Undergraduate Student Awards

John Chant Award

Highest CGPA in the Undergraduate Major Program

2016: Christina Ma

Christina Ma is an economic student with a passion for the development of a better society. She was a co-founder of the Restorative Justice Club, the first of it’s kind on a Canadian campus. The club, alongside Professor Brenda Morrison, created community projects that fostered safe spaces based on respect, responsibility and relationship. It’s upcoming involvement with the President’s Dream Colloquium focuses on the topics of justice, identity and belonging. Christina plans to pursue law after her degree in economics because they are both the building blocks of society.  

Previous John Chant Award winners

2015: Chan Chen

Chan Chen completed high school in Shanghai and graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2015 with a major in Economics. She joined the Golden Key International Honour Society in 2013 and she described the experience in SFU as valuable and wonderful.

2014: Celso Rosa da Anunciação

Originally from Brazil, Celso Rosa da Anunciação came to Canada in 2006 to work as a Software Developer with a Vancouver-based social media company specialized in the visual arts industry.  His strong fascination with economics prompted him to switch his gears to pursue a second undergrad degree at SFU with a Major in Economics.  His unique background in computer programming has also helped him play a role as a Research Assistant, an experience he describes as "valuable and unforgettable" and providing him unparalleled learning experiences in the world of Economics.  Celso is now a Master's candidate in Economics at the University of Toronto commencing September 2014.

2013: Aaron Romero

Aaron Romero completed a second degree at SFU, majoring in Economics with a minor in Math.  Aaron’s original intent was to get a Ph.D. in Economics, but for now he has decided to re-enter the workforce.  Aaron would like to offer the following piece of advice: “Take as much math as you can handle.  It is, of course, invaluable for graduate studies in Economics.  But for life in general, I would say that you just can’t go wrong with math.”

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.

2011: Leeton McGinn
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
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
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
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

2016: Andreas Qvale Hovland

Andreas Qvale Hovland came to SFU from Norway and knew he wanted to pursue a degree in economics. Throughout the program he developed a passion for development economics and the intersection of economics with other social sciences. He has completed four co-op terms, worked on four research projects as well as a TA for the department during his time at SFU.  He thanks SFU for the support he has received and the opportunities that have been presented to him during the past five years.

2016: Cameron Young  

Cameron Young bumbled his way through the first two years of his Economics degree before finally finding his passion for Econometrics. Its ability to draw causal relationships and its applicability to a myriad of topics appealed to him most, and he will focus on it this Fall in his Masters in Economics at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Cameron regularly engages in discussions on subjects like philosophy, physics, and politics, and draws on such fields to prevent his viewing of the world solely through the Economics lens. Outside of classes, Cameron’s interests include playing soccer, drumming, and brewing beer, as well as writing short biographies about himself.

* cyoungthesispaper.pdf
By the Money, For the People: The Effect of Campaign Finance on US Congressional Elections

Previous Jack Knetsch Award winners

2015: Caleb Kwon  

Caleb Kwon found his interest in economics after taking intermediate microeconomics as an elective in his second year at Simon Fraser University. He transferred into economics from the Beedie School of Business shortly after and has worked towards becoming a researcher ever since. He is the the recipient of the Jack Knetsch Award, the Cliff Lloyd Memorial Award, the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2014) and the Spring 2015 Dean’s Medal. He will be pursuing his PhD in Economics at Northwestern University in the Fall. He is grateful to all the faculty and staff for their invaluable support, training and guidance. He is also grateful to his mother and father for their unwavering support and encouragement.

2014: Nikki Thompson

Economics has always been a passion of mine, specifically environmental economics. I plan to complete my Masters in a university on the east coast starting in 2015. I will continue my studies in sustainability and economics, this will support my career goals of bringing awareness and initiating sustainable programs in the areas of waste management and industrial growth. My family, friends, and professors have been a major influence and supported me throughout my time at SFU. Outside of school I love spending time exploring our city and enjoying a beer while sitting in the sun on a patio!

* Nikki Thompson.pdf
Recycling and Waste: Evidence and recommendations for high quality recycling programs.

2013: Erik Drysdale
Erik Drysdale has always been passionate about economics. Growing up, he dreamed of being as outspoken as Milton Friedman, as intellectually trail blazing as Keynes, and as well dressed as Schumpeter. Erik thoroughly enjoyed his time at SFU as both a student and a TA. He credits his success to his parents, his friends, his teachers and peers, as well as the beautiful West Coast mountains and forests. Besides economics, Erik’s interests include racquet sports, hiking, podcasts, and classical music. Erik will be pursuing an MA in Economics at Queen’s this September and a PhD, hopefully at a West Coast university, after that.

* Erik Drysdale.pdf
Housing Supply Elasticities within the Lower Mainland from 1998 to 2012: Why is the Vancouver Area so Expensive?

2012: Justin Wiltshire
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.

* Justin-Wiltshire.pdf
Optimizing Over Identity and Limited Attention

2011: Matt Tolan
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.

