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June 2014 Dean's Convocation Medal Recipients

June 11, 2014

We are happy to announce the Faculty of Education's Dean's Convocation medal recipients for June 2014:

Graduate Dean's Medal

Dr Noëlle Mathis, PhD, Education: Languages, Cultures and Literacies
Dr Noëlle Mathis completed not one but two doctoral degrees in only three years. She is the first student to write her PhD dissertation in French at SFU and she was also the first SFU student to complete a cotutelle—a joint double degree—with Université d’Avignon in France.

Her dissertation on Plurilingual Identities and Textual Creation in French as a Second Language received the highest distinction possible in the French doctoral system, and we are pleased to bestow one of the highest recognitions in the Canadian academic system. As a graduate student, Dr Mathis organized workshops for her fellow students in both France and Canada on academic writing in French, and she served as an agent of change, strengthening collaborations between countries and facilitating more meaningful international collaboration and engagement.

Thesis: Plurilingual identities and textual creation in French as a second language: A sociolinguistic approach to writing workshops

Dr Jacob Stone, PhD, Education Psychology

In his doctoral dissertation in Educational Psychology, Dr Jacob Stone dismantles the current theories of mind and self-regulation in children. He goes on to offer an alternative which solves vexing problems in the currently dominant theories and which has important implications for research in metacognition, human agency and moral psychology.

During his doctoral studies, Dr Stone had six publications on wide-ranging topics from 19th century teachers’ perspectives on the nature of children’s minds to a critical analysis of the Reggio Emilia approach in early education to the significance of relativity theory in George Herbert Mead’s work. Dr Stone says that he truly regrets his absence from convocation and wishes he could be here for it.

Thesis: The Role of Social Reasoning in the Development of Self and Social Regulation

Undergraduate Dean's Medal

Ms Avi Goldberg, BA, General Studies, Education
Ms Goldberg worked as a graphic designer for over a decade with progressive non-profit organizations prior to pursuing her undergraduate degree in education at SFU. Throughout her coursework Goldberg explored issues that impact children and families, such as the exclusion of students living in poverty, marketing aimed at children and youth, the glorification of war in curriculum materials, and representation and stereotypes in children’s literature.

Goldberg was encouraged by several professors in the Education department, as well as PDP Faculty Associates Bill Hood and Selina Metcalfe, to put her commitment to social justice to work in the classroom during her teaching practicum. She explored issues such as income inequality, residential schools and the ongoing impacts of colonialism, and environmental sustainability with elementary school students. She also brought her personality to the classroom, making very bad math puns, leading off-key ukulele singalongs, and teaching PE with a rubber chicken.

Goldberg is a strong advocate of public education and has recently started teaching in the Campbell River School District, where she looks forward to challenging students to think critically and take action to create a more compassionate, open-minded and just society.