Category: Convocation

BEAD Convocation Prize Fall convocation

Jillian Durham, BEAD’22

The Bachelor of Education After Degree (BEAD) Convocation Prize was established by the Faculty of Education to encourage and recognize BEAD students. The BEAD Convocation prize is awarded to the most distinguished graduate, with an overall internship rating of “Outstanding” and the highest grade point average in the program.

Congratulations to Jillian Marie Durham, Bachelor of Education with Great Distinction

Jillian Durham completed her degree through the Yukon Native Teach Education Program with a grade point average of 94.76%. Jillian was also a recipient of the Academic Silver Scholarship in fall 2021. She has lived in Whitehorse, Yukon from the age of 8, spending much of her time at the piano. During high school, she maintained a private music studio, teaching beginner students. Durham has a Bachelor of Music degree from Mount Allison University. Upon completion of her degree, she continued private teaching in Whitehorse where she realized that she had a deep desire to be a school teacher. Durham has also been the musical director of two major productions involving youth, and has been a leading lady for the Frantic Follies as well as the House Manager. She was accompanist and vocal coach for the Cafe de Voix, a showcase for local vocalists, as well.

One memorable accomplishment in her final term of her after degree was the opportunity to present an aesthetic response to learning. Durham was able to use her musical literacy in a meaningful way, which not only allowed for her own deeper learning, but also gave opportunity for her classmates to learn more about her passions and background. This empowering experience is one that she will keep at the forefront as she enters the K- 12 teaching field. Jillian started a temporary position in Whitehorse, Yukon and is pleased to put into practice the lessons she has learned.

Convocation prize recipients

Brittney Leitner (BEd’22) with President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen and Associate Dean Dr. Alayne Armstrong at the convocation ceremony June 2022

At each University of Regina Convocation ceremony, the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation (STF) awards a prize to the most distinguished student of the graduating class in the Faculty of Education who does not hold another degree.

Recipient: Brittney Elizabeth Leitner, Bachelor of Education in Arts Education with Great Distinction

Over the course of Brittney’s degree, she was the recipient of 15 scholarships and awards, most notably the Academic Silver Scholarship (2020 Fall), the UR Guarantee Leadership Award (2020 Winter), and the Margaret Messer Undergraduate Scholarship in Arts Education (2021 Fall). Brittney completed her degree with an overall average of 91.14%. Her passion for the arts, teaching, and social justice led her into Arts Education and inspires her to create inclusive and creative learning environments for every student she is fortunate to meet. During her time at the University of Regina, Brittney enjoyed her work as the President and Founder of the student-lead Arts Education Association and her involvement as the undergraduate student representative on the University Strategic Plan Facilitation Team. Brittney will be continuing her studies in the fall, taking her M.A. in Arts Education at the University of British Columbia.

Emily Nishikawa, BEAD’22

The Bachelor Of Education After Degree (BEAD) Convocation Prize was established by the Faculty of Education to encourage and recognize BEAD students. The BEAD Convocation prize is awarded to the most distinguished graduate, with an overall internship rating of “Outstanding” and the highest grade point average in the program.

Recipient: Emily Keira Nishikawa, Bachelor of Education (YNTEP) with Great Distinction

Emily grew up in Whitehorse, where she especially enjoyed cross country skiing with her family – even going on to represent Canada in two Winter Olympic Games. After retiring from competitive skiing and receiving a degree in Psychology, two primary school teachers influenced Emily’s choice to return to the Yukon where she enrolled in the Bachelor of Education After Degree program with Yukon University. Her personal highlight of the YNTEP program was the outdoor education experience during her practicums and taking her students on multi-day camping trips in the beautiful Yukon wilderness.

Emily was also the recipient of the Academic Gold Scholarship in fall 2021 and completed her degree with an overall average of 94.61%.

Congratulations Class of 2021 (Fall)

Congratulations to the #UREDu Class of 2021! We are proud of you and your accomplishment! We wish you all future successes.

We also recognize our Faculty award recipients:

Thor Stewart, graduating with Great Distinction, and recipient of the Bachelor of Education After Degree convocation prize.

Bushra Kainat, graduating with Distinction with her Baccalauréat en éducation secondaire, and recipient of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Award

Join the celebration! Watch the Fall 2021 Convocation via Facebook livestream on today at 2 p.m

Virtual Celebration of our Faculty of Education Undergrads Graduands

Attn: Faculty of Education Spring 2020 Undergraduate Graduands:

In light of the recent cancellation of the U of R’s Spring 2020 Convocation due to Covid-19, the Faculty of Education would like to showcase our graduates through an online collage or slideshow/video (Virtual Celebration) that will be posted to our Education News blog and our social media.

Graduands who have had their grad photo taken by Camera One photo: We are purchasing the permission to use a low resolution digital photo of you that is for web-viewing only, not suitable for printing, in the slideshow (any reproduction would constitute copyright infringement). We will need your permission to use this image in the Virtual Celebration. Please download the Generic-Model-Release-Form fill it in and email it to by April 18, 2020. Extended to May 31, 2020.

