media release

Batalia bursary recipient to attend candlelight vigil

September 26, 2013

Erica Branda, University Advancement, 778.782.3353,
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.9017,


One of the first students to be awarded a bursary from the Maple Batalia Memorial Fund will attend a candlelight vigil being held in honour of Batalia and two other women who were victims of violence. The vigil will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at Holland Park in Surrey.

Emily Leaman has been awarded $1,500 to study health sciences at Simon Fraser University. She aspires to work as a family physician in Canada as well as internationally through an organization such as Médecins Sans Frontières or the Canadian Red Cross. She has already demonstrated a strong sense of community engagement as a volunteer for the Red Cross First Aid Team at her high school, a medical first responder at community events with St. John Ambulance, and as founder of a Red Cross Club at the University of New Brunswick. 

She now focuses her volunteerism on the issue of HIV/AIDS through volunteering with Positive Living BC as well as the SFU AIDS Awareness Network.

To date, the Batalia family has raised more than $78,000 for this bursary fund, and their goal is to exceed $100,000. They were able to support two young women this year and hope to sponsor three students in 2014.

Batalia, who was tragically shot and killed on Sept. 28, 2011, was studying health sciences and science and planned to become a doctor. The vigil is being held on the second anniversary of her death to commemorate the young student as well as Manjit Panghali and Poonam Randhawa, who were also victims of violence, to bring attention to the need to end violence against women.

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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