convocation, students, Geography

Commitment to community earns Dean’s Convocation Medal

June 10, 2021
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Commitment to community helps new graduate Ruby Barnard excel inside and outside of the classroom. 

Barnard is the recipient of the 2020 Dean’s Convocation Medal, awarded to students whose grades place them in the top five per cent of their class. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in geography and a remarkable 4.13, out of a possible 4.33, grade point average (GPA). 

Equally impressive is Barnard’s commitment to educational and sexual health initiatives. 

While earning her undergraduate degree, she volunteered her time to combat issues of gender-based violence, sexism and heteronormativity. She supported non-profit societies and sexual health clinics, travelled overseas to help sexual health education in Kenya and volunteered with the SFU Student Society Women’s Center. 

Barnard, who studied human geography, says her academic and extracurricular experiences provided her with the tools to excel and the confidence to advocate for social justice.

“I learned to trust my knowledge and experiences,” says Barnard. “I learned the language to talk about various social and environmental issues and I learned to enjoy the process and privilege of learning.”

Currently pursuing a master’s degree in architecture at the University of British Columbia, Barnard’s research focuses on power relations embedded in the construction and design of the built environment.

She says the Dean’s Convocation Medal is a great honour and feels a