Born and raised in Sydney Mines, Rebecca Bennett knew she wanted to stay close to her hometown after graduating from high school. Attending Cape Breton University allowed her to pursue a Bachelor of Science only minutes from home. This weekend, after four years of determination and hard work, Rebecca will not only graduate with an Honours Degree, but will represent her class as the 2020 Spring Valedictorian.
Although she won’t get the chance to give her speech in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rebecca has recorded her speech and is eager to share it with the class this weekend. “I’m sad that I don’t have the chance to have that final goodbye with my friends and professors while walking across the stage,” she says. “But despite everything we are facing right now, the graduates of CBU have such happy moments to reflect on.”
Looking back on her own time at CBU, Rebecca says the strong support she received from professors and fellow students helped her achieve her goals. “The Psychology department at CBU is one of a kind,” says Rebecca. “The professors care about their students and will do everything in their power to ensure that students feel supported both academically and personally.”
Believe it or not, Rebecca says some of her favourite memories of CBU are tied to exam season because of the time spent with classmates and friends. “We would all gather in the boardrooms of the Psychology department and spend hours on end studying and spending time with each other,” she says. “Just getting to be with people while learning was always my favourite thing, along with the many jokes we shared.” The small campus community at CBU is what Rebecca will miss most, saying her professors and classmates provided the care and enthusiasm that pushed her to be a better student.
As her journey at CBU reaches its end, Rebecca is confident that she is prepared for the future. “CBU has given me research experience that I would not have been able to receive at another undergraduate institution,” she says. “Being able to create my own thesis project, accompanied by the support from the department has given me the confidence and skills to conduct quality research.”
In the fall, Rebecca will begin her Master of Science program at Memorial University and says she couldn’t have done it without the foundation she built at CBU. “I am so appreciative of all of the professors and friends I’ve met along the way here at CBU,” says Rebecca. “I know I couldn’t have done it without them and they made every late-night study session worth it.”