It was an exciting day for a Brandon University Master of Education student. On Wednesday, November 15th Natashalee Thompson won the Manitoba Council for International Education (MCIE) International Student Award in the post-secondary education category.
The Manitoba Council for International Education is an organization that advocates for and supports international students studying in Manitoba. Each year the MCIE hosts its International Student awards in Winnipeg to celebrate the prestigious accomplishments of Manitoba’s many international students. According to the MCIE there are now over 10,000 international students currently studying in Manitoba. The MCIE states that the international education contributes over 11 billion dollars annually to the Canadian economy and 230 million dollars annually to Manitoba’s economy. They also state that international students support more than 1600 jobs in Manitoba alone. The 2017 MCIE International Students Award ceremony saw international students from across the province attend.
In regards to receiving the award Thompson says it was a joyous occasion. “I am very happy, extremely happy” says Thompson who adds that she was proud to represent both the university and the community of Brandon in general. In order to receive the award Thompson had to be nominated. She explains that it was one of her Faculty of Education professors who sent in the nomination. “I was nominated by Dr. Cathryn Smith. She lectures in the Faculty of Education.” Thompson found out that she was nominated by her professor when the BU Office of International Activities reached out to her. She explains that there were sections of the nomination application she needed to fill out. “There was a section for me to fill in,” says Thompson. “That’s how I found out I was nominated for this award.” The MCIE award not only included a certificate of recognition but a certain amount of prize money. Thompson, along with the certificate, received a total of $400.00. In terms of advice to other international students studying at BU Thompson says to be a well-rounded student and seek university support should you require it. “ I do believe it’s good to be a very rounded student. The university does provide us with support for us to just be you at BU,” explains Thompson who adds that she is grateful for the opportunities to regular engage in campus activities. Thompson ends off by thanking all the people who believed in her.
Overall BU also had two additional nominees in the award ceremony, Sherine Salmon and Alex Lowe. Thompson receiving the award also marks an important milestone in Brandon University history. This is the first time that a Brandon University student has won the award.