Owen Sound Practical Nursing graduate wins 2013/2014 Governor General’s Medal
October 21, 2014

Hard work and dedication have paid off for Practical Nursing graduate Karin Stockwell. She has won the 2013/2014 Governor General’s Academic Medal at Georgian College.

The annual award recognizes the graduating student with the highest academic performance at Georgian. President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes presented Stockwell with her medal during convocation ceremonies at the Owen Sound Campus on Oct. 16.

More than 3,000 graduates from more than 70 programs were considered for the award.

“This year’s recipient aspired to become a nurse in order to help people. Karin is a true people person, someone who is very caring, positive and helpful. She never became discouraged when faced with obstacles, but instead viewed them as opportunities to learn and grow,” said Marion Lougas, Principal, Owen Sound Campus.

As a single mother, Stockwell raised and home-schooled her two special-needs sons while attending Georgian. She earned an overall graduating average of 97.7 per cent in the Practical Nursing program.

Stockwell said that winning the award was “such a beautiful surprise.”

“I had done fairly well at school before but something more was driving me this time around. I felt as if I owed it to my future patients who would put their trust in me to come away from school with as comprehensive knowledge as possible. If I didn’t learn something, it could impact someone’s life someday,” she said.

Stockwell worked hard in her Georgian classes and at times it was a struggle, but, she says she was “extraordinarily blessed” to be surrounded by caring people who helped her every step of the way. Her parents drove from three hours away to look after her children on PD days; her sons quizzed her for tests in the car; neighbours babysat so she could attend classes; and people from her church and her community would drop off cards with money in them or make casseroles for dinner. As well, her teachers and classmates provided much encouragement during tough times.

The award, she said, “really belongs to a long list of people who came through for me when I needed it most.”

“This award is just so affirming. It lets me show my sons how hard work and dedication pay off in the end – not always with an award, but with recognition of some kind. The effort is always worth it,” she said.