Spotlight on NorQuest Learners at the Shine Awards

May 5, 2023

Spotlight on NorQuest Learners at the Shine Awards

Since 2001, the Shine Awards have recognized students who have been selected by instructors for their thoughtful contributions to the classroom and to NorQuest as a whole. $1.2 million has since been raised in scholarships, assistance and program funds for NorQuest learners.  

On May 3rd, 35 learners were recognized at the Edmonton campus. In addition, tribute awards created in honour of NorQuest’s special friends and groups were distributed. The Shine Awards were given out by the Deans of the various Faculties. The award categories spanned from those recognizing learners who demonstrate positive attitudes towards assistive technology, to awards sponsored by the student’s association (SANQC) for learners who started clubs that answered student needs.  

Jonathan Robb, the Vice President of Learner Experience opened the ceremony, which was the first in-person gathering since Covid-19 limited interactions. In honouring Treaty 6, Jonathan noted “These learners are the next builders of our communities, and our country.”   

Here are a few uplifting recipients who shared their feelings with us:  

Tuttugne Addis is studying Disability Studies. Before starting her program at NorQuest, she was a Community Support Worker. Previously, in 2009, Tuttugne took up a Health Care Aide program at NorQuest College, and she appreciated the inclusive environment, and that it was a supportive environment. Tuttugne hopes to use her skills and experience to become a voice and advocate for persons with disabilities.  

Rebecca Ryan was recognized by SANQC for taking initiative and starting the student club for the Therapeutic Recreation profession. Her best friend recommended the program at NorQuest to her. Megan notes the small classes and supportive environment at NorQuest helped her find her purpose. She started the club as she wanted to be a voice for other students. Rebecca got accepted to Lethbridge for a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and wants to continue being an advocate for the profession.  

Sarah McGaw came back to school as a retired makeup artist and signed up for academic upgrading at NorQuest. She made the decision after learning that she had grown up with undiagnosed ADHD. Sarah shared that she enjoyed peer-sharing, especially personal response essays where she could flex her writing skills.  

Sahijdeep Singh was recognized for helping and explaining difficult concepts to his peers. Sahijdeep is graduating from the Machine Learning program. Hailing from Punjab, India, Sahijdeep's interest in new technology drew him to apply to NorQuest College. Sahijdeep hopes to become a Data Scientist. Sahijdeep is happy for the Shine Award recognition as it means he is on the right path for his desired career.  

Aidan Wadden-Lynk (featured above) is an FBET student and winner of the Terence Choo Prize. The award was presented by Terence's mother. Aidan is known by his peers for being helpful. Aidan sits on the Dean’s advisory committee promoting neurodiversity. Aidan previously completed a diploma in HR in 2018 and was drawn to NorQuest’s smaller sizes, commitment to inclusion and accomodative supports.  He shared his hope to eventually enrol for a Master's degree, and to teach economics and finance (possibly at NorQuest!). 

“I’m really happy and honoured to receive this award. It’s motivation to work harder,” says Aidan, who hails from Cape Breton, NS.  

Jane Rosales is known by classmates and instructors as 'Smile' because of her positive and cheerful nature. Jane is a first-year Energy Management student and a recipient of an Academic Excellence award in addition to her Shine Award. Jane's background in the solar industry in Singapore inspired her search for further education. With less than 10 schools in Canada offering Energy Management, the draw for Jane was the diversity in the program at NorQuest. As part of the second batch of graduating Energy Management students, Jane expressed her desire to make an impact in her work through promoting sustainability, such as through developing hydrogen-electric vehicles. She also noted that she would love to teach sustainability principles to other post-secondary students.  

Megan Wright is an online student who is completing a qualification in Therapeutic Recreation. Megan actually discovered NorQuest while attending to a call at the Edmonton campus as a paramedic. Now a retired firefighter, Megan shared that she heard good things about NorQuest and Googled the Therapeutic Recreation program and decided to apply. After she is done, she plans to go to Lethbridge for her degree to become a registered Recreation Therapist. She wants to use her studies to do research and help first responders overcome PTSD.  
Congratulations to all the NorQuest learners and special thanks to their instructors who recognized their special contributions.