UBCO psychology graduate Kathleen Cusmano and her dog Haven will cross the stage together during the 4 p.m. ceremony Thursday, June 6. (UBC Okanagan)

Vision-impaired students graduate from UBC Okanagan

Two vision-impaired students didn’t let ‘no’ get in the way of their degrees

Earning a post-secondary degree of any sort can be a long and arduous experience.

Amongst the 1,700 University of British Columbia Okanagan students set to convocate today are two who had the additional challenge of being sight-impaired stacked on top of their already expansive workload.

Michelle Jorgensen and Kathleen Cusmano both achieved good academic standing throughout their degrees despite the additional hurdles they had to jump.

READ MORE: Vision revealed for UBCO growth over next 20 years

“The UBCO professors were super encouraging and accommodating with my requests for extra support. The professors okayed my magnifiers (which helped her read), spent extra time with me and buoyed my spirits,” said Jorgensen, who was diagnosed as being legally blind since birth.

“I really enjoy the class environment and energy. The professors have been incredibly encouraging,” echoed Cusmano, who lost her sight in her twenties and had to adapt to this change later in life. “Learning the material was the easiest part for me. Bumping into people, finding the right classes and seats required a huge amount of energy.”

READ MORE: UBC Okanagan medical science student graduates with $10,000 award

Both students—as well as Cusmano’s service dog, Haven—will walk the stage to receive their Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology today at UBC Okanagan’s convocation ceremony.


Michael Rodriguez
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at Michael.Rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Just Posted

Kelowna RCMP need 56 more officers by 2025: report

The additional officers would cost the city nearly $10 million

WATCH: Animal rights activist defends Monday’s Ribfest protest

Amy Soranno was one of seven activtists that chained themselves to a bank to protest Ribfest

Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame welcomes 6 new inductees

Okanagan athletes and sports pioneers were added to the HOF Thursday

Pedestrian hit on corner of Burtch Road and Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna

Man has since been released with minor injuries

City of West Kelowna considering two per cent tax increase to cover infrastructure projects

Announcment comes as city prepares for 2020-2029 capital plan

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Keremeos Fire Department acquires new truck

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen approves fire truck purchases for Keremeos, Willowbrook

Wharton Street in Summerland open for traffic once again

Road closure had been in place for past five months for upgrade work

Penticton RCMP do not intend to review sexual assault stats

Eleven out of 29 sexual assault cases in Penticton were deemed unfounded in 2018

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

Most Read