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Student Success

Student Success

Success is never far away. Let these stories inspire your academic and convocation goals.

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Welcome

Student Success showcases all the incredible achievements of SFU students, but also, the practical steps you can make to cultivate your own success story. The following stories shared explain how students climbed their way to success, however they choose to define success. Reading through the following stories will give you insight on tackling academic challenges such as choosing a major or studying for exams while working, but also on topics such as convocating, post-graduation, and creating your own volunteer, travel and work opportunities.

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The Latest

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Diving Headphones-First Into the World of Podcasting

I’ve always been deeply fascinated with audio as a medium. After all, I’ve worked with it plenty–I picked up the flute at age 12, and music’s been playing nonstop in my life ever since. Not just performing, either: composition, production, sound design, even a bit of voice acting as a hobby. So, when I saw the post from SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, I was curious. Continue reading to learn more about my experience working in the world of podcasting!

man standing in front of sign that says "KPMG"
5 Quick Q&As with a Master of Economics Co-op Student

Meet Ata Malfuzi, an SFU Master of Economics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, learn a little about his current role at KPMG. Keep on reading as Ata gives some insight into what the hiring process was like, what he's looking forward to the most, and some tips for students who are beginning their co-op journey. 

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How I Landed My Dream Co-op at a Large Tech Company

After completing 6 Co-op work terms, one thing I really enjoyed about my Co-op experience is that I had the opportunity to gain work experience from different types of organizations. I started with a 5-person non-profit organization, then to a 20-person start-up, and then landed my dream Co-op at a large 100,000+ person multinational tech corporation. One thing I’m thankful I realized early on in my Co-op journey is this: don’t be turned off from doing a Co-op with a small organization.

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Resisting Structural Violence Through Research and Policy

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.

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Reflections From a Skilled Debater Heading to Law School

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. 

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Challenging Convention: Pursuing Both the Arts and Sciences

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.

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Pursuing Grad School With a Backpack Full of Life Experience

After enduring a zoom-mediated MBA, David Whiffin moved to Vancouver, rediscovered his love for the outdoors and catalyzed a career change.

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Reconciliation Through Indigenized Nursing Education

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.

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Making Space for Undergraduate Research

An active leader in the student community, BA graduand Simran Purewal has been awarded the 2022 Dean's Convocation Medal.

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Female Empowerment in STEM

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. 

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Making a Career Change to Follow a True Passion

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. 

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He Shoots, He Scores! A Legacy in Robot Soccer

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.

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Building Accessible Software for Educators

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.

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Driven by a Passion for Research

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.

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Studying Mental Health Stigma for Social Change

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.

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Academic Integrity and Getting Help Ethically

There are many reasons why students may feel compelled to break their academic integrity. Here are some ways to address the most common reasons.

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Tackling Socially Relevant Problems

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.

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Centering the Stories of People, Community, and Self

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.

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Years of Involvement in the SIAT Program

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.

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Honing Skills in Visual Storytelling

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.

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Mental Health and Sports Go Hand-in-Hand

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.

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From Student Advocacy to Law School

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.

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Seeking Solutions for Social Change

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.

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A Philosophical Reflection Of My Co-op Journey

I always knew I was more of a hands-on learner than a reading and writing learner. As much as I enjoy reading, writing, and listening, the thought of rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty was just way more enticing and exciting. As my work term comes to an end, I can wholeheartedly say that I have grown professionally and personally from a timid university student to a budding young professional. 

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Facilitating Change Through Community Service

Ashley Kyne wins the Inclusion, Democracy, and Reconciliation Medal for her selfless contributions to the SFU community and beyond.

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Taking a Break Is Not Equivalent to Giving Up

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. 

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Fostering Inclusion and Equity in the Community

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.

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Championing Multidimensional Care at SFU and Beyond

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.

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Advocating for the Wrongfully Convicted

Criminology student, Asia Clarke, shares her journey into community building and how she became an advocate for the wrongfully convicted.

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Academia’s ‘Among Us’: A Guide to Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever doubted your academic ability or questioned your belonging in an academic setting? Check out these tips on how to overcome imposter syndrome in academia.