December 6, 2007: Medal winner really on the ball

      Thursday, December 6, 2007
      Contact: Shelley Kean
      Tel: 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.) –Whether she’s coaching young woman in Canada’s newest ice sport of ringette, guiding a soccer ball towards her opponents’ goal, or mentoring young woman as a Big Sister, Capilano’s 2007 Lt. Governor Silver Medal recipient, Melissa Geisbrecht, is always giving 100 per cent.

      “Melissa was an exceptional student, excelling in all her classes,” said Sally Livingstone, convenor of Capilano’s Medical Office Assistant program. “She mentored other students in the program and also volunteered as a Student Ambassador at the college.”

      Melissa, a recent graduate of Capilano’s Medical Office Assistant program, initially studied science and the arts at the University of British Columbia. But a sick parent helped her choose another path.

      “My mother has multiple sclerosis, and we have had to deal with numerous medical office assistants,” Melissa explained. “I felt I could be empathetic to people’s concerns and provide families with the best service they deserve, and that is why I chose this field.”

      The 24-year-old’s compassionate attitude did not go unnoticed and she was hired by BC Children’s Hospital immediately upon graduating last spring. Today, Melissa is working full-time as an administrator in the hospital’s respiratory unit.

      “My job means quite a bit to me and I enjoy it immensely,” said the former Squamish resident. “I feel I’m making a difference in people's lives, no matter how small it might seem.”

      Capilano’s Medical Office Assistant program is a full-time, eight-month program that begins in September. It teaches specialized courses in medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and medical office procedures, to name a few. Graduates of the program are in high demand as employers look for well trained staff who can make a real difference in the workplace. Students obtain specialized training that equips them to work in hospitals, medical offices and specialized clinics.

      “I have been to other post-secondary education institutions, but I have to say that Capilano College is the best experience that I have had so far,” Melissa said. “I was drawn there because of the affordable tuition rates and the smaller class sizes, and I found the Medical Office Assistant program to be fantastic.”

      Melissa intends to reapply to the Big Sister program and says that she would definitely recommend it to others.

      “I did the in-school mentoring program and the child that you see is someone who needs special attention,” she said. “They are so appreciative of the time you spend with them and it definitely was one of the better experiences of my life.”

      The Lt. Governor’s Silver Medal is awarded to a student at Capilano who has been registered in a career/vocational program of less than two years duration and has not only excelled in their studies but has also contributed in a positive way to the life of the college or their community.

      For more information on Capilano’s Medical Office Assistant program, visit, or call 604.984.4959.