A budding hospitality professional inspired by her hometown and a former Medical Technologist from the Philippines with a passion for business, are capping off their studies as Niagara College’s top grads from the spring Class of 2023.
Cassidy Baldwin, who achieved a 93% average in the College’s Honours Bachelor of Business Administration – Hospitality program, and Clarysse Go, who achieved a 98% average in the Business – International Businessprogram, are this year’s recipients of prestigious academic medals awarded by the Governor General of Canada.
For nearly 150 years, Governor General’s Academic Medals have recognized the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. They are awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from a high school, as well as from approved college or university programs at four distinct levels: Bronze at the secondary school level; Collegiate Bronze at the post-secondary, diploma level; Silver at the undergraduate level; and Gold at the graduate level.
Both graduating students will receive their medals at NC’s Spring 2023 Convocation, June 12-16, and will speak at their respective ceremonies.
Silver Medal: Cassidy Baldwin
For her outstanding academic performance in the four-year Honours Bachelor of Business Administration – Hospitality program, Cassidy Baldwin will be presented with a Silver Governor General’s Academic Medal on the morning of June 13 (10 a.m. ceremony). This marks the first time that a Niagara College student is being awarded a Governor General’s Academic Medal at the Silver level for a degree program.
Born and raised in Ontario’s Prince Edward County, Baldwin was exposed to the hospitality industry from a young age as she watched the area develop into a thriving tourist destination.
“Prince Edward County is known for its wineries, breweries, beaches, and more,” she said. “Growing up, I watched my hometown develop into the tourist hotspot it is today and was given a front-row seat to the impact positive tourism experiences have for both visitors and industry professionals. Because of this, I’ve always known hospitality would be a part of my future and career.”
Inspired by her experiences, Baldwin looked to NC’s School of Hospitality and Tourism to develop her professional skills. After completing her program, she feels prepared to succeed in the fast-paced, ever evolving hospitality industry, which continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Niagara College has provided me with a competitive advantage in the hospitality industry,” said Baldwin. “I have an abundance of hospitality focused business administration knowledge in the form of marketing, financial management, human resources and more. I’m equipped with important skills related to business and I know how to apply it to our industry which will help me in my future career.”
“Cassidy’s passion for the hospitality industry was clear throughout her studies and she is incredibly deserving of this recognition,” said Craig Youdale, Dean, Culinary, Tourism and Beverage Studies. “I know the faculty team is deeply proud of Cassidy and delighted to hear of this honour. We all look forward to hearing about her future successes as she begins her career.”
Baldwin currently resides in Banff, Alberta where she works as a Regional Tour Sales Coordinator for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts – coordinating across all four Rocky properties (Fairmont Banff Springs, Chateau Lake Louise, Jasper Park Lodge and Chateau Whistler).
Collegiate Bronze Medal: Clarysse Go
For the second year in a row, NC’s Collegiate Bronze Governal General’s Academic Medal recipient is an international student from the Philippines.
Clarysse Go, a native of Cebu City, Philippines, is being recognized for her exceptional academic achievement in the Business – International Business program. She will receive a Collegiate Bronze Governor General’s Academic Medal on June 12 (3 p.m. ceremony).
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology, Go worked for two years as a Medical Technologist in her home country before she decided to pursue a different career path.
“I realized that I no longer found happiness in what I was doing,” said Go. “I landed a work-from-home job while saving up and planning my next move. That next move turned out to be enrolling in Niagara College.”
With an interest in business, Go set her sights on NC’s School of Business and Management, first enrolling in the Supply Chain and Operations Management program and later switching into the International Business program, where she found herself in her element.
After completing her first semester online from the Philippines, Go moved to Canada in late 2021 to complete her studies at NC’s Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
“Clarysse is an outstanding student who excelled in all areas of her studies,” said Alan Unwin, Dean Business and Environment. “She worked incredibly hard at her academics in a new country, all while holding a part-time job. We are delighted that she is being recognized with such a prestigious honour.”
“This accomplishment is even more incredible, given that this is the first full academic year back after quite some time studying remotely. Clarysse, and so many of our students, have been able to succeed under such challenging, changing and uncertain circumstances,” added Unwin.
During her convocation ceremony, Go will also be receiving the Dean’s Award for the School of Business and Management for scoring the highest GPA within her school of study. Previously, she earned the Keith Segal – guard.me international scholarship for her academic excellence over three consecutive semesters.
Go plans to stay in Canada and currently resides in Niagara Falls, where she is working as a full-time Corporate Accountant at Niagara Casinos – a job she landed shortly after completing her last day of class.
Spring 2023 Convocation
From June 12-16, the Welland Campus will be a hub of activity with eight convocation ceremonies to be held in the Athletic Centre. Over the five days, the College will celebrate 4,400 new graduates from NC’s spring Class of 2023.
In addition to celebrating Governor General’s Academic Medal recipients and Dean’s award winners (eight in total), NC will bestow special honours to two guests: Niagara Health President and CEO Lynn Guerriero will be presented with an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies on the morning of June 14 (10 a.m. ceremony), and Amy Audibert (Broadcasting – Radio, TV and Film Class of 2012) on-air broadcaster for the NBA’s Miami Heat, will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award on June 15 (10 a.m. ceremony).
To view the schedule and list of programs graduating within each School, visit the ‘Ceremony Schedule’ section of NC’s Convocation website.
NC’s in-person Spring Convocation ceremonies will also be livestreamed. Visit the convocation website atniagaracollege.ca/convocation. Ceremonies will also remain on the site for later viewing.
Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 10,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake.Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.