Undergraduate student awards
John Chant Award
Highest CGPA in Economics
2012: Yik Ming (Peter) Lee
Peter Yik Ming Lee was born in Hong Kong. He completed high school at R.C. Palmer Secondary in Richmond BC and graduated from Simon Fraser University with a major in Economics, minor in Business Administration. He enjoys the synergy economics and business administration and tries to understand how business manages transactions cost to maximize profits.
Previous John Chant Award winners
2011: Leeton McGinn (bottom row, 3rd from left)
Langley resident Leeton initially attended Kwantlen University College until transferring to SFU. He intended to major in Political Science, but after developing a better understanding of the interrelationship between the two disciplines decided instead to study both Political Science and Economics. "Faculty and students in both departments have contributed enormously to my understanding of the world", Leeton says. His primary fields of interest are international trade policy and the trade history of Canada.
2010: Kayla Murray (bottom row, 2nd from left)
Kayla came to SFU planning to take international studies but preferred the more analytic approach of economics and the range of knowledge she was able to acquire about policies and behaviour.
2009: Leanna Mitchell (top row, 5th from left)
As an Honours student Leanna not only enjoyed a great relationship with her peers but described the professors she worked with as "extraordinary". She described the SFU Economics experience as wonderful and would "strongly recommend the SFU Economics program to undergraduate students". Her award winning Honours essay was titled "Small Towns Young Families: Effects of Community Size on the Marriage Market". Leanna also won this year's Jack Knetsch Award.
2008: Gloria Hsiang-Chien Ding (top row, 1st on left)
Gloria came to Simon Fraser as a transfer student from Kwantlen University-College. She immediately connected to economics: “I have a good feeling about it, I feel I belong here; the professors are great people”. As a recipient of highest grade point average award, Gloria has serious advice to give other students: "study everyday, there is always something you can study; it sounds easy but it is not."
Jack Knetsch Award
Best essay in the Economics Honours Thesis Course
2012: Justin Wiltshire (top row, first from left)
Justin came to SFU's Economics department after realizing he was bored to tears and uninspired by the myriad jobs he had previously worked. His studies helped him develop his interests in behavioural economics, public policy and economic development, while his work as a TA helped him realize his passion for teaching. He has been blessed with a lot of success while at SFU, most of which he credits to a generous God, to his clever and supportive wife and parents, to the many excellent professors in the department, and to a few fantastic peers in his program. Justin was also awarded the Spring 2012 Dean’s Medal. This award recognizes graduating students from each faculty whose cumulative grade point averages place them in the top five per cent of their class. He is currently enrolled in SFU's MA Economics, and will be pursuing further economic studies when he takes up his position at the London School of Economics in 2013.
Previous Jack Knetsch Award winners
2011: Matt Tolan (bottom row, 5th from left)
Matt began his studies in the Department of Mathematics but opted to continue his education in the Department of Economics after taking intermediate economics courses, his interest sparked by the combination of quantitative analysis with real world problems. His professors made SFU a very enjoyable experience as they were approachable, personable, and helpful. They also encouraged him to be more ambitious with while supporting his existing work, pushing him to a higher level as an economist. Matt was excited to continue his education in economics at Queen's University.
2010: Sam Norris (top row, 2nd from left)
2009: Leanna Mitchell
2008: Tom Cornwall (bottom row, 1st on left)
Tom is a local product of North Vancouver who came directly to SFU after graduating from Hansworth Secondary School. He has relished his senior year as he has been able to participate in economics based conferences and work with faculty and colleagues on his award winning thesis. "The real power of economics is that it allows me to make better decisions in my life."
Cliff Lloyd Memorial Award
Honors student in Economics graduating with the highest CGPA
2012: Justin Wiltshire (top row, first from left)
Previous Cliff Lloyd Award winners
2011: Sam Norris (top row, 2nd from left)
Sam’s Honors thesis examined the relationships between natural resources, ethnic diversity and violent conflict in the developing world. Since the records on the number of deaths from violent conflict are sparse, he used the novel approach of using news media mentions to quantify the level of violence. He says that the program “did a great job of convincing students that they can do meaningful, original work while still undergraduates.” Sam writes an election prediction blog (themace.ca). He entered the Masters program in Economics at the University of Toronto in September.
2010: Hilary Furness (bottom row, 4th from left)
Hilary entered SFU as a Criminology student but transferred into Economics in her second year, intrigued by the applicability of the subject matter and the intricacy of the discipline. She describes the program as “rewarding”, the professors as “influential and encouraging”, and her peers as “insightful”. She enjoyed the study of Macroeconomics, Economic Development, and Economic History. Her true passion lay in the examination of the Economics of Crime, however, and she conducted an analysis of the “Cost of Violent Crime” for her Honours thesis.
2009: Saravie Brewer
2008: Jedrzej Zieleniak (top row, 4th from left)
Jedrzej came to SFU via Skierniewice, Poland on a full academic scholarship. He started as a computer science student but was inspired by a trip to India where he worked with communities and business to develop “shared income generation models”. Upon his return he turned his focus to economics. Jedrzej gained direct admission to the PhD program at the University of California, San Diego.