Two convocation ceremonies were held for Red Deer College graduates at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre on Friday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Red Deer College grads ready for ‘next chapter’

Looking ahead to careers in their chosen fields

Red Deer College graduates say they are ready for their next challenge.

On Friday, about 600 of the 1,668 eligible grads donned caps and gowns for convocation ceremonies at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Jordanna Cota, a new registered nurse, said she was “freaking pumped” to graduate from her home town college.

“I’m just ready to move on to the next chapter. Make money. Do things other than spend my money on textbooks, and not have my head in the books as well,” Cota said.

“As much as people say going to work every day sucks, I think it’s very exciting to work toward other things, like travel and family, events. Move on,” said Cota, who has a job on the surgical trauma unit at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Fellow RN graduate Catherine Geary, from northern Alberta, said she was also excited and proud to be receiving her diploma.

“I’ll probably cry,” said Geary, who was blinking back tears before the ceremony.

“I’m excited to start working. I went to school for four years, and now I’m excited to put all that knowledge and experience into being an RN,” said Geary, who will be working at Ponoka Hospital and on unit 23 at Red Deer hospital.

Geary and Cota were preparing for convocation with two more friends graduating from the nursing program.

Hope Skocdopole, of Big Valley, said the four will definitely stay in touch.

Skocdopole, who is working at Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, fast-tracked her studies to finish six months ago, and said coming back for graduation with her friends has been fun.

She said there are nursing jobs no matter where you look, although sometimes, it might not be exactly what you want.

“As a new grad, I think we’re set up pretty well to go wherever we want eventually,” Skocdopole said.

Alexis Lavis-Williams, of Lloydminster, Sask., who works on unit 23 and the pediatrics unit in Red Deer, said the size of the city, and RDC, were a good fit for her.

“I heard lots of good things about Red Deer College and their nursing program, so I chose it,” said Lavis-Williams, whose sisters lived in Red Deer.

“I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t in nursing. Ever since I was a little kid, I said I was going to be a nurse. Glad it happened and we’re here,” said Lavis-Williams while taking photos with her friends.


Lyn Radford receives honorary degree at Red Deer College convocation ceremonies

WATCH: Red Deer College graduates look to future at convocation

Kira Kirkland, of Edmonton, who graduated as an actor from the motion picture arts program, said she heard about the program from a past graduate who had a great experience at RDC. But receiving her diploma was kind of surreal, said Kirkland.

“It’s been four years leading up to this, and now it’s finally here. I was kind of in awe,” said Kirkland, who now lives in Calgary and has an agent.

“In Calgary, there’s a fair amount happening. Vancouver and Toronto have lots happening. People are enjoying coming to film in Canada in general, so things are definitely starting to pick up in the film and television industry,” Kirkland said.

Philip Neustaeter, who graduated with a legal assistant diploma, said the program was awesome, and he now has some job interviews lined up.

“Everyone in the legal profession says Red Deer College’s program is better than any other program in Alberta,” said Neustaeter, of La Crete, Alta.

“I was interested in maybe becoming a lawyer and I thought this would be a good start towards that.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Nursing graduates Catherine Geary, Hope Skocdopole, Jordanna Cota and Alexis Lavis-Williams were among the RDC graduates who took part in convocation ceremonies on Friday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

Former Red Deer teacher gets six-year prison sentence for child sexual exploitation

Norman Joseph Howes pleads guilty to three charges against 11-year-old

Central Alberta ranchers reeling from China’s beef ban

Disappointed beef is caught up in latest trade dispute

Red Deer Public School District doesn’t expect funding ‘doom and gloom’

Red Deer Public School administrators aren’t panicking over possible education budget cuts… Continue reading

Busts lead to four arrests, $130,000 of drugs and cash seized

Community is safer without drugs and guns on the street: Police inspector

Goalie Roberto Luongo retires after 19 NHL seasons

SUNRISE, Fla. — Florida goalie Roberto Luongo has decided to retire after… Continue reading

Europe, you’re up! Yankees top Blue Jays 8-7, head to London

Yankees 8 Blues Jays 7 NEW YORK — Buckingham Palace and Westminster… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake spending $2 million to upgrade busy intersection

The intersection at Erickson Drive and Hwy 20 will see improvements this construction season

Longtime volunteer recognized at Mayor’s Garden Party

Sue Barthel was the honorary senior recognized at the annual Mayor’s Garden… Continue reading

Maskwacis youth found dead on reserve

The remains of 16 year old Houston Omeasoo found

Duncan announces $30 million to promote safety and inclusiveness in sport

TORONTO — The federal government is investing $30 million over five years… Continue reading

Raptors president Ujiri addresses rare off-court issues during NBA title run

TORONTO — Even a championship can come with hiccups. Toronto Raptors president… Continue reading

Mouse that roared: Disney characters win local union shakeup

ORLANDO, Fla. — The mouse that roared was heard. Months after workers… Continue reading

Most Read