Spring 2017 Award Winners

Edith Cuellar Mata: Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation Award for Labour Studies

Edith is a Health Sciences Major with a Minor in Labour Studies and an Extended Minor in Latin American Studies. Edith has a strong background in community engagement, particularly focusing on im/migrant and refugee rights and accessibility to health care, focusing on migrant farm workers and maternal and child health care. Edith feels that her Labour Studies has played strong role on her perspective of how policies, specially coming from the government, affect access to health care for immigrant and migrant workers and their families, not only in Canada, but globally. For the last four years, Edith has been an active volunteer with the Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op, and was elected to the board of directors in 2014. Edith volunteers with the Umbrella Mobile Clinic, which provides cultural and language oriented health services to individual with health insecurity, such as migrant farm workers and supports and facilitates workshops for UMHC’s “Voces Maternas” (Maternal Voices) program. The co-director of UMHC says of Edith: “I have no hesitation in speaking to Edith’s dedicated commitment to our community organization, and the vulnerable populations we serve. Edith is currently supporting research on the tobacco industry and North American Free Trade Agreement under the supervision of Professor Kelley Lee, Faculty of Health Sciences.

Congratulations, Edith!

Mya Lopez: Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation Award for Labour Studies

Mya is a Psychology Major with a Minor in Labour Studies and a Certificate in Social Justice. Mya has a long history of volunteering to benefit her community; she began working with the Burnaby-New Westminister Ringette Association in 2009, with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 2012, and in 2013 she co-founded the Rebels Blood Group at Burnaby South Secondary School. In the last year, she has begun coaching softball with Special Olympics BC, guiding player and skill development in a positive, encouraging environment for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Mya was selected as a program volunteer for the Canadian Diabetes Association’s camps for families living with type 1 diabetes, and the camp program coordinator said of Mya’s work: “Mya ensured that her campers received a high-quality camp program experience and was a positive role model in all that she did. She was very attentive and respectful of camp needs and put her whole heart into the program.”

Congratulations Mya!

Erik Sagmoen: Gary Campbell May Day Memorial Annual Award

Erik is a Psychology Major with a minor in Labour Studies. Erik has been actively contributing to the SFU community, and the wider community, throughout his post-secondary career. In 2015, as the Logistics Chair for the Canadian Cancer Society, Erik organized the 2015 SFU Relay for Life, which raised $23,000 and hosted 200 attendees. Erik works with the BC Co-operative Association to provide education about co-operative enterprises to high school students, and also founded the SFU Poker Club, which has raised over $5000 for local charity groups.  Erik has been an Orientation Leader at SFU and is a SFU Engagement Peer Educator. Engagement Peers provide one-on-one consultations to students to help them explore extra-curricular activities both on campus and off. The Student Development Educator and Engagement Peer Supervisor said of Erik: “Mr. Sagmoen strengthens the SFU community every time he volunteers as an Engagement Peer, and perhaps more importantly, he fosters this same passion for volunteerism and community engagement in the students he works with.” Erik says of Labour Studies: “I think Labour Studies courses are relevant because work is central to life. An understanding of work helps us understand not only ourselves, but also society as produced by labour. As a worker, knowing the history, politics, and economics of work is hugely beneficial.”

Congratulations Erik!