Top grades produce academic medals

Vancouver Island University graduates received special recognition at spring convocation for outstanding academic achievements.

Alex Lumley of Nanaimo, a VIU bachelor of science in nursing graduate, won the silver Governor General’s Academic Medal for obtaining a perfect 4.33 grade-point average in a degree program.

Graduate Angela Linthorne, also of Nanaimo, received the bronze medal for obtaining a 4.27 GPA in a two-year diploma program.

“I’m thrilled to receive this award,” said Lumley. “The nursing program has been challenging and it’s taken a lot of time and effort to get here.”

Lumley, 44, was out of school for more than 20 years when he decided to go into nursing. He upgraded chemistry, math and biology through VIU’s adult basic education program before enrolling in the nursing degree program.

Originally from Sooke, Lumley spent 10 years in the Canadian Army as a medical assistant based in Ottawa.

Together with his wife Christina, a nursing officer in the Canadian Air Force, the couple raised three children and lived in various cities across Canada before settling in Nanaimo in 2007. Lumley looked after the children while his wife was deployed to Afghanistan.

Lumley thought about returning to the workforce either as a paramedic or a nurse. He opted for nursing because of the opportunities and got a casual employee position with the Vancouver Island Health Authority in the emergency department’s clinical decision-making unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Linthorne, meanwhile, said attaining a high grade-point average in VIU’s two-year criminology diploma program required hard work and dedication but the investment is well worth it.

“I want to become a lawyer so I think criminology is a good fit,” she said. Linthorne plans to return to VIU next fall to complete the criminology degree program.

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