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Essex resident graduates with two prestigious college awards


Photo submitted: St. Clair College President, Patti France, congratulates Essex resident and St. Clair College graduate, Karen Markovich, for having earned the Student Leadership Medal and the President’s Medal.


by Sylene Argent

Essex resident Karen Markovich, who used to play on the Essex District High School basketball and soccer teams, may be humble and soft spoken, but the time and energy she puts into giving back to her school and community speaks loudly of her volunteer nature.

  Recently, the third-year Business Administration Marketing student won two out of four major St. Clair College awards that are presented annually to a graduating student who has demonstrated strong academic achievement; the Student Leadership and President’s Medals.

  The receiving students must also have contributed to the promotion of the campus environment to earn the Student Leadership Medal, and must have contributed noteworthy participation and leadership during the years at St. Clair College to have earned the President’s Medal.

  “There are many noteworthy things to say about Karen’s time at St. Clair College, “President of the College, Patti France, said during the convocation, outlining the grad’s achievements. “Karen shone as a student leader and she sought out leadership roles that exemplified both her passion for sports and St. Clair College.

  “When asked to describe Karen, her nominators used words like, ‘instrumental,’ ‘responsible,’ and mentor;’ words that are no doubt characteristic of a true leader,” France said, adding, “I am very confident that Karen’s leadership will enable her to continue to make positive contributions to her community.”

  For the past two years, Markovich has been a voice for college athletes on the Student Athletic Association, which operates all intermural and varsity athletics. Originally, Markovich had applied to be the Director of Varsity on the Board. But, after she made the college basketball team, she shifted to the position of Director of Promotions.

  She took on the volunteer position with the school, while holding down a part time job in Essex and maintaining a 3.8 GPA.

  In recognition of having earned the award, Markovich received a glass trophy at the awards ceremony and later received a medal at convocation.

  “I really enjoyed being on the Student Athletic Association,” Markovich said. So, in her third year at the college, she applied for the position of President of the Board. Initially, there was another student also running for the position, but that individual later drop from the race and Markovich was appointed to the position.

  With taking on the top, demanding role of the Student Athletic Association, Markovich ended her participation on the basketball team, where she said she had taken on a leadership role as a communicator between the students and the coaches.

  Markovich was also part of the St. Clair College team that had prepared to participate in the Ontario College Marketing Competition, but this event was cancelled due to the strike.

  During that strike, Markovich fond herself in a unique role as a liaison between the students and the College’s administration. She would tell the school’s staff what the students wanted once the strike was wrapped up.

  Markovich could also be found out on the Essex soccer pitches, volunteering as a coach.

  Moving forward, Markovich will soon head to Ireland to pursue obtaining a Bachelor of Business. She is excited for the opportunity and plans to learn a lot. From there, she hopes to obtain her MBA and then land a job within the NBA or with a major sports team or league.

  “I want to continue in sports. It has always been a big part of my life. I always wanted to go to a job where I would enjoy it every day,” she said.

Markovich also graduated from her program having earned the Robert Jershy Memorial Award in Marketing.

The coordinator of the program presented her the award, which honours a past St. Clair College professor, who had passed away after a battle with cancer. The award is given out annually to students who share his love for sports.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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