Not many UTAS graduation ceremonies include the presentation of a supersized sampler box of chocolates to a star student.
The Foundation Studies Program graduation ceremony, held in the Centenary Lecture Theatre on Friday October 26, was one of the more high-spirited events seen on the Sandy Bay campus in recent years. "Don't think that you are going to have as much fun next year when you start your degree studies," the Hobart Manager of the Foundation Studies Program, Ben Pocius, joked in his closing remarks.
Student Valerie Tan (pictured with Professor Sue Kilpatrick and Ben Pocius) was one of the most popular people in the lecture theatre even before she received the box of chocolates, a teacher's award recognising excellence in project management.
She was almost as big a hit as Rei Saito, the FSP student-cum-Japanese pop star who sang and played piano at the Pepperz celebratory lunch which followed.
"You've been a terrific group," the Director of Studies at the English Language Centre, Marian Star, said at the ceremony's start. "Remember your first day - orientation - some of you were anxious, some of you were very confident and some of you were just unsure how to act. I see now before me that you're all very confident, and you should be. You've been prepared really well by Ben and the teachers and I am sure that you will go on to fantastic courses and wonderful careers."
Achievement Certificates were presented to Dux in each of the Foundation subjects: Chemistry, Cindy Koh; Biology, Ing Yeoh; Psychology, Bryan Lim; Business Studies, Nick Chen; Information Management, Gallant Pui and David Boon; Science Mathematics, Allen Kong; Business Mathematics, Jun Yu Tan; Communication and Design, Alexei Veno; Physics Sean Foong and English for Tertiary Studies, Krishen Mohan.
Pedro Guterres, one of only two students from Timor-Leste currently at UTAS, received the Business Achievement Certificate. Mr Pocius saluted him for his "will to succeed … his perseverance, his persistence and his determination."
"The FSP is probably the most exciting of all the pathway programs we have at UTAS," the Director of the Centre for University Pathways and Partnerships, Prof Sue Kilpatrick, told the graduating students. "It has brought people from all over the world here to Hobart to learn together and make, from what I have just seen and heard, some great friendships."
Image: Valerie Tan with Professor Sue Kilpatrick and Ben Pocius.