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Sunshine Coast Shrum medallist eyes career in environmental law

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Diane Luckow, Media & Pr 604.291.3210;

June 1, 2004

Rachel Forbes has strong opinions about the environment and a keen intellectual grasp of the political, social and economic forces that have historically relegated the Earth to also-ran status in the public conscience.

A Pender Harbour native, Forbes is this year’s recipient of the Gordon Shrum gold medal at Simon Fraser University, an honour recognizing her as best all-round student. She receives a bachelor of arts degree in geography and communication at the spring convocation.

Not unexpectedly, Forbes has designs on environmental law as a means to influence public policy initiatives that will decrease the industrial-revolution excess that has blighted the planet for more than a century.

Lofty aspirations, but Forbes’ intensity, energy and focus match her ambitions. Besides achieving stellar undergraduate grades, Forbes reported for and wrote opinion columns in The Peak and spent time with many other campus groups.

For example, she plays a key volunteer role in UniverCity community development, chairing the student society’s Burnaby Mountain development working group, which pushes for things like affordable housing. She is also the student representative to the SFU Community Trust board of directors where environmental, economic and education issues related to the UniverCity community are addressed.

Forbes has been a multiple-scholarship recipient ever since graduating with honours from Pender Harbour secondary school on the Sunshine Coast. She is also a published poet, an advocate for active democracy, a half-marathoner and has worked part-time throughout her degree program – fuelling all these activities on a vegan diet. Out of all these experiences, Forbes most appreciated the "opportunity to cross paths at SFU with so many free-thinking and passionate minds."

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