Iglika Ivanova: Gordon Shrum Gold Medal

May 26, 2005, vol. 33, no. 3
By Chris Demwell

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As Iglika Ivanova grew up in her home country of Bulgaria, she witnessed first hand the impact that economic policies can have on ordinary people.

In June, she graduates from SFU with a bachelor of arts degree in economics with first-class honours and is the recipient of the Gordon Shrum gold medal. The Shrum medal is presented to an outstanding student in any faculty who has completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree, while maintaining a high scholastic standing, participating in extra-curricular activities, and showing outstanding qualities of character and unselfish devotion to SFU.

This is not the first time Ivanova has been recognized for her exceptional academic performance and community involvement. At the age of 17, she won a full scholarship to Pearson College near Victoria and left her home and family to study in Canada. When SFU offered her the highly competitive Shrum international scholarship two years later, she seized the opportunity.

“Without a scholarship like the Shrum, I would not have been able to continue my education outside of Bulgaria,” notes Ivanova. Since then, her dedication and hard work have proven her more than worthy. She has achieved a grade point average of 4.10 - which means that most of her grades were A+.

This energetic 23-year-old also immersed herself fully into her adopted community. Ivanova rallied fellow students to revive the economics student society and volunteered as both a residence orientation leader and an international student mentor. She also represented student interests on the undergraduate curriculum committee in the department of economics.

But she is not only concerned with personal opportunities. “People around the world live in poverty because of poorly designed economic policies. I want to work to change that,” says Ivanova. For her, that means the pursuit of a career in economic research, beginning in September as a masters student at UBC and later continuing to a PhD.

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