2009 Convocation student speakers

May 28, 2009

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Simon Fraser University will confer degrees on about 2,480 this spring during seven convocation ceremonies at SFU’s Burnaby campus, June 2–5. One student speaker from each faculty will represent their peers at the ceremonies. They all have different stories to tell, but each story will reflect a common theme: the experience of an SFU education.

Tuesday, June 2, afternoon

Charles Chou emigrated from Taipei, Taiwan to Canada with his family when he was 12. He graduates with an impressive legacy of scholastic and community service achievements. The Richmond resident earned six scholarships, several accounting and entrepreneurial awards, and was in five business competitions. Outside class, Chou mentored other students, co-founded the SFU Social Innovation Platform,, and the Surrey Business Student Association. Off campus, he was founder/CEO of the Volunteer Consulting Group, which matches top students with local non-profits to help improve their operations.
 Charles Chou
 Leah Lim Wednesday, June 3, morning
Business & Science

Leah Lim convocates with a BSc with a joint major in molecular biology/biochemistry and business administration, and a liberal arts certificate. She volunteered as a learning and writing peer educator, curling club president, and residence orientation leader and student ambassador to incoming science students. The Vancouver resident was on the dean’s honour roll, completed four co-op terms, and worked as a teaching assistant for both the science and business faculties. She recently began an MSc in microbiology and immunology at UBC, and is considering a joint degree in journalism.
Wednesday, June 3, afternoon

Clement Apaak is an SFU archaeology instructor, former student society president and board of governors student representative, and a tireless advocate for human rights, equality and social justice. Originally an international student from Ghana, the Burnaby resident launched the now-nationwide group Canadian Students for Darfur in 2005 and has also mobilized local community groups to address the humanitarian crisis in that region. He has won numerous awards for advocacy and community service including the YMCA Power of Peace medal.
 Clement Abas Apaak
 Natalie Wing
Thursday, June 4, morning
English & Humanities

Natalie Wing has earned nine scholastic and/or service scholarships. The Burnaby resident also volunteered with the Humanities Student Union, and earlier with the Dawson Shelter Society in the Yukon and the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture. She also worked as a research assistant for several faculty members. In 2006, Wing spent a summer at a field school in Prague in the Czech Republic. Next October, Wing will begin a master’s degree in English at Oxford University.

Thursday, June 4, afternoon

Osamu Takai will always have a place in the Laboratory for Affective Developmental Neuroscience in SFU’s psychology department where he recently completed an impressive honours project using a new technique to review the literature on brain activation during speech. He is now going on to complete a master of science degree at UBC’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, which will help him realize his dream of becoming a speech pathologist. He has a particular interest in speech and verbal fluency as well as stuttering.
 Osamu Takai
 Adam Drake Friday, June 5, morning
Interactive Arts & Technology

When not studying, Adam Drake volunteered as an orientation and open house leader, career-day assistant and course feedback committee member. He also completed a co-op work term and worked as a library media technician, a teaching assistant and a convocation photographer. In 2006, he took part in the annual ItaliaDesign field school. Drake is already pursuing his career in interactive design with Business Objects. After convocation, he will cycle to Mexico with Global Agents for Change to raise funds for microcredit lending and global poverty projects.
Friday, June 5, afternoon

Jennifer Clune is convocating with a B.Sc. and a certificate in health and fitness. Outside class she supported students in their transition to SFU and their development as leaders. She volunteered as a Burnaby campus orientation assistant, peer health educator and mentor for new students and volunteers. In addition to being on the dean’s honour roll, she completed the LEAD certificate for innovative leadership. Clune also volunteers off campus and found her time at Crossroads Hospice particularly rewarding. She plans to pursue a career in medicine.
 Jennifer Clune


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