Students

In Memoriam: Meiyu Li

June 06, 2018
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Update - June 28, 2018

In accordance with Meiyu's wishes to help her fellow SFU students, funds are being raised for international economics students in Meiyu's memory. If you would like to make a donation, please click here.

It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of economics PhD student Meiyu Li on May 25, 2018, as a result of a car accident in Ontario.

Meiyu joined SFU Economics as an MA student in 2013. Since then, she has been an exceptionally bright student, having won both the department’s Herbert R. Grubel award for top cumulative grade point average (CPGA) among graduating MA students, as well as the Richard G. Lipsey Award for top comprehensive exam results among PhD students.

Meiyu’s promising academic career was just beginning. Specializing in time series econometrics, she had already produced two publications and was finishing the second round of revisions for her third publication to the prestigious Journal of Econometrics.

Brian Krauth, Department Chair of Economics, recognizes the loss both to the field of economics as well as within our SFU community. “She was extremely active in presenting at conferences, regularly participated in hosting our seminar guests, and was in general an exemplary contributor to scholarship. Meiyu was also an exemplary member of our community, always one of the first people to volunteer to help out with something. She was confident but quietly so, and I can’t remember seeing her without a smile on her face.”

Dr. Ramazan Gencay, Meiyu’s thesis supervisor, spoke of her as a cheerful and hardworking young woman who enjoyed music, hiking, snowboarding, and travelling. “She was so ready to share her immense skills with her future students and colleagues, [and] on a certain path to becoming an excellent scholar. With her PhD thesis completed, she would have been ready for the job market this fall.

“Spending countless hours together, reviewing her research, either at SFU, in coffee shops or on the North Shore trails, we developed a cherished respect for one another. I will miss her every moment for the rest of my life.”

Former graduate chair, Simon Woodcock, also notes the loss. “Meiyu was a great asset to the department. She was among the very best students we've had in recent years; friendly, and kind.

“She will be greatly missed in the department.”

It was determined that another passenger in the vehicle also had ties to SFU Economics. Cheng Yuan, our former PhD student, also passed away in the accident. He was in our program from 2014 to 2016 and had transferred to the PhD program at the University of Waterloo to be with his wife. Professor Krauth remembers him as being "very bright, and [having the ability] to synthesize economic problems like no one else."

A memorial service is being held at the Interfaith Centre, AQ 3200 at 6 pm on Wednesday, June 6.

Tributes to Meiyu can be submitted via an online form, and will be shared on this page.

Additionally, Meiyu's parents would like to learn more about her life in Canada. If you knew Meiyu, you can write letters about her and her time working and studying at SFU, which can also be uploaded as a .doc or .pdf file using the same online form, and these will be provided to her parents.

Tributes

It is with unspeakable sorrow that we learned of the passing of Meiyu this weekend.

I have been Meiyu’s PhD Supervisor these past four years and have had the pleasure of seeing her academic and research skills bud into brilliance. To all who knew her, you know she had an uplifting character, happy, and very recently, she told me that she loves her life.

She was so ready to share her immense skills with her future students and colleagues, on a certain path to becoming an excellent scholar. With her PhD thesis completed, she would have been ready for the job market this Fall. She had published two papers already and had just finished the second round of revision for the Journal of Econometrics.

She was loved by everyone, cheerful always, and hard working at the same time. She loved music, dancing, hiking, snowboarding and travelling. She was so excited to explore the world and experience different cultures. With her sense of adventure, she was always willing to get to know her adopted home here in Canada.

Spending countless hours together, reviewing her research, either at SFU, in coffee shops or in the North Shore trails, we developed a cherished respect for one another. I will miss her every moment for the rest of my life.
- Ramazan Gençay, Professor, Department of Economics

I've known Meiyu since she joined us as an MA student in 2013.  She was an exceptionally promising student, winning our department's Herbert R. Grubel award (top CGPA among graduating MA students) and our Richard G. Lipsey award (top comprehensive exam results among PhD students).  Her scholarship specialized in time series econometrics and was off to an impressive start, already yielding two publications and a revise-and-resubmit at a prestigious journal.  She was extremely active in presenting at conferences, regularly participated in hosting our seminar guests, and was in general an exemplary contributor to scholarship.

Meiyu was also an exemplary member of our community, always one of the first people to volunteer to help out with something.  She was confident but quietly so, and I can’t remember seeing her without a smile on her face.
- Brian Krauth, Chair, Department of Economics

Meiyu was a great asset to the department. She was among the very best students we've had in recent years, friendly, and kind.
- Simon Woodcock, Associate Professor, Department of Economics

Meiyu was a woman with a positive attitude. Her smile was so impressive that everyone close to her feels encouraged by it. Meiyu was a wonderful friend. She was loved by everyone. I am grateful to her for being kind to me when I was an exchange student in SFU.

Rest in perfect peace, my friend Meiyu.
- Jianwen Liu, Student

Meiyu was such a wonderful and special girl. She was brilliant and humble, and always smiled even when under stress. She encouraged me not to abandon my research idea after I gave a really bad presentation in ECON 900 years ago.
- Shiqu Zhou, Student

Meiyu was a nice and kindhearted person. She always made one feel welcomed. An amazing feature about her was how she always helped colleagues with feedback on their research and the concern she showed. I will miss everything about her, especially her bright smiles.
- Farouk Abdul-Salam, Student

A long conversation with Meiyu just a few weeks ago (two hours that flew by) reminded me of the joy of having her in my course in 2015. Meiyu will be remembered not only for her achievements and promise, but also for brightening the lives of those around her. I will miss her.
- Shih En Lu, Associate Professor, Department of Economics

Meiyu was a lovely lady who had great passion for life. She had ambitions, her own principles, and good taste. She was resilient and disciplined. As a friend, she was also caring. In a word, she was really a female role model! She will be memorized by all of us as if she were still with us!
- Fei Yu, Student

The king of heaven was so envious of this smiling angel and took her away from us. Only left her last Moments - her mission - "hoping to spread sunshine all over places I’m being." We received this enlightenment and pray: Meiyu, RIP in heaven. Your spirit, soul and sunshine persist with us.
- Will Wang, Student

Meiyu was an absolute bright light in the department. She was a pleasure to have as a TA this past term - she was always on top of everything and students loved her. Above all, she was just a great all-around personality to work with and be around. She will be missed and remembered by everyone.
- David Jacks, Professor, Department of Economics

I was lucky to have Meiyu as TA for two courses. She was absolutely a passionate teacher willing to go the extra mile to help students, and an extraordinary human being with shining characters. Her abrupt passing is heartbreaking. I was keenly sad to know. Condolences to her family.
- Ziang Li, Student

Although you were my TA for only one semester you were still able to leave a lasting impression. Thank you for being you, Meiyu.
- Cristean Cabrera, Student