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Jan Verspoor

2007 undergraduate Deans’ medallists

June 1, 2007

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Undergraduate Deans’ Convocation medals recognize graduating students from each faculty whose cumulative grade point averages (CGPAs) put them in the top five per cent of their class.

While still an undergraduate biology major Jan Verspoor (photo) co-authored three scientific papers, two of which appeared in peer-reviewed journals. Winner of the Meloche Monnex Outstanding Student Leadership Award, the Alumni Association Outstanding Student Leadership Award, and the Co-op Student of the Year Award, Verspoor is now continuing his fisheries research at the graduate level.

According to his nominators, Usamah Ahmad "stands out because of his superlative academic performance … and extensive non-academic work in the fields of social justice, human rights, and anti-racism through Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group." Having earned a BA in sociology and anthropology at SFU, Ahmad will begin a master’s program at York University this fall.

Kirsten Pankratz earns the top CGPA in the Faculty of Business Administration. In addition to serving with the SFU Accounting student association and editing an SFU Business newsletter, she completed a co-op term as a staff accountant at Ernst & Young and co-authored an academic paper, Intended and Unintended Consequences of Trade Secret Protection Procedures, with business professor David Hannah.

The Faculty of Education recognized mature student Melanie Roth as not only an outstanding scholar but an excellent student citizen. With a major in English and a minor in learning disabilities, Roth began plying her skills even before crossing the convocation dais: The married mother of two is already teaching at Mount Crescent elementary school in Maple Ridge.

Eli Gibson completed the requirements for a bachelor of applied science degree in 2006 and wasted no time in pursuing graduate studies at SFU. An active member of the SFU Engineering Science Student Society and a recent winner of both the Western and Canadian Engineering competitions, Gibson received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Canadian Graduate Scholarship to further his studies in computer engineering.

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