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Alex Hemingway

Psych grad heads to London School of Economics to study global politics

October 2, 2008

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By Diane Luckow

How does someone graduating with an honours degree in psychology and a minor in computing science end up at the London School of Economics pursuing a master’s degree in global politics?

It’s simple, says Alex Hemingway, this year’s winner of B.C.’s $60,000 Queen Elizabeth Centennial Scholarship.

"If you’re looking at political and economic issues, you have to have, as a basis, some model of human decision-making and human morality, which I did my honours thesis on. I’ll take what I learned about people at the individual level and apply that to politics and economics at the societal level."

Hemingway, one of four provincial finalists for a 2007 Rhodes scholarship, has a keen interest in all subjects. To broaden his education, he took extra electives in English, philosophy and communication, studied art, architecture and European history during a student exchange to Prague, and spent another semester on a co-op work term for a software company.

He was also involved in campus affairs, serving as an SFU Student Society board member, a member of the senate and research ethics board representative. He volunteered as well, at the SFU Food Bank and the Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group. Through it all, he maintained a keen interest in researching political and economic issues that reflect his passion for both academic study and social justice.

While he hasn’t decided on a career path, Hemingway does want to make a contribution to improve social and economic institutions. "It’s important to make Canada’s role in the world more positive, whereas it has sometimes been quite the opposite, such as in Haiti in recent years," he says.

Hemingway finished his degree with a 4.1 grade point average (out of a possible 4.3) and has received numerous scholarships, including SFU’s Shrum Scholarship, the Canada Millenium Scholarship and the Premier’s Excellence award. This semester he received the Robert C. Brown award for academic achievement and community leadership in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
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