If you can’t complete the form due to software issues, send your written permission to the same address. We will not be able to include you unless we receive permission.

If you are graduating in Spring 2020 but didn’t get your photo done through Camera One, but would like to be included in the Virtual Celebration, please email a digital photo of yourself with your first and last name to

We are proud of your achievement and extend our congratulations to each of you for the hard work that you have done to reach this milestone.

GDI celebrates 3rd cohort of Master of Education grads

By James Oloo, Research Coordinator, Gabriel Dumont Institute

It seems like yesterday when 25 individuals gathered together at Gabriel Dumont Institute in Prince Albert to start their first day of a two-year Community-based Master of Education class. Exactly two years later, the same individuals gathered at Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club to celebrate the completion of their studies.

Congratulations to our third graduating cohort, the Class of 2019, which includes Joanne Berg; Jennifer Brown; Caitlin Crawford- Morley; Suzanne DePeel; Heather Carter; Darcie Eschyschyn; Amanda L. Fisher; Joel Hamilton; Tristan Hayunga; Elisa Hryniuk; Leanne Jordan; Joseph Kaufhold; Kari Korczak; Lazar Lafleur; Rebecca Lafond; Jodi Lentendre; Tracy Mckay; Bonnie Novotny; Rayanne Patterson; Kristin Pawliw; Christine Quennelle; Angela K. J. Rancourt; Shauna St. Amand; Robyn Stanford; and Megan Walsh.

To celebrate their achievements, Gabriel Dumont Institute held a reception for the graduates and their loved ones on July 25, 2019, where we had a number of faculty and staff who have been integral to the program’s development express their congratulations to the graduates.

Almost all the graduates are teachers at schools in the Prince Albert Area. Many knew each other or had common friends before they came to Gabriel Dumont Institute. When asked what they liked about the program, which is offered by Gabriel Dumont Institute in partnership with the University of Regina, many of the graduates mentioned “smaller classes” and the “cohort system,” in which the whole class start the program together and graduate together as a group. One said, “We have been a family for the past two years. I have learned a lot from my classmates. Even after graduation, we will maintain a strong professional learning network.”

Suzanne DePeel described the Master of Education program as “Amazing!” Caitlin Crawford-Morley pointed out that because the program is offered at an area with a big Indigenous population, “it has provided me with a culturally responsive pedagogy that not only benefits me, but will also enable my students to be successful.”

Megan Walsh liked the fact that the program is offered locally in Prince Albert thus expanding access for students who are working as they don’t have to travel or leave work to enroll in the program. Megan asserted,

“The program used instructional scaffolding technique which involved breaking down learning objectives for each class into manageable steps, and providing adequate support throughout the programs.”

The program employs a cohort-based system which enables students, usually bachelor of education degree holders who are working as teachers, to take same classes together. The focus in cohorts allows for students to think independently and engage in innovative learning while the continuity it presents could result in more effective supports and success for students. The Class of 2019 included a cohort of 25 students who started the program in the summer of 2017. They all plan to attend the fall 2019 convocation at the University of Regina later this year.

The Master of Education program head Michael Relland congratulated the graduates and thanked families and friends who were in the audience for their “support, sacrifice, and guidance,” noting that he was “so proud of this program and seeing the students grow and develop. We have always believed in the importance of making a positive change for ourselves, our students, and our country as we take steps towards reconciliation.”

The fourth cohort of 24 students commenced the Master of Education program in July 2019. As we congratulate the graduating class, we would like to extend a warm welcome to the Class of 2021 and wish them well in their studies.

Just over 70 students have graduated from the Master of Education program to date. While the program is relatively new, Gabriel Dumont Institute has played an important role in advancing Indigenous teacher education in Saskatchewan since its own founding 40 years ago. The Institute’s Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP), offered in Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert in partnership with the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, has graduated more than 1,300 Indigenous teachers. And, in the fall of 2019, the inaugural class of the newly established Northern Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP) – to be delivered by Gabriel Dumont Institute in partnership with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band – will start their studies in Air Ronge, Saskatchewan.

Reposted with permission from

Convocation 2019 Gallery

Congratulations to our Class of 2019 spring graduates. All the best in your future endeavours!

Félicitations à nos diplômées et diplômés Classe de 2019!

Grad student recipient of Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal

Congratulations to Dr. Joanne Weber, recipient of the Spring 2019 Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal for outstanding academic achievement by a graduate student. Weber is receiving a Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a grade point average of 89.83 per cent. Weber completed her course work, project, and dissertation within four and a half years while also working full-time for the Regina Public School Board as the only deaf teacher of deaf students in the province. Supervised by Dr. Fatima Pirbhai-Illich, Dr. Weber’s PhD dissertation is titled, “Becoming Deaf in the Posthuman Era: Posthumanism, Arts-based Research.” Her defense was so outstanding that she was offered a position with an international research consortium housed at the University of British Columbia.


Click on image to download the Q&A with Dr. Joanne Weber