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  • Manini Sethi

Candidate Profiles: Fall 2020 Valedictorians.

Graduating from university is one of the most important milestones for many of us and this year is even more unique for many CBU students as the batch of 2020 fought through unprecedented times and graduated in rather chaotic circumstances. But their journey is not yet over, the batch of 2020 has one more critical task left- to vote for their valedictorian.

Valedictorian literally translates to "farewell sayer" in Latin, and is the elected representative who will have the honor of giving the farewell speech during the graduation ceremony.

The two candidates for Valedictorian and are Austin Chapman and Walter Alvarez-Bardales.

Pictured: Austain Chapman

"Born and raised in Millville, NS, 21 year old, Austin Chapman always knew he wanted to stay close to home after graduating High School. Attending Cape Breton University allowed Austin to pursue his dream career of helping others by taking the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.

Austin has always been a home body and was always well involved in the Cape Breton Community. Organizing two memorial tournaments that give back to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation are couple of his major contributions to local community Charities.

When Austin started at CBU, he wanted to become as involved as he could. During his first year of university he stayed on residence at CBU and joined House Council as a Cabot House Representative. Austin later become the House Council President, during his second and third year at CBU. Austin also served as a part of the Nursing Society executive during his final year of studies as the Vice President of the Society. Nursing at CBU has given many opportunities to the students attending the program; Austin and his fellow classmates had the opportunity to travel to Cusco Peru and provide care for the people of Peru in a poorer community at local Peruvian clinics.

Now working as a graduate nurse at the Northside General Hospital; Austin has experienced many opportunities in his lifetime but one of his most uplifting and important moments was when he was given the honour of receiving the award for Cape Breton Regional Chamber of Commerce 2019 People’s Choice: CBRM Citizen of the Year; in November of last year.

Austin believes he would be a great fit for this opportunity and would be honoured and ecstatic to represent the graduating class of Fall 2020."

Pictured: Walter Alvarez-Bardales

"Born in Guatemala, Walter left at a young age to escape war and poverty. Despite the many challenges during his journey to Canada - such as days of homelessness and hunger, a learning disability, and systemic access barriers to education - he prevailed to become a successful civil servant.

At the CBU MBA program he excelled academically and was the recipient of the 2019 MBA entrance scholarship. He also proudly represented Canada and CBU at the United Nations Model 2019 in Washington D.C. He earned several commendations from other member countries at this event for his speeches on the suffering of Palestinian children.

Walter has been accepted as a Doctor of Social Sciences candidate and intends to leverage his academic and professional success to work on many causes that are dear to him. In particular, he wants to dedicate his life to improve access to education for children in the developing world and to decrease child hunger worldwide. He also firmly believes that child labor is inexcusable and will work towards eradicating this global issue. He feels optimistic this will happen in his lifetime.

Walter believes that being valedictorian will inspire his beloved children of the global-south and worldwide"

Batch of 2020- the ball is in your court. Vote wisely. Online voting starts on Tuesday, October 2020 and goes on till Wednesday, October 21st.

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