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NWCC grads all-round excellence gets recognized

TERRACE Two Northwest Community College (NWCC) students now studying at the University of Northern British Columbia are among 100 deserving winners of a $5,000 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship from the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society. The scholarships are awarded annually to undergraduate students who have completed two years at a public post-secondary institution in BC and are transferring to another degree-granting institution in the province to complete their degrees. Courtney Berdan and Scott van Dyk are the NWCC recipients this year. Berdan completed an Associate Degree in Science at NWCC and has transferred that credential to the Integrated Science Degree program at UNBC in Terrace. Keeping very busy during this winter semester, Berdan continues her studies at NWCC, completing her requirements for an Associate Degree in Arts Archaeological & Cultural Resource Management Specialization and the Environmental Geoscience Specialization of the Associate Degree in Science. A resident of Smithers for the last three years, Berdan says she practically stumbled into post-secondary studies. She was going to take a First-Aid course when her curiosity was piqued by a University Credit (UC) course being offered at NWCC Smithers Campus. The course was Anthropology of Religion and, according to Berdan, it was really good. She was hooked on academia. Not only has Berdan embraced post-secondary education, she has flourished. In order to be considered for the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship, undergraduate students must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 or 87.5 per cent for 54 credits completed and have demonstrated service to their school and/or community to receive the $5,000 scholarships. Berdan has returned to Ontario, where shes from, each summer for the last 10 years to work at a kids camp. As for her career goals, Berdan has a simple, yet undefined goal: I want to play outside and I want someone to pay me to do it! NWCC Business Administration diploma program graduate van Dyk, meanwhile has transferred his NWCC credential directly to third year of the Bachelor of Commerce degree program at UNBC in Prince George. Van Dyk excelled academically during his two years at NWCC, which included a six-week exchange program to Qingdao, China in spring 2011. With a stated career goal of being a federal politician, van Dyk has logged plenty of volunteer time linked to his ambition. These include volunteering with the BC Youth Parliament, Model United Nations, Universities Model Parliament and an Adventures in Citizenship program with Rotary International in Ottawa. He has also worked as an election campaign volunteer at the municipal and provincial level. Thanks to the scholarship, van Dyk says hes been able to travel and compete in the JDC West Business Competition in Edmontonwhich his UNBC team wonand a few Western Canadian University debate tournaments in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. The scholarships are funded from the returns on a $15 million endowment established by the province in 2006. The fund is named after the founder of Slocan Forest Products Ltd. who is a philanthropist who has donated generously to education and research projects in British Columbia. I'm so pleased that our government is able to partner with the Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarship Society to enhance the experience of our students by giving them this opportunity to further their studies and share experiences, said Naomi Yamamoto, BC Minister of Advanced Education. The Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society works in partnership with the Victoria Foundation to manage a series of scholarship and education award programs that support B.C. students attending public post-secondary institutions both throughout the province and outside the country. To date, the society has awarded more than $3.5 million in scholarships.

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