UCW online BA nurtures medal winner

UCW News Team  |  July 05, 2016

 | Topic : News releases

Rory Rickwood

High marks have earned University Canada West (UCW) graduand and Port Alberni, BC resident Rory Rickwood a Medal of Academic Excellence (formerly Dean’s Award). Seven A-pluses netted him a 4.05 (maximum is 4.33) cumulative grade point average. 

The medal is the icing on a scholarly cake that the 60-year-old started baking long before he began his undergraduate studies at UCW in 2009. “My medal achievement shows that at any point in your career path, you can be enriched by an on-line education,” smiles Rickwood. 

The father of five children had an Associate Degree in Applied Communications and an Associate Degree in Human Resource Management when he began his online Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication. A Human Resource Manager for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for the last 16 years, Rickwood was hungry for more knowledge when he discovered UCW’s online BA program. 

The Manitoba-born son of an air force officer says his passion for helping First Nations organizations improve their operations and the lives of their community members piqued his academic appetite for communications. “As my course work progressed while I was working I really noticed how my daily transaction processes were strongly linked to business communication,” says Rickwood. 

I could see my work improve with each course. My educational journey at UCW has been an extraordinary learning experience during which I’ve interacted with students worldwide and devoted professors have guided me in achieving my best work.” 

Inspiration is a crucial ingredient. I found that UCW promoted a learning process that kept this baby boomer current with the world,” says Rickwood, who conducted a communications audit for the Tseshaht First Nation in one of his courses. 

“This course allowed me to do a large community survey, which proved to be very interesting field work. I was able to determine the communication expectations of the Tseshaht community and other stakeholders, and proposed recommendations to improve their day-to-day business communication processes based on current best practices I learned from UCW.” 

The graduand is now applying his UCW degree to writing his first novel, The Wizard of Strathcona, a story set in the early Bronze Age. “UCW has really taken me down an interesting and life changing path,” says the aspiring novelist.


UCW is part of the Global University Systems (GUS) international network of higher-education institutions headquartered in the Netherlands. With institutions and affiliates across the UK, Canada, Germany and Singapore the group educates more than 50,000 students from 160 different nationalities. 

UCW delivers programs that provide students with the applied and theoretical basis for success in the workplace and future academic endeavours. Established in 2004 by David Strong, former University of Victoria president, UCW offers quality education with courses that transfer broadly into the public education system. Courses are offered at UCW’s downtown Vancouver campus and online. For more information visit www.ucanwest.ca.

Carol Thorbes, Communications/Media Relations

1-604-915-9607, extension 2227, carol.thorbes@ucanwest.ca 

Note: Rory Rickwood can be contacted directly to arrange for an interview by emailing him: rrrickwood@hotmail.com

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