It has been a big year for Christine Alic.
In addition to celebrating her 50th birthday, the Administrative Assistant for Custodial and Grounds Services was one of several Brock employees who graduated this week.
Seven years of balancing two courses per semester and working full time at Brock finally paid off for Alic when she graduated Tuesday with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography.
“There were times I fantasized about quitting,” she said. “I worked longer hours at work so I could attend daytime classes and I was often up until two or three in the morning reading textbooks and writing papers. I was so tired and frustrated that my degree was taking so long, but I stuck with it.”
As many Brock employees do, Alic took advantage of the University’s tuition waiver, choosing to study Human Geography because of her lifelong interest in how humans and the planet affect each other.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was younger, so I didn’t go to university,” she said. “When I read some of the course outlines for Human Geography, it sounded like a whole bunch of everything I was interested in — history, politics, sociology and culture.”
As she crossed the Convocation stage, Alic felt a huge sense of accomplishment.
“It was a good feeling,” she said. “For seven years, I put everything I had into my classes. I gave up a lot of free time for my degree. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m going to have to learn to spread out my activities — I don’t have to cram in everything I want to do all at once.”
Along with Alic, several other Brock employees graduated this week.
Marion Barbas, Admissions Officer with the Registrar’s Office, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Labour Studies. She was the recipient of the Distinguished Graduating Student Award — Labour Studies, which is awarded to the student with highest major average in the Department of Labour Studies.
Barbas’ original plan of taking one general Humanities course quickly escalated after learning about Labour Studies.
“I overheard a group of students talking about how great LABR 1F90 is and how everyone should be required to take it in first year,” she said. “I declared Labour Studies as my major before the course even came to completion.”
Bryan Boles, Associate Vice-President, Ancillary Services, graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources.
Boles is thankful for the opportunity to continue his education in a university focused on experiential learning.
“I’m a big believer in continuous learning and would encourage anyone with the opportunity to keep learning,” he said.
Tyler Harrison, Club and Camp Co-ordinator for Brock Sports, graduated with a Master of Arts in Sport Management.
As a student, Harrison was instrumental in engaging the Brock Sports fan base and the ‘We Are Ready’ campaign. When asked what he plans to do with his degree, Harrison said that he’s “looking forward to continuing to pursue my passion to work in intercollegiate sport here in Canada and abroad.”
Daniel Lonergan, Senior Experiential Education Co-ordinator with Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, graduated with an MBA in Human Resources.
Lonergan plans to use his experience from the MBA program to “continue strengthening the experience for current and future MBA students from an experiential learning point of view,” he said.
Erin Plyley, Academic Advisor with the Faculty of Education and part-time instructor in the Teacher Education program, graduated with a Master of Education in Teaching, Learning and Development.
Plyley is happy and proud to be a “Badger for life,” she said.
“Starting as a Brock student and now having the opportunity to work with students on a daily basis is something I’m grateful for. I love what I do and the incredible students I have met.”
Catharine Pelletier, Senior Platoon Supervisor with Campus Security Services, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She was the recipient of the Cara Chefurka Memorial Book Prize, which is awarded to the student with the highest graduating average in Psychology at Spring Convocation.
Sarah Andrews, Communications Operator and Dispatcher with Campus Security Services, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Phil Alexander, Academic Advisor with the Student Success Centre, graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Adult Learning.
Kristen Nilsen, Change Management Co-ordinator with Human Resources, graduated with a Bachelor of Education with a specialization in Administration and Leadership in Education.
Henry Gerbrandt, Program Services Co-ordinator with the Student Success Centre, graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting with first-class standing.
Gerbrandt says that he’s “thankful for all of the support I received as a student and staff member,” he said.