In May, 2015, NorQuest College proudly presented the first-ever President’s Medal. The highest student distinction offered by the college was presented at convocation to graduating pharmacy technician student Vanyelle Behr. Behr’s strong academic record, commitment to student citizenship, involvement in NorQuest and/or external communities, and leadership skills and behaviors were exactly the qualities needed to make the 23-year-old the winning nominee.
Vanyelle Behr at the 2015 NorQuest College Convocation
Q: Why did you choose NorQuest?
A: When I was looking into places I should attend, I liked the idea of small class sizes at NorQuest. I did attend other post-secondaries and when you go to a science class, for example, and there are 500 other students sitting in there you wonder, ‘how I am going to make friends here?’ But with NorQuest College, and the Pharmacy Technician program specifically, there were less than 20 of us so it was very easy to get involved and feel like I knew the people around me. It was also very easy to get to know my instructors, which I feel was very helpful in my studies. I felt very supported and encouraged to do my best.
Q: You showed tremendous leadership and student citizenship by always making yourself available to your classmates. Why?
A: I think that is a good way to practice being cooperative in the workplace. Especially in health care, you don’t want to be someone who goes into a workplace thinking I am going to do this by myself. I think the best way that we can provide care for people, and have the best work environment, is by working as a team. The only way to do that is to get input from other people and make sure that everyone is all on the same page and working towards the same goal. We shouldn’t try to be competitive as classmates; we should help each other. I want to see everyone succeed and go on and have successful careers.
Q: Why did you feel it was important to immerse yourself in college life?
Because it is a smaller college, I was more motivated to go to student union events and things like that just because I felt like I could participate and it would matter. Not that it wouldn’t matter elsewhere, it was just easy to get involved at NorQuest. It was also great being the class representative responsible for meeting with the program chair to discuss how the program is being delivered. I felt that my voice, which was a representation of my classmates, was really important. I learned a lot from that. By being involved you get to know everyone really, really well and I think that makes a difference as to how dedicated you are to the college.
Q: Is it correct to say that you got enjoyment out of telling people about NorQuest College?
I got to speak at the high school counsellor’s breakfast in the spring and that was really cool. I spoke to people who are talking to high school students who are in a similar situation as I was when I was in high school. You know, maybe they are not sure where they want to go, or they don’t know they want to do. Hopefully my experience, and the information I shared about NorQuest, will help them help others to make a decision of what they would like to do with their lives.
Q: Your commitment to helping extends beyond NorQuest. How?
I am very involved with my church. On Sunday’s I help provide child care so people can go to the different gospel discussions and things. But I also participate in many other service activities in the community: I help with the food bank drive annually, dropping off flyers and picking up food. And I have planned events for various church activities as well.