media release

SFU convocation on Oct. 4-5 celebrates more than 2,000 new graduates

October 02, 2018

Justin Wong, University Communications, 778.782.3035,   

Media Kit:

More than 2,000 students are eligible to graduate during Simon Fraser University’s Fall Convocation ceremonies on October 4 and 5.

These students and others join more than 155,000 SFU alumni in over 130 countries who have graduated since the university opened its doors more than 50 years ago.

SFU will also confer honorary degrees to two distinguished individuals whose inspiring accomplishments are making a difference in the world:

  • Jane Goodall (October 4 at 2:30 p.m.), a celebrated primatologist, ethologist, environmentalist, animal rights activist and UN Messenger of Peace. She is best known for her lifelong, pioneering study of chimpanzee behaviour in Africa and her work to prevent their extinction.

    Academic credentials conferred at this ceremony: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

    *Goodall won’t be available for media interviews at the event, but media can take photos and plug into the press box to capture her commencement speech. B-roll and her live commencement speech from the event will also be added to the media kit shortly after the event.

  • Alison Gopnik (October 5 at 2:30 p.m.), an internationally recognized leader in the study of cognitive science. Her research exploring children’s learning and development has revealed surprising discoveries about children’s sophisticated learning abilities.

Academic credentials conferred at this ceremony: Faculty of Education; Faculty of Environment

There will be two ceremonies daily at 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Each ceremony begins with a procession into Convocation Mall led by members of SFU’s six-time world champion pipe band. Honorary degrees are then conferred at the start of the convocation ceremonies.

WHAT: SFU Fall Convocation
October 4-5, 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (both days)
Convocation Mall, SFU’s Burnaby campus

Media parking is available in the upper level of the Central Parkade (see map

Among the graduating students:

Edmond Kilpatrick (October 5, 2:30 p.m.), a long-time professional dancer who had shelved his dance shoes and is moving to a new melody now that he is graduating with a master’s degree in education. Instead of a traditional written thesis, he created two videos as a site of research to investigate and try out his ideas. Combining his artistry and dancing talent, Kilpatrick set out to tell the story of Shelly, a woman living with HIV, and her everyday struggles with the people around her and the laws that perpetuate the stigma attached to her diagnosis.

Rachel Chase and Oliver Luo (October 5, 9:45 a.m.), have both earned their master of science degree. They are also on the SFU team behind Zennea Technologies, which develops technology to improve the quality of sleep for people who snore. Their first prototype, ZENS, is a medical device that aims to reduce chronic snoring in cases where, for most of the night, snoring reaches an average decibel level greater than 40.

Thiago Bassi (October 5, 9:45 a.m.), an experienced neurosurgeon has earned an SFU Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Commercialization. Bassi is now working in the research and development department at Lungpacer Medical Inc., a medical device company. He is supporting clinical cases using an experimental neurostimulation device that is designed to help mechanically ventilated patients breathe independently more quickly.  Bassi created a business case for his idea for a device to treat stroke victims, which he says will be helpful in securing development funding at his workplace.

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