Healthcare community services the focus of June 18 convocation ceremonies

Kevin Smith CEO of the Niagara Health System and president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health System receives an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies at Niagara College’s morning convocation ceremony on June 18.


Niagara College’s group of alumni is now 750 stronger after day two of its 2014 Spring Convocation Ceremonies on June 18.

The morning ceremony featuring convocation speaker Kevin Smith celebrated new graduates from the College’s School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies. Smith CEO of Niagara Health System and president and CEO of Joseph’s Health System spoke of the vocation they have chosen to pursue in healthcare.

“In most healthcare systems around the world the root of great quality care or healthcare services is recognizing that we are in a position of honour and privilege to help those in need” he said. 

Smith pointed out the importance human interaction with the patients and to see through the eyes of the patients they serve even in their darkest moments.

“Science with compassion is what really defines amazing healthcare” said Smith who received an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies during the ceremony. 

The afternoon ceremony celebrated graduates from the College’s School of Community Services. Guest speaker Katherine Chislett commissioner Community Services Niagara Region passed on secrets of success to the new graduates.

“Your diploma matters but not only for reasons you think it does … you have learned how to learn” said Chislett who received an Honorary Diploma in Community and Health Studies during the ceremony. 

Social Service Worker graduate Ron Romeo 43 received the Governor General’s Academic Medal for earning the highest average at the College with a 97.95% GPA. He recalled the challenges of going back to school as a mature student.

“When I started this program it had been almost 21 years since I had graduated from the College my first time around. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to handle the workload – assignments exams even sitting through a lecture” he said “Well I surprised myself and today… here I stand as a graduate.” 

He noted that his daughter Caryss was always his inspiration. “Not only support her financially but to show her the importance of helping others and the value in helping to better the community that we live in.” he said.

Education advocate Lillian Montour who is the chair of NC’s Aboriginal Educational Management Circle was the recipient of the Niagara Award presented to an individual whose contribution to life in the Niagara region is exceptional and who combines service innovation and the ability to significantly improve the lives of the people in the community. Montour is a strong advocate in education and a leader in the Six Nations community. She is also the longest-serving chair of Niagara College’s Educational Management Circle which is a community-based advisory group that provides the college with advice and direction on our aboriginal programs services and partnerships.

More than 3800 students will graduate this week during the college’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies which will continue until Friday June 20 with a roster of distinguished speakers including Christina Milan vice chair Niagara Industrial Association and founder MBS Quality Consultants (June 19 10 a.m.); Michael Smith celebrity chef Food Network Host (June 19 3 p.m.); Bill Blair chief of the Toronto Police Service (June 20 10 a.m.); and Paul Lemieux host MUCH (June 20 3 p.m.). 

This Spring Convocation Ceremonies will mark the first-ever classes to graduate from Sport Management (June 19 3 p.m.) Culinary Innovation and Food Technology (June 19 3 p.m.) and Game Development (June 20 3 p.m.).




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