As a single mom, providing her young daughter with a bright future motivated Sarah Rain to work towards her degree, while also navigating the challenges of work, life, and parenthood.
Convocation: the last step between you, and a whole new world of opportunities. The following stories come from students who have convocated, or are close to convocating, and are imparting their wisdom. You will learn about how to prepare for convocation, what to expect afterwards, and how to navigate the world outside of university. Although nerve-wracking, convocation makes every stressful night worth it. However, as these authors show, you do not have to go through this big change alone.
Recent graduate, Ashley Kyne, won the Lieutenant Governor General Medal of Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation for her advocacy and community service. She reflects on her experiences and learnings during her undergraduate degree, including her work in challenging colonial narratives on and beyond campus.
An exemplary researcher in the health sciences community, PhD graduand Amanda Butler has been awarded the 2022 Graduate Dean's Convocation Medal. Their research involves the intersections of mental health, substance use, and incarceration.
Before she crosses the stage and moves on to study Law at the University of British Columbia (UBC), International Studies (IS) student Miranda Pinter-Colett took a moment to reflect back on her time at SFU and offer some words of wisdom to current and incoming IS students.
Sophia Dobischok’s graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience and a Bachelor of Arts in English–degrees she completed concurrently. Her story is one of academic excellence, as she wins the Undergraduate Dean’s Convocation Medal, awarded to select students whose grades place them in the top 5% of their class. However, what stands out to some people are the seemingly incongruous fields that she chose to study.
After enduring a zoom-mediated MBA, David Whiffin moved to Vancouver, rediscovered his love for the outdoors and catalyzed a career change.
Joanna Fraser graduates with an EdD in Culturally Inclusive Place-Based Education (CIPB). Read about her reflections on being a community nurse and educator in rural settings, as well as her learnings from Indigenous mentors in creating an inclusive practice.
An active leader in the student community, BA graduand Simran Purewal has been awarded the 2022 Dean's Convocation Medal.
Rachel George graduates with a bachelor of applied science degree from the School of Mechatronics Systems Engineering. She reflects on the gender bias and underrepresentation of women in STEM, and her personal journey navigating through a historically male-dominated field.
Julie Jen graduates with a second degree in computing science. Working as a chartered professional accountant in her early thirties and inspired by her husband's and friends' work in computing science, she decided to go back to school and follow her true passion—despite the hurdles she faced.
Applied Sciences graduand, Arvin Amini, leaves SFU with a lasting impact by founding the SFU Robot Soccer Club. Over the years, the club has received funding from various engineering organizations and has been involved in community outreach with students in grades 5 to 8. Read about his passion for highlighting the fun in STEM.
Computing science graduand Laton Vermette graduates with a Ph.D. in Computing Science. His thesis was on improving the lives of educators by providing ways for them to customize the classroom software they use for teaching.
Chao Bao graduates with a Ph.D. in Mechatronics. Equipped with a master's degree in engineering and nine years of experience in government research and industry, he made the difficult decision to leave a stable job to pursue his passion in research, with the goal of making a difference in society.
As an undergraduate student, Spencer Chen excelled with a GPA of 4.21 and received numerous merit-based scholarships and awards. She also sought diverse research and community service opportunities to make meaningful contributions to the SFU community.
Dr. Alberto Lusoli, Ph.D., receives the Graduate Dean's Medal. Currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Digital Democracies Institute, he reflects on his research findings and his overall experience as a graduate student at the School of Communication.
FCAT student speaker, Fegor Obuwoma, reflects on her time as an SFU student studying film and communications, and as an active member of campus advocacy groups.
Carolyn Yip graduates with a BA in Interactive Arts & Technology. During her time as a SIAT student, she was heavily involved in the IAT student union and took part in several co-op internships where she gained experience in various fields such as video editing, UX design, and entrepreneurship.
Inda Macias graduates with a Master in Digital Media (MDM). As a project manager, production coordinator, and storyteller from Mexico, she shares her experiences in the MDM program and how she will apply the skills she learned in the future.
At SFU, Marina Cummiskey competed as a varsity swimmer and became a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee where she advocated for student-athlete mental health. Marina earned academic honours and the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in sport psychology at McGill University this fall, with a focus on athletic retirement research.
It only took one archaeology course in her first year for Charlotte Taylor-Baer to discover her love for the subject. With a passion for forensic sciences and a dream of one day becoming a criminal defense lawyer, a double major in archaeology and criminology just made sense.
Being a bystander is not in Mireta Strandberg-Salmon's nature. The Resource and Environmental Management graduand and Dean’s Convocation Medalist is known widely as a faculty superstar for her impact on campus sustainability and beyond. As her undergraduate journey comes to an end and she prepares to walk across the stage, she has a lot to look back on.
Ashley Kyne wins the Inclusion, Democracy, and Reconciliation Medal for her selfless contributions to the SFU community and beyond.
Vanessa Gottfriedson’s journey toward earning her BA in Indigenous Studies started in 2005. During her nearly two decades as an SFU student, Vanessa’s life transformed in a myriad of ways.
Jess Dela Cruz graduates with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (GSWS), passionate about furthering social justice, inclusion, and equity on and beyond campus.
Bachelor of Sciences graduand Charity Mudhikwa hit the ground running when she came to Canada in 2018 for university, dedicating her undergraduate degree helping SFU students and the community at large.
Criminology student, Asia Clarke, shares her journey into community building and how she became an advocate for the wrongfully convicted.
SFU Beedie graduand and student-athlete, Dominic Postle, overcame persistent injuries and setbacks to excel personally and professionally.
Dr. Novia Chen receives a doctoral degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies! Before joining GSWS, Novia worked as a film/video production instructor, filmmaker, and festival coordinator. She decided to pursue a doctoral degree to further inform the ways in which her position negotiates gender politics, representation, and feminist film criticism and theory.
Jordan shares his thoughts on his SIAT experience after coming back to university as a member of the industry.
Isabelle Soares is a stand-out SIAT student who is graduating this week with a Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Arts & Technology. During her time as a SIAT student, Isabelle was involved in the IAT student union and took part in an internship at LinkedIn where she was placed on the LinkedIn Learning Enterprise Growth team.