Renaissance woman Marina Parapini bronze academic medalist at UFV

Dewdney resident was able to spend one semester abroad

Marina Parapini

Marina Parapini

When Marina Parapini was told she had won the Governor General’s bronze medal at UFV, she had no idea what that meant.

A quick Google search soon told her that it meant she had the highest GPA amongst those completing a two-year diploma at UFV — something that was both an honour and a surprise.

“It was exciting, but completely unexpected,” says Parapini, a Dewdney resident, who completed both her business administration diploma and bachelor of arts in English and business this year.

“I finished most of the diploma a while ago,” she explains, “and just finished the last couple of credits this year.”

This medal is the culmination of a five-year journey for Parapini, which didn’t always go as planned. She started at UFV with the intent to focus purely on business, but eventually switched to an English major with a business minor.

“I’ve always loved how different disciplines work together if you care to look for the connections,” she says. “It was that connection and that human aspect that drew me to English from business.”

Probably the highlight of her degree, Parapini says, was the chance to spend a year abroad — one semester in France and one in Italy.

The year abroad, she says, really helped her grow as a person in a couple of ways. Studying in Italy and learning to speak Italian really helped her connect with her roots, since that’s where her father grew up and Italian is his first language. But, as Parapini says, seeing the world from the other side of the ocean really drew a lot of business principles into focus.

“It really clarified the cross-cultural aspects of business,” she explains. “There are a lot of differences that you don’t understand until you get out of the valley.”

And it made living in the valley again that much sweeter for Parapini.

“About halfway through my degree, I was pretty convinced I never wanted to go to school again,” Parapini says with a laugh. “It sucks, being half-finished and half-unfinished. I actually left for Europe when I was feeling the most disillusioned, and I came back feeling totally recharged.”

“We live in such a beautiful area,” she adds, “and travelling really hammered that home for me.”

Other than the opportunity to travel abroad, Parapini says that she’ll always cherish the relationship she built with many of her professors. With such small class sizes, there were several moments where professors were able to take her aside and help her along.

And despite the fact that she’s officially completed both BA and diploma after five long years, Parapini doesn’t plan to stop attending university. After taking a chemistry class to complete her lab science credit, Parapini was fascinated and took another. And another.

She’s currently completing a chemistry course at UFV over the summer, and then she’ll be off to UBC in the fall, where she’s been accepted into the Bachelor of Science program.

Eventually Parapini sees herself working in the health industry or with an organization like Doctors Without Borders, as a combination of all her passions. She stresses the importance trying classes outside of her major had on her academic path, and recommends all UFV students to do the same.

“I probably wouldn’t have touched the business program if I’d gone straight into English,” she confesses, “but it’s been beyond helpful to see the connections that can be drawn between disciplines. Every student should take classes outside their major and their narrow interests, because everything works together.”

Parapini received the Governor General’s bronze medal (as well as her BA and diploma) at UFV’s Convocation ceremonies at the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre on June 15.

Just Posted

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

The City of Abbotsford has prepared a draft Urban Forest Strategy that is now headed to public consulation.
Draft plan adopted for managing Abbotsford’s urban forests over next 25 years

Urban Forest Strategy now heads to public-consultation process

Country music star Chris Lane stops in Abbotsford next February. (Submitted)
Country music star Chris Lane coming to Abbotsford

Multi-platinum artist bringing ‘Fill Them Boots’ to Abbotsford Centre on Feb. 19, 2022

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

The intersection of Blueridge Drive and Blue Jay Street is one of three intersections in Abbotsford approved for traffic lights this year. (Google Street View)
Traffic signals approved at 3 Abbotsford intersections

Projects part of $1.45M in road upgrades around community

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read