Congratulations to the class of 2022! We are proud to share that Kathryn Elizabeth Zemp received the Governor General's Silver Award at convocation. 

Kathryn Zemp was awarded the Governor General’s Silver Medal for achieving the highest academic standing of all graduates in a degree program at Mount Royal. Zemp will leave with a Bachelor in Education — Elementary and a cumulative GPA of 4.00 (Glenn, 2022). 

Here is what Lizzie had to say about her achievement. 

Tell us about how you maintained your motivation, study habits and support

My ability to maintain my 4.0 GPA was heavily reliant on effective academic habits, my willingness to prioritize schooling in my life, and the immeasurable support provided by my professors, peers, friends, and family. When I entered the education program at MRU I was highly motivated to push myself to excel in both my classes and my teaching practice. This initial motivation prompted me to set personal goals that kept me accountable throughout my degree, yet it was diligence and discipline that ultimately enabled me to achieve them. I had to experiment a lot to find study and work habits that were personally effective, and I found  that I do best with consistent and organized study habits. My free time certainly did not look the same, as I had to make some sacrifices to ensure that I was able to do my best in each of my classes.  However, it quickly became apparent to me that scheduling time for self care is crucial in being able to succeed. I especially noticed this during my practicum, as taking time to care for my mental and physical well being was necessary to ensure that I was able to put forth the needed effort that the profession requires. Yet even with my study habits and personal sacrifices, I could not have maintained my GPA without the support that I received from the people in my life. I had incredible professors who were willing to answer my many questions and clarify concepts. I had classmates who were always there to collaborate and study with, and I had family and friends who gave me endless encouragement and guidance.  


How would you describe your learning style? 

I found that I learned best in highly structured and organized routines. During my degree I was heavily reliant on my planner as I would intentionally schedule specific time slots for my various assignments and review periods. Through this organization I was able to ensure that I had adequate time to complete various assignments and prepare for exams. I often require a lot of repetition to fully understand more complex topics.  As such, I had to make sacrifices with my personal time and be intentional in my studying to adequately understand the course content.  Being able to apply my knowledge to relevant contexts also was profoundly beneficial to my learning. As such, when it came to theoretical concepts I would always ensure that I made connections between the material and what I had observed in my daily life. Furthermore, when it came to the learning that occurred within my various education courses, being able to apply my learnings directly within my field placements and practicums was profoundly beneficial. 

What did your engagement at MRU look like?

Fortunately, due to the collaborative and supportive environment fostered within the education program at MRU, even during the pandemic, I was able to collaborate with friends and classmates throughout my degree. 

What's one piece of advice you would give to an incoming BEd student? 

One piece of advice that I would give to an incoming B.Ed student is to be persistent. In teaching and truly in any career, there are inevitable tribulations and trials. I certainly experienced this during my degree, as I not only had to attend classes, complete assignments, and participate in practicums but also had to do so during a global pandemic. However, I truly believe that being diligent in the face of hardship, and being able to advocate for oneself can pave the way for any form of success. 

Finally, what's next for you? 

Through participating in the various field experiences and practicums offered in Mount Royal University's Education program, I was able to learn about, and develop an interest in, Speech-Language Pathology. I was able to directly observe Speech-Language Pathologists' various roles in schools and the differences that they can make. As such, I have decided to further explore and pursue this field and I will be beginning to work towards my MSc in Speech-Language Pathology this fall at the University of Alberta. 


We appreciate Lizzie for taking the time to share her story and advice. Congratulations to the class of 2022 for overcoming many challenges while achieving your academic goals! 


Glenn, P. (2022) We’re proud of you. Retrieved June 9, 2022, from