomplishments of its 2021 spring graduates.

Each graduate received a special grad box filled with their parchment and any award(s) bestowed, along with other goodies. They will also have the opportunity to come to campus to borrow academic gowns and hoods and take photos when restrictions ease in the Halifax area.

“We are so proud of our graduates, who have taken the many challenges of the past 14 months in remarkable stride,” said Dr. Ramona Lumpkin, Interim President & Vice-Chancellor. “My hope is that, years from now, they will look back on this time and remember what got them through it: their tenacity, their resilience, and the support and kindness of others.”   

New Chancellor installed

The installation of a new Chancellor typically takes place during an in-person Convocation ceremony.

While public health restrictions prevented such an event this spring, Dr. Fitzpatrick, S.C. was able to attend campus earlier this year, and officially be installed as Chancellor.

Dr. Fitzpatrick, S.C. served as President of St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York for 25 years during which she became a recognized leader in higher education across the United States for her ability to find strategic ways to adapt to rapidly changing times.

She retired from the role of College President in June of 2020, however, remains a tenured faculty member in the fields of education, mathematics, science and religion.

Dr. Fitzpatrick, S.C. addressed the MSVU community during the installation, saying, “We are so fortunate to be part of this academic community. Let us do our best to live up to its mission. I will.

“I pledge to you to be a listener, and I will act on your behalf. Thank you for this unbelievable opportunity and this honour.”

Dr. Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick SC. (Submitted photo)

Student Awards

Valedictorian Prizes for significant contributions to extracurricular activities at MSVU and in the community-at-large were awarded to:

  • Alexandra Bromley, BScAHN (Hons)
    Hometown: Richmond, BC
  • Erin Tomlinson, MAEd
    Hometown: Minasville, NS

Governor-General’s Medals, given once per year at the undergraduate level for the highest aggregate in the final three years (15.0 units) of a degree program, as well as to the top graduating master’s student, were awarded to:

  • Fraser Mitchell Smith, BSc (Hons)
    Hometown: Beaver Bank, NS
  • Thomas James Hobbs, MEd (graduated Fall 2020)
    Hometown: Fall River, NS

The President’s Prize, awarded to graduates whose generosity, energy and commitment enriches the university, was presented to:

  • Brianna Drover, BSc (Hons)
    Hometown: Middle Sackville, NS

Membership to Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society, is based on scholarship, leadership, and service, and was presented to:

  • Noémie Bergeron-Germain, BSc (Hons)
    Hometown : Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC
  • Cassandra McDonald, MAEd
    Hometown: Dartmouth, NS

Faculty recognition

 Teaching Excellence Awards

  • President and Vice Presidents’ Advanced Career Teaching Award:
    Dr. Will Shead, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Alumni Early Career Teaching Award:
    Dr. Shannan Grant, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Human Nutrition
  • Alumni Part-time Teaching Award:
    Dr. Gregg French, Department of Political and Canadian Studies, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Department of History

Research Awards

  • Research Excellence Award:
    Dr. Bohdan Luhovyy, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Human Nutrition

Early Career Research Award:
Dr. Danielle Cox, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics