Fall convocation Oct. 4-5

September 27, 2012

More than 2,200 SFU graduands are preparing to celebrate the completion of their degrees at fall convocation on Thursday Oct. 4 and Friday Oct. 5.

Thursday morning’s ceremony (9:45 a.m.) will recognize graduating students from the faculties of Applied Sciences, Communication, Art and Technology, and Health Sciences.

The afternoon ceremony (2:30 p.m.) will highlight graduands in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Beedie School of Business and Faculty of Science graduating students have their turns on Friday morning (9:45 p.m.), followed in the afternoon (2:30 p.m.) by those in the education and environment faculties.

Honorary degrees will be conferred on three distinguished individuals: American philosopher and scholar Martha Nussbaum (Thursday morning), former Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Friday morning) and former Tsawwassen First Nation chief Kim Baird (Friday afternoon).

For more info, visit

Martha-NussbaumMartha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa,

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2:30 p.m.

Martha Nussbaum is a renowned American philosopher, classics scholar and faculty member of the University of Chicago’s law school and philosophy department who passionately defends the humanities as central to the education of citizens in a democratic state.

Nussbaum epitomizes SFU’s vision of engaging the world with her broad, global range of philosophical interests, her insightful observations on the human condition and her tireless pursuit of social justice. A native New Yorker, Nussbaum studied classics and theatre at New York University and earned her master’s and PhD in philosophy at Harvard.

She has taught at Harvard, Brown and Oxford universities and the University of Chicago, where she is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics. Nussbaum is a co-founder of the Capabilities Approach – a widely acclaimed theoretical model she designed with Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen to identify the opportunities people need to live a good, self-determined, successful life.

The approach stresses the central role education and social entitlements because these services are so decisively involved in both creating social justice. Nussbaum is an award-winning author whose many books include Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach; The Fragility of Goodness, Sex and Social Justice; Hiding From Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law; and From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation & Constitutional Law.

Her latest book is The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age. She has made important contributions to the fields of ethics, political theory, classics, philosophy, jurisprudence, educational theory, gender studies and public policy. An outspoken critic of increasingly market-driven educational goals, Nussbaum is an eloquent advocate of the indispensable role the liberal arts and sciences play in creating responsible global citizens with the intellect and skills to change communities, nations and the world.

Abdul KalamA.P.J. Abdul Kalam

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa,

Friday, Oct. 5, 9:45 a.m.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is a former president of India, aerospace engineer, professor, writer, world statesman and internationally renowned scientist and technologist who is passionate about the power of science to solve problems in ways that transcend ideology and religion.

Kalam started life from humble beginnings as the son of a boat maker in Rameswaram, in India’s southernmost state of Tamil Nadu. He studied physics at the Jesuit-founded St. Joseph's College in Tiruchirappalli and aerospace engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology in Chennai.

Before becoming president, he worked as an award-winning aerospace engineer and he is popularly known as India’s “missile man” for his work developing ballistic missile technologies. He also played a central role in many of India’s other technological breakthroughs and assisted in the concept of landing the moon probe Chandrayan-1 in 2008.

From 2002-07, Kalam served as India’s president with the support of both of the country’s major political parties, earning the nickname "the people's president" for his integrity, commitment and passion for improving the lives his country’s poorest people.

During his five-year presidency, he focused India’s efforts on transforming from a developing to a developed nation by 2020. He also provided a strategy for India’s energy independence by 2030. His book India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium is popular throughout India.

Kalam is currently a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and the Indian Institute of Management Indore, chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology Thiruvananthapuram, and a professor of aerospace engineering at Anna University in Chennai and JSS University in Mysore.

He has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, the King Charles II medal of the Royal Society and the Hoover Medal, America's top engineering prize, of which he was the first Asian recipient.

Kim BairdKim Baird

Kim Baird, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa,

Friday, Oct. 5, 2:30 p.m.

Kim Baird, former Chief of B.C.’s Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN), is one of Canada’s most prominent and accomplished Aboriginal leaders. First elected Chief at age 28, Baird served for six terms from 1999-2012, during which she was instrumental in negotiating and implementing Canada’s first modern urban First Nation treaty, in 2009.

The historic agreement freed the TFN from the Indian Act, gave them a constitution and broad powers of self-government, and secured legal title for the Nation to several tracts of land in Tsawwassen.

Since then, Baird has overseen multi-million dollar agreements to build B.C.’s second-largest shopping mall, successfully worked with Port Metro Vancouver to expand the Deltaport shipping terminal, and has planned over 1,900 new housing units on Tsawwassen lands.

Chief Baird, whose ancestral name is Kwuntiltunaat, was the first non-MLA woman to address the provincial legislature in 2007, and she continues to be an inspiration for young women, strongly supporting their professional and leadership development.

She was the first representative of a First Nation on the Metro Vancouver board of directors and the Mayors’ Council on Transportation. She currently serves on the BC Hydro board, the UBC President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, the Chief Joe Mathias Scholarship Foundation, the Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women, and the board of the TFN Economic Development Corporation, among others.

She has earned numerous honours including the National Aboriginal Women in Leadership Distinction Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 Award and Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award.

As one observer of Aboriginal leaders noted recently, "Kim Baird is a visionary, a steely-eyed business person. She has changed the course of B.C. history by giving us a new perception of Aboriginal people. That is her most important legacy. She embodies the word 'success'."

Fall 2012 student speakers

Steve Cardwell

STEVE CARDWELL, EdD, Education Leadership, is the Vancouver School District’s superintendent and CEO. He has served on many boards and committees since beginning as a high school science teacher in 1980.

His newly minted doctorate focuses on student engagement in urban secondary schools. A co-author of Science Probe 7 (1E), a textbook used throughout the province, Cardwell is a recipient of the B.C. Science Teachers’ Association’s Distinguished Service Award and SFU’s Faculty of Education Graduate Studies Fellowship.

Andrea Blendl

ANDREA BLENDL, BA, Communication, was fully engaged in volunteerism, field schools and co-ops at SFU. The recipient of several scholarships and a Golden Key International Honour Society member, Blendl served as Communication Student Union vice-president and worked in several other student clubs. She participated in a field school in Italy, a French language program in Montreal, an exchange in Switzerland and an international co-op in Scotland. Blendl also completed internships with Vancouver Coastal Health, the Discovery Channel Canada and the CBC.

Jevta Lukic

JEVTA LUKIC, BBA with extended comunication minor in communication, came to SFU on a Gordon M. Shrum entrance scholarship and leaves with a 4.18 cumulative GPA. He recently served as interim executive director of a local education non-profit group and has done volunteer work in Peru. He has also been involved with the Business Administration Student Society and represented SFU at many business case competitions. He pursued study terms at Hong Kong University and ESCP Europe, the world’s oldest business school, in Paris.



MEGAN CROUTCH, BA (Honours), English, says her love of critical inquiry led her to study English first. She now puts literary analysis skills to work in her blog Strong Female Character, at, looking at how women are represented in popular culture and she’s building a resource for the media about films that have strong female characters. A member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and a regular on the President’s and Dean’s Honour Roll, Croutch aims to create screenplays.



No comments yet