media release

SFU shines in Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 awards

May 27, 2014

Contact: Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

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Note: The award recipients will be recognized at a reception on June 12 at Eaglequest Golf Club in Surrey.

An impressive slate of Simon Fraser University students and alumni, all recognized as community role models, are among recipients of the Surrey Board of Trade’s 2014 Top 25 Under 25 awards.

The annual awards acknowledge business and community-minded individuals under the age of 25 who are either working in Surrey or engaged in projects in or for the city, and are considered role models and leaders. Those with SFU ties include:

Lara Ahmad, 21, co-manages Enactus SFU’s Entrepreneur of the Year program. Enactus SFU is student group that strives to create self-sustaining social ventures that solve real problems;

Winona Bhatti, 20, project manager of Enactus SFU’s Banner Bags and founder of HUG Charity Canada (Helping Underprivileged Girls);

Elvin Cheung, 23, an SFU alumnus and director of operations at, an award-winning digital agency. He has most recently started a new company, Beta Collective, Surrey’s first co-working space;

Kevin Cruz, 21, CEO and director of user experience at SynAesthetix Home Atmospherics, and an SFU student majoring in business entrepreneurship with a minor from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT).

Both Cheung and Cruz are clients of SFU Venture Connection. In partnership with Coast Capital Savings, Venture Connection provides support for student ventures from initial idea to business validation.

Jasmine Garcha, 24, an SFU alumna who has been involved in various initiatives including Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver and the Canadian Cancer Society, and is development co-chair for the Surrey Relay for Life (on June 9);

Gunraj Gill, 18, a current student at SFU and co-founder of G&T Solutions, a Vancouver-based outsourcing and offshoring firm;

Rae Holgado, 22, a fourth-year business and communication student and a project manager for Enactus SFU’s Count on Me financial literacy education program for at-risk youth;

Amar Pangalia, 20, a business student and member of the SFU Accounting Association, manager of Enactus SFU’s Count on Me program;

Cynthia Su, 21, of Enactus SFU’s SFU Entrepreneur of the Year program and winner of the Project Leader of the Year award at the 2014 Enactus Canada national exposition;

Karanvir Singh Thiara, 23, an SFU alumnus who is founder of the Sahara, a youth mental-health initiative that advocates for, and helps, children and youth to access support for mental health issues.

Other Top 25 award recipients are affiliated with Kwantlen Polytechnic University, other post-secondary institutions or Surrey schools—some of whom plan to attend SFU—and all have entrepreneurial aspirations or are engaged in the community. All will be fêted at an awards ceremony on June 12.

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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