* Matthew Tolan.pdf
Democracy and Education: Does the type of government affect access to education?

2010: Sam Norris
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.

2009: Leanna Mitchell
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: Tom Cornwall
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

2016: Andreas Qvale Hovland

Andreas Qvale Hovland came to SFU from Norway and knew he wanted to pursue a degree in economics. Throughout the program he developed a passion for development economics and the intersection of economics with other social sciences. He has completed four co-op terms, worked on four research projects as well as a TA for the department during his time at SFU.  He thanks SFU for the support he has received and the opportunities that have been presented to him during the past five years.

Previous Cliff Lloyd Award winners

2015: Caleb Kwon  

Caleb Kwon found his interest in economics after taking intermediate microeconomics as an elective in his second year at Simon Fraser University. He transferred into economics from the Beedie School of Business shortly after and has worked towards becoming a researcher ever since. He is the the recipient of the Jack Knetsch Award, the Cliff Lloyd Memorial Award, the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2014) and the Spring 2015 Dean’s Medal. He will be pursuing his PhD in Economics at Northwestern University in the Fall. He is grateful to all the faculty and staff for their invaluable support, training and guidance. He is also grateful to his mother and father for their unwavering support and encouragement.

2014: Dave MacDonald

After a number of years working in the social work field Dave began undergraduate studies at SFU with the express intent of furthering his career in this field.  As such, his studies were originally focused in sociology and psychology.  After taking introductory economics and statistics courses on a whim in his second year, Dave found himself switching his focus.   He was particularly drawn to the quantitative nature of economics, finding it fascinating the way economics’ analytical toolbox can be utilized to examine complex real world phenomena.  Dave owes much of his success at SFU to the many great professors he encountered in the economics department, the excellent cohort of peers he found himself working with in the honours program and the support of his friends and family.  Dave recently completed his MA in economics at UBC where he will be starting PhD studies in September.  

2013: Erik Drysdale
Erik Drysdale has always been passionate about economics. Growing up, he dreamed of being as outspoken as Milton Friedman, as intellectually trail blazing as Keynes, and as well dressed as Schumpeter. Erik thoroughly enjoyed his time at SFU as both a student and a TA. He credits his success to his parents, his friends, his teachers and peers, as well as the beautiful West Coast mountains and forests. Besides economics, Erik’s interests include racquet sports, hiking, podcasts, and classical music. Erik will be pursuing an MA in Economics at Queen’s this September and a PhD, hopefully at a West Coast university, after that.

2012: Justin Wiltshire
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.

2010: Sam Norris
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
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
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.

Gordon M. Shrum Gold Medal Award

Awarded annually to one member of the SFU graduating class

2014: Amnit Litt

For economics graduate Amnit Litt, winning Simon Fraser University’s most prestigious undergraduate honour – the Gordon M. Shrum Undergraduate Medal – is as much a matter of joy as it is a big surprise.

The medal is awarded annually for exemplary academic achievement and demonstrated commitment to SFU.

“It is indeed very unexpected,” says Litt, who earned a grade-point average of 4.13 out of a possible 4.33 despite an exhausting list of SFU volunteer commitments. She is graduating with a BA (honours).

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Glenn Berg Super-Duper Chosen Few Award

Recognizing economics honours students  

2015: Thomas Budd

Thomas Budd, SFU Economics honours student, developed his knowledge by embracing SFU’s interdisciplinary education and becoming an integral part of the Scottish community.  Thomas’s academic accomplishments and his entrepreneurial spirit made him the perfect candidate for the 2015 recipient of the Glenn Berg Super-Duper Chosen Few Award for SFU Economics Honours students. 

As a young bagpipe player, Thomas always identified with his Scottish heritage. At SFU he saw an opportunity to bring others together around Scottish interests, he believes that a new student club would “allow students greater access to our school spirit”. Thomas and other SFU students started the SFU Scottish and Celtic Society. As the first president, Thomas found that students and the community at large were very interested.  He commented “we had hundreds of people signing up”. Thomas is also in the Grade Two Robert Malcom Memorial Pipe Band, a part of the SFU Pipe Band Organization.  

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2014: Matthew Sebastiani

Matthew Sebastiani was awarded the 2014 Glenn Berg Super-Duper Chosen Few award for his commitment to community service and his dedication to his studies while enduring health challenges. Glenn Berg is an SFU Economics Honours Alumnus who understands the challenges of working while being a full-time student. Matthew‘s perseverance, academic success and positive attitude make him a well-deserved choice for this new award.

Matthew’s interest in politics started when he was only 12 years old. Matthew volunteered to help Richard Stewart, (now Mayor of Coquitlam), on his provincial campaign. This experience sparked a passion for politics. As of 2014, Matthew has volunteered on eight different campaigns at all levels of government. Helping with campaigns at the municipal, provincial, and federal level gave Matthew a perspective on the policy issues at each level of government.

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