Chloë Falez receives the Dean’s Convocation Medal for Undergraduate Studies

June 24, 2021

Chloë Falez graduates this month with a Dean’s Convocation Medal for Undergraduate Studies, which recognizes students whose grades place them in the top five per cent of their class. We asked her about her SFU journey, and her major in English and minor in sociology.

1. Why did you decide to attend SFU?

I received a scholarship to SFU and, knowing I’d need to work throughout university, this financial help was a huge stress reliever when entering university.

2. What type of literature did you enjoy studying the most?

I think really where my heart is at is post-colonial literature; stories of diaspora, meanings of home. For example, thinking about what does home look like in a place that no longer exists or resides only in memory? For myself, being the child of two immigrants, that’s something that really resonates with me in terms of feeling that I am part of a much larger cultural story, and yet feel disconnected to it.

3. Why did you choose to do a minor in sociology?

I found that my minor in sociology provided me with a range of social theories that, paired with the literary theories I learnt in my English courses, helped deepen my understanding of English texts.

4. Who were your favourite instructors?

Professors Colette Colligan, Leith Davis, Kandice Sharren, Diana Solomon, Lindsey Freeman, and Amanda Watson are, to me, absolute stars in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences—if you have the opportunity to take courses with them, please do it! These professors were so kind and helpful at every stage of writing an essay: from recommending secondary texts to connecting me with their colleagues whenever I had a strange research question outside of their focus, and even (the biggest help of all) reading through my haphazardly written drafts.

5. What was your most memorable moment at SFU?

In Torsten Kehler’s class, ENGL 385, Across Time, Across Space, we watched and wrote about Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain, a movie about an alien virus that is ravaging humanity, weeks before COVID-19 shut down in-person classes. Freaky!

6. What does winning the Dean’s Convocation Medal mean to you?

I feel very honoured to receive the medal, but without the support of the people who care about me, I know I would not be receiving it. It belongs as much to me as everyone who helped me along my undergrad journey—my family, friends, and professors.

7. The Dean’s Convocation Medal is one of the highest undergraduate academic honours, Can you tell us the secret to your success?

Try to stay as organized as possible (e.g. set mini-deadlines for each step of an assignment). Put your essay into a text to speech reader before handing it in. I found having “someone” (even a strange, robotic voice) read my own work back to me super helpful.

8. What are your plans and how has SFU prepared you for the future?

In the fall, I will be entering UBC’s education program to become an elementary school teacher. My studies in English and sociology helped me be a more aware and empathetic person. I hope to teach my students that it’s not just about being good at reading and writing. It’s about trying to be the best human you can be as well.