ENGAP celebrates 2019 grads, largest graduation group in program history
On March 28, 2019, graduating Engineering Indigenous Access Program (ENGAP) students joined with family, friends, members from the faculty community and industry to celebrate their accomplishments and their pending graduation from the Faculty of Engineering.
This year, 10 students will graduate (the largest in program history) from both First Nations and the Métis Nation. The graduates include: Kyler Allard (Civil Engineering with co-op option), Brendan Butler (Civil Engineering with co-op option and management minor), Brenden Carlson (Mechanical Engineering), Joshua Hodgson (Civil Engineering), Christopher Kemp (Mechanical Engineering with aerospace option), Nicole Lambert (Electrical Engineering with co-op option and communications systems focus), Keith Lamoureux (Civil Engineering), Eric Malo (Electrical Engineering), Sam Marriott (Computer Engineering), and Trevor Rusk (Mechanical Engineering with co-op option).
Each of the graduates was presented with a gift from the ENGAP office and a tribute speech to each of them was delivered by Randy Herrman, Director of ENGAP, and Diana Klassen, Undergraduate Coordinator. Eight of the Métis students received a red Métis sash from the Manitoba Métis Federation which was woven with various colours, each representing a different point in time for the nation. Each of the two First Nations grads received a small pair of moccasins.
The evening provided an opportunity for students to offer their thanks to the ENGAP Program, many of whom presented staff with gifts as tokens of appreciation for their support along their engineering journey. The evening also featured entertainment by Derek Hotomani & The Buffalo Red Thunder Singers who performed a number songs and dances and told stories on the history of the songs and dances and what it means for their culture and heritage.
Josh Hodgson said that ENGAP was more than just a support service, but rather provided him with a place to call home while at the University. “The ENGAP community has become a second family to me, the support network available both through the staff and through my peers has been instrumental in finishing my degree. Because of support received within ENGAP, including resume building and employer outreach, I have secured full-time employment starting soon after my final exam.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Eric Malo an electrical engineering grad who will begin work immediately following exams at Nutrien in Rocanville, Saskatchewan as an electrical automation engineer.
“I have always felt tremendous support by ENGAP, and [graduation ceremony] only provided more proof that ENGAP goes above and beyond to support its’ students. The staff are always available to talk and help work through struggles that accompany pursuing post-secondary education. I thought many times about quitting or changing paths, but the ENGAP staff have always encouraged me and kept me motivated.”
The Faculty of Engineering is proud to host ENGAP, the most successful of its kind in Canada, and hopes to continue to grow the program in the years to come.