June 2023 graduand speakers

The June 2023 graduand speakers were selected by the faculties and the Registrar based on student achievement and extracurricular involvement.

Ceremony A

Vinisha Chaudhary, BA 
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

During her time at SFU, Vinisha has been committed to contributing to campus life while maintaining a full-time job as a graduate program assistant in the Department of Physics, and keeping up with the demands of a rigorous academic program. In addition to her studies, majoring in Economics with a minor in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, she has actively worked to promote inclusivity and diversity on campus as a member of the SFU Physics Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Alliance (IDEA) Team. Vinisha has also contributed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for students through her role as a Residence Community Advisor. She plans to complete graduate studies in Education with the goal of becoming a thoughtful leader in her industry, while continuing to work at SFU.

Ceremony B

Josh Mulingbayan, BA
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

During his time at SFU, Josh has pursued his passion to make a difference in the field of clinical psychology, contributing as a research and teaching assistant, and as an academic tutor, and also editing SFU’s Undergraduate Journal of Psychology. He has presented his research at major academic conferences, completed an honours thesis, and graduates with first class honours. His experience as a research assistant led him to gain experience in several research labs in the Department of Psychology, including the Eyewitness Memory Lab, the Child Memory Research Group and the Adolescent Risk and Resilience Lab. He will benefit from that experience as he continues on with graduate studies related to correctional rehabilitation and ultimately, to help those in forensic populations.

Ceremony C

Parveer Kaur Hundal, BA
Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

As the youngest Punjabi-Sikh female candidate to run for public office during the 2021 federal election, Parveer is a devout and committed community advocate. Named to both the President’s and Dean’s honour rolls while at SFU, and known for her tenacious approach to her studies, she was selected by her faculty as the 2022 Carla Poppen Undergraduate Award and scholarship recipient, given to those students in the department with a demonstrated history of volunteerism and community service. During the past year she represented Canada at the 15th annual U.S. Women’s Leadership and Health Conference, which recognized her research on female fraternal health. Parveer is looking ahead to a career where her passion for politics, law and social justice can align.

Ceremony D

Guransh Gill, BBA (honours)
Accounting and Finance
Beedie School of Business

Throughout her undergraduate journey, Guransh has been an active member of the SFU community. As a business student on the President’s and Dean’s honour rolls, she has represented SFU in various case competitions, including JDC West (2022), the most prestigious undergraduate business competition in Western Canada and the Business and Management Case Competition 2022, hosted by Universidad Panamericana. She has also leveraged her critical thinking, public speaking, and research skills to help the community as a pro-bono consultant at Axis Consulting and as Vice President of Finance at the student-led Enactus SFU. Guransh is graduating with an Honours degree in Business Administration, specifically in the areas of Accounting and Finance—skills that she will continue to build on as she pursues a CPA designation.

Ceremony E

Ryan Stolys, BASc (with Distinction)
Faculty of Applied Sciences

As a member of SFU’s Varsity Golf Team, Ryan contributed to record-setting performances and helped the team compete in the NCAA Championships. As President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, he advocated for mental health and raised more than $15,000 for local charities. He also served as co-chair of the working group responsible for recommending the new SFU athletics team name, Red Leafs. During his six years at SFU studying computer engineering and participating in SFU’s eCoop program, Ryan was awarded more than $75,000 in scholarships. He also started One Iota Performance, a sports performance startup aimed at helping athletes and coaches take a holistic approach to training. After graduation, Ryan plans to continue growing his venture and compete in golf at an amateur level.

Ceremony F

Dr. Gisele Umviligihozo, PhD
Health Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences

As a PhD student in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Gisele has contributed to advancing research to help address HIV prevention. Her research focused on the functional analysis of genetically diverse HIV-1 accessory proteins, and the identification of sequence signatures associated with function variations that may impact clinical disease development. Her research has been supported through scholarships from the national Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee program, the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB and HIV research excellence, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and SFU graduate fellowships. Her goal is to pursue a professional career that will enable her to use the fundamental scientific knowledge she gained at SFU to help uncover viral dynamics relevant to designing a vaccine or cure for HIV.

Ceremony G

Emma Savić Kallesøe, BFA
Fine Arts
Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

During her time at SFU Emma pursued a fine arts degree and grew her experience as a leader, performer and activist, broadening her artistic practice while also having an impact beyond theatre performance. As a volunteer youth leader with Scouts Canada, she has earned the organization’s Rover Award and an international Duke of Edinburgh Award for her personal achievements. Her interests are diverse, with studies that ranged from archaeology to calculus, and involvements that led her from live performances and improv nights to backpacking B.C.’s backcountry. Emma’s future plans include growing her involvement in the fields of production management and creatively directing live performance works, striving to “let failure inspire her,” noting that theatre is “after all, about finding excitement in human imperfections.”

Ceremony H

Brennan Strandberg-Salmon, BEnv
Faculty of Environment

During his time as a student in the Faculty of Environment, Brennan has grown his impact as a youth climate leader, working to advance a low-carbon, equitable future. He led efforts with student club SFU350 to advocate for university sustainability initiatives, including SFU’s commitment to fossil fuel divestment and its climate emergency declaration. A volunteer youth climate advocate with the BC Council for International Cooperation’s climate change branch and chair of the BC Nature Climate Change Committee, Brennan sought to further his knowledge and experience through co-op terms that focused on climate-related themes. He is also a policy analyst in Environment Canada’s Strategic Policy Branch helping to implement the government’s environmental priorities and hopes to further his impact by pursuing graduate studies.