Nov. 23, 2020

Class of 2020: Inclusive Post-Secondary Education students graduate after an enriching university experience

Hannah Copithorne, Tommy Hsiao to attend virtual convocation Nov. 26
Hannah Copithorne and Tommy Hsiao
Hannah Copithorne and Tommy Hsiao

Along with more than 7,400 University of Calgary students, Hannah Copithorne and Tommy Hsiao are celebrating their graduation on Nov. 26.

They are part of the Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) program, which allows diverse learners to experience university at either UCalgary or St. Mary’s University. Students in the IPSE program attend classes with other students, join clubs and take part in campus life. Upon finishing the program, they celebrate convocation with their graduating peers and receive certificates of completion.

Young blonde woman wearing a red hoodie with the Dinos logo and gold glasses, sitting on stairs

Hannah Copithorne is graduating from the IPSE program after five years of studies at UCalgary.

Nouran Abdellatif/Student and Enrolment Services

Copithorne took advantage of the many history, religion and sociology classes at UCalgary. She enjoyed attending yoga and Zumba classes on campus with other students, volunteered during orientation and took part in the Step Forward volunteer club and the Birthday Wishes club, which provides birthday parties for children from financially stressed families.

In her five years on campus, she also learned the location of every coffee shop on campus. Copithorne is thankful for all the help she has received from her family, professors and IPSE facilitators.

“Thank you for supporting all these years, helping me grow through learning, and helping me do the best I can,” she says.

Young man in cowboy hat, sunglasses, blue plaid shirt and light blue jeans sitting on a ferris wheel

Tommy Hsiao graduates on Nov. 26 from the IPSE program at UCalgary.


Hsiao started his UCalgary journey four years ago. He has a passion for geophysics, which he continues to learn about despite completing his studies. Over the course of his time at UCalgary, Hsiao was an active volunteer and a member of various student clubs, including the Red Cross Club, which is dedicated to increasing awareness of international humanitarian issues on campus.

Graduating is bittersweet for Hsiao , since a favourite part of his university experience as was spending time with other students on campus, especially dining with friends in the MacEwan Student Centre.

“I got to make new friends and build relationships with people,” he says.

Now that Hsiao and Copithorne are through with their post-secondary studies, they have joined the Graduate Support Services program where IPSE graduates work with employment facilitators to explore career options, gain workplace training and learn to thrive in a professional setting.