Post-Convocation Success: Souris Area BU Grads

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(This article first appeared in The Souris Plaindealer on August 5, 2011)

Brandon, MB — Lori Gohl was one of the more than 500 Brandon University (BU) students to cross the stage at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium in early June.

Like many others, this graduate from Souris was closing one chapter of her life, while another was just on the horizon.

“I wasn’t completely satisfied until I got a job, so in September, I’ll have a permanent job, teaching K to 12 phys. ed. in Waskada. It’s a dream come true,” said Gohl, the mother of seven. “I really wanted to teach since Grade 6. This is something that I had put on hold, so it’s about time!”

Though she was shy and not particularly involved in campus life the first time around — she obtained her B.G.S. in 1991 at BU — the years since have enabled her to become more assertive and gregarious.

Along with making full use of the help available in the library and elsewhere on campus, Gohl knew this time that whatever she put into her studies and the overall university experience would be worthwhile.

So family outings to Bobcats games became a part of her life, as did student union-organized activities, all of which enhanced the time she spent on her second degree.

“Brandon University is a great place to be. It’s small and you get to know the staff, faculty and other students. It’s not as threatening as a bigger place would be,” Gohl said. “And I found the people there so friendly, and in Education, we were closer.”

Having accomplished this lifelong goal, Gohl still has Brandon University not very far from her mind.

“I’m thinking about getting a master’s, but I want to teach a while before I go back for that,” she said.

Another graduate who appreciates the experiences that BU has to offer is Christie Tuttosi, who lives in Beresford.

The mother of four chose to study nursing and with her academic success came the first step in a new career.

Passionate about community health care, she is now working as a registered nurse at the Rideau Park Personal Care Home, in Brandon.

“I really liked the small class sizes at BU and the fact that the professors, for the most part, took the time to get to know each of their students and their background,” Tuttosi said. “It’s a really positive place and an excellent learning environment for me. ”

Having grown up in a rural community and after a less-than-ideal experience at a larger university, she found BU to be the right fit.  

In agreement with her is another new BU graduate, Scott McConnell, a Souris resident who just finished a Bachelor of Science.

“Brandon University is an excellent post-secondary institution for students who received their secondary schooling in a rural environment,” said McConnell, who plans to apply to the RCMP in the near future. “Brandon University gave me the opportunity to refine my people skills through my association with people from very different backgrounds and cultures. I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment.”

Others from Souris who also graduated from Brandon University this spring are Curtis Fraser (B.Sc.), Trevor Morris (B.Sc.Hon), Melissa Friestad (B.P.N.) and Amanda Pettinger (B.Ed.)

Along with education and nursing programs, Brandon University offers a wide range of courses, in arts including languages, fine arts and native studies; science, including a new environmental studies program; music performance and music education; psychiatric nursing; rural development; and applied emergency and emergency studies.

For complete course information or other details, visit or call 727-9762.


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