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SFU Economics celebrates its top students with 2023 undergraduate awards

June 16, 2023

Congratulations to these three undergraduate students whose outstanding academic performance and passion for economics have earned them this year's Department of Economics student awards. 

Cliff Lloyd Memorial Award

The award recognizes the graduating economics honours student with the highest cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

Collyn Gagne

I began my studies at SFU in 2018 in earth sciences. However, after one year in the program I switched to economics, where I finally discovered my passion. I find microeconomics particularly interesting, and hope to use what I learned in this area while I pursue a master’s degree in economics. During my studies I was on the varsity swimming team between 2018 and 2022, and I've been on the Canadian national team since 2022. I plan on taking a year off from school in hopes of qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games before beginning my master’s program. I would like to thank my professors for inspiring me to be successful in the field of economics and guiding me towards new challenges that will continue to help me progress academically.

Jack Knetsch Award 

Named after emeritus professor Jack Knetsch, the award recognizes the best essay in the Economics Honours Thesis course (ECON 499W). 

Lauren (Yoon Jeong) Wang

When I began this course, I had reservations about my research abilities. However, after immersing myself in two semesters of dedicated research and diligent study, my understanding of economics has greatly improved, and my research skills have been refined. The opportunity to empirically apply the economic knowledge garnered during my undergraduate studies has been particularly rewarding.  My research paper successfully demonstrated the environmental implications of behavioural economics, and I was able to support my findings with solid empirical evidence. I am truly grateful for the unwavering support and invaluable guidance provided by my thesis supervisor instructor, whose dedication has been crucial in nurturing my academic growth.

John Chant Award

Named after emeritus professor John Chant, the award recognizes the student with the highest cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in the undergraduate major program.

Russell Zhang

I transferred to SFU from Coquitlam College in the fall of 2020. Before I transferred to SFU, I was majoring in statistics. However, after taking some stats courses, I realized that something was missing when I analyzed datasets. It felt like we were not considering the "bigger picture". But after I took my first microeconomics course, the puzzle was solved. Statisticians do not consider the so-called "Equilibrium" which we use as economists. We try to use data and models to analyze human behavior, firm action, and a great variety of other complex issues of the world and try to find the optimal equilibrium and maximize the social surplus and benefit.

After this realization, I chose economics as my major and stats as my minor. I especially enjoyed ECON 402: Advanced Microeconomic Theory, where I learned to formally use an economic model to explain human behavior under the presence of asymmetric information. This course encouraged me to pursue further study in economics. Therefore, in September I will join UBC's Vancouver School of Economics to pursue my MA in economics. And hopefully, I can keep pushing myself to pursue PhD in economics and work in academia in the future.