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Sask Polytech’s 2023 Moose Jaw convocation honours 200+

President's address: Strive for integrity, curiosity, and kindness.
Dr. Larry Rosia holds the Eagle Staff as Aaron Tootoosis sings an honour song for the 2023 Sask Polytech Moose Jaw graduates

MOOSE JAW — Saskatchewan Polytechnic welcomed more than 200 graduates to its 2023 Moose Jaw campus convocation ceremony, held at the Moose Jaw Events Centre, with more than 1,300 students invited to attend.

The ceremony honours the learning journeys of this year’s graduates, as well as award recipients including teachers.

Convocation began with land acknowledgements, the singing of the national anthem, and an honour song by Aaron Tootoosis, program head of Indigenous student advisors at the Sask Polytech Regina campus. Dr. Larry Rosia, president and CEO of Sask Polytech, held the Eagle Staff as Tootoosis sang.

“It is important for us to celebrate and incorporate these wonderful Indigenous cultures,” said Alice Miller, associate vice president of student services and the event’s MC. Tootoosis’ song, Miller explained, honoured all of the accomplishments of the day.

Rosia’s President’s Address welcomed and thanked the Saskatchewan Polytechnic staff and faculty, students and their families and friends, and everyone else watching the ceremony. He then addressed the graduates and offered them some advice for the future.

“Each of you has achieved a milestone, and one that you should all be very, very proud of,” Rosia told graduates. “As you continue on with the next stages of your life, I’d offer you the following ingredients for success.”

Rosia told students they should strive for integrity, curiosity, and kindness.

“People with integrity are trustworthy and honest. Always strive to perform your duties consistently and to the best of your abilities. Demonstrate your integrity in everything you do, and others will notice.

“The second ingredient to success is curiosity. … Curiosity is the very basis of education. It drives a desire to learn more. A curious person is more inclined to learn from their mistakes, to attempt new things, to be more observant, tolerant, adaptive, resilient, and innovative.

“And the final ingredient to success I will leave you with is this: Be kind. Kindness is highly valued in all areas of life.”

A complete listing of the convocation program, including a graduate list, speakers, dignitaries, honorary degrees, and presentations, is available at

Award winners

Lynda Stykel and Adrienne Bodnarchuk, both specialty instructors in the Business – Accounting program, received Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

Stykel and Bodnarchuk were recognized for their success and leadership in treating students and colleagues with respect and kindness. They were also honoured for their expertise in their fields and teaching excellence.

Bodnarchuk is a Chartered Professional Accountant originally from Ontario. She has been a designated accountant since 2000, working primarily in public practice, but loves teaching more than anything else.

“I taught part-time at Confederation College for the better part of 15 years before I came to Saskatchewan, specifically to take a full-time teaching position,” Bodnarchuk said. “I feel very fortunate to have relocated to Moose Jaw for this job and this opportunity, and I very much enjoy what I do, and working every day with the students at Sask Polytech.

“So, getting acknowledgement for that is just icing on the cake to me.”

The Applied Research Award for Excellence went to Lindsey Boechler, an advanced care paramedic and research chair for Cultural Empowerment. Boechler was awarded for breaking new ground as a researcher in paramedicine and distinguishing herself as a leader in health research in Canada.

Ujjval Chavda, a graduate of the Supply Chain Management post-graduate certificate, received the Outstanding Citizenship Award. Chavda served as the vice president of Sask Polytech’s Students' Association (SPSA), served as a member of the Youth Advisory Committee for the City of Moose Jaw, and volunteered regularly at local community events.

Chavdal earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering in India and worked in that field for two years before choosing Sask Polytech to help him transition to the management side of things.

“My degree was a great experience for me,” Chavda said. “I learned a lot from my instructors, and also my fellow students. We came from many different backgrounds, so we had to learn to communicate and build networks across different cultures and communities.

“Now that I am graduated, I got the job … in a mechanical field, but I mostly do management stuff as well, so, it was a great learning opportunity.”

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