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Student convocation speakers 2018

June 11, 2018
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Each of the eight convocation ceremonies June 12-15 will feature a student speaker who will represent their peers and reflect on their SFU education.

Michael Vegh, BEnv

June 12, 9:45 a.m.

Michael Vegh, of the Heiltsuk First Nation, is graduating with a bachelor of environment, concentrating in resource and environmental management. Passionate about working alongside Indigenous communities, he has received many awards for his work in these communities, most notably from the Irving K. Barber Society, New Relationship Trust, the Pacific Salmon Foundation, and SFU’s own Aboriginal Community Engagement Award. He is currently working as a wildlife technician for the Hakai Institute, a scientific research institution where he is advancing indigenous-led environmental management.

Anish Verma, BSc

June 12, 2:30 p.m.

With a keen interest in community engagement, Anish Verma held a variety of roles with student organizations such as the Physics Student Association, the Chemistry Student Society, the Science Undergraduate Society, and the Science Undergraduate Research Journal. Majoring in chemical physics with a minor in nuclear science, he obtained several undergraduate research grants, presented at research conferences, and also published his work in peer-reviewed journals. Verma, who found his passion while combining research with student engagement, plans to pursue graduate studies to become a research scientist in nuclear physics.

Madeline Millsip, BBA

June 13, 9:45 a.m.

Madeline Millsip found time during her studies at SFU’s Beedie School of Business to chair SFU’s CASE IT competition, volunteer with Enactus SFU’s Banner Bags program, and sit on the board of Dress for Success Vancouver. She also competed in international business-case competitions on Beedie teams that twice placed third in the world. She is a Surrey Board of Trade Top 25 Under 25 recipient and an Odgers Berndston CEOx1Day winner. She now works as a consultant in analytics and information management at Deloitte Canada. 

Samuel Thiak, BA

June 13, 2:30 p.m.

A South Sudanese refugee, Samuel Thiak entered SFU in fall 2013 with sponsorship from the World University Service of Canada. To pursue his interest in national and international security, he switched from applied science courses to a major in political science. Last year, during SFU’s NATO Field School in Italy, Canadian Lieutenant General Chris Whitecross, commandant of the NATO Defense College, presented Thiak with a medal for successfully completing an NMDX Crisis Management Simulation exercise at the college. This fall he’ll begin an SFU master’s program in political science. 

Katrina Heinonen, BA

June 14, 9:45 a.m.

Katrina Heinonen is graduating with a major in linguistics, a minor in health sciences, and a certificate in speech science. She volunteered as an undergraduate research assistant in the Language and Brain Lab. A varsity athlete on the women’s swimming and diving team, she won the 2017/2018 Top Scholar-Athlete award and was voted Most Inspirational Athlete by her teammates. She plans a career in the health field using her knowledge of neurolinguistics and speech pathology.

Lauren McRae, BA

June 14, 2:30 p.m.

Lauren McRae transferred from college to SFU for the last two years of her degree program in psychology and is graduating with an honours degree and an undergraduate Dean’s Medal in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. During her SFU studies she won $10,000 in awards and scholarships and volunteered as an undergraduate research assistant and as a clinical editor for SFU's Undergraduate Journal of Psychology. She also worked as a teaching assistant. Passionate about intimate relationships and how couples communicate, McRae begins graduate work this fall in SFU's Clinical Psychology program.

Miquela Anzulovich-Street, BA

June 15, 9:45 a.m.

Miquela Anzulovich-Street is graduating from the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology with a major in communication and a minor in sociology. She maintained high grades while participating in a diverse range of opportunities on and off campus. She volunteered on campus as a student mentor and ambassador, completed three co-op semesters and a study-abroad term in England, and also worked part-time as a lifeguard. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in the near future.

Philip Antony Chung, BEd

June 15, 2:30 p.m.

Philip Cheung is graduating from the Faculty of Education with a bachelor of general studies in education. He was involved on campus with the Education Student Association, where he worked to help build a student-centered community. He was also very involved with Friends of Simon, a faculty program that sends student tutors to elementary schools around Metro Vancouver to work with children and youth. He is currently a student teacher in the faculty’s professional development program.