media release

Shrum medallist kept hoopsters healthy

June 13, 2011
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Contact:
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.3210/9017; marianne_meadahl@sfu.ca

Alexandra Wright
Photo on Flickr

She won’t miss the 4:30 a.m. wake-ups for basketball practice but Alexandra Wright says she will miss Simon Fraser University.

Wright, the winner of this year’s Gordon M. Shrum gold medal, SFU’s most prestigious undergraduate honour, was recruited to the university as a volunteer student medical-trainer for the women’s basketball team. That meant spending the past five years attending every practice and every game, at home and away.

Team members grew to be like family, says Wright, who had to give up her own basketball career after a knee injury in Grade 12.

Wright was a natural for the Shrum medal, awarded to students who have earned bachelor’s degrees with high scholastic standing, while participating in extra-curricular activities and demonstrating outstanding qualities of character and unselfish devotion to SFU.

She earned the highest grade-point average in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ bachelor’s degree program, while findiing time to serve as the faculty’s student union president during her last year.

But it’s her leadership in developing and implementing a student-led, student-run mentorship pilot-program for up to 50 students new to the faculty that has earned her the most praise.

“The mentorship program’s structure and great success in a pilot project this past year have made it a model for faculties throughout the university,” says health scientist Kitty Corbett, the faculty’s director of undergraduate programs.

Wright says the program’s 13 mentors weren’t counsellors or tutors, but instead offered new students social support and guided them towards academic resources.

Although she’s finished her degree, Wright is still busy planning next year’s mentorship program before leaving for the U.K in September. She plans to complete a Master of Science degree in comparative social policy at the University of Oxford.

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