Overcoming barriers to academic success

Overcoming barriers to academic success

NAIT staffer honours parents' memory with bursaries to help students in need

As NAIT’s manager of Learning Services, Wendy Marusin’s job is to help students overcome barriers to learning so they can succeed academically.

Helping those in need comes naturally to her thanks to her upbringing and the example set by her late parents, Frank and Louise Marusin.

“It’s a value that my parents strongly impressed upon myself and my sister,” Marusin says.

In addition to her professional role, Marusin has her own motivation for helping students thrive in as many ways as possible. Since 2005, she has been the proud donor of 4 annual student bursaries named in her parent’s honour.

Marusin says she created the bursaries to help students who have experienced some kind of barrier to academic success. This includes single parents, individuals with disabilities and those with financial or cultural challenges.

The Frank Marusin Parts Technician Apprentice BursaryWendy Marusin

The Frank Marusin Parts Technician Apprentice Bursary is awarded on the basis of disability (visible or non-visible) and financial need. The award is named after Marusin’s father, Frank, who passed away in 1981.

Frank Marusin owned an automotive business focused on electrical automotive parts. Wendy says that this bursary is meant for aspiring parts technicians who are still early in their career path.

“I wanted to set up a bursary that honoured his work, but also honoured him in terms of his experience after he became ill.”

Louise Marusin Academic Upgrading Bursary

Marusin also set up the Louise Marusin Academic Upgrading Bursary in honour of her mother who passed away in 1989. This is awarded to students in the Academic Upgrading program, based on disability and financial need.

Louise Marusin was an amateur writer who was involved in the Canadian Authors Association and supporting and developing young writers. At 15, she contracted polio and lost a year of school while recuperating. As an adult, she went back to upgrade and complete her high school through distance learning.

“It was really, really important to her to be able to complete that. So I wanted to bring those pieces of going back to school, and upgrading together in terms of honouring her,” Marusin says.

Published on April 12, 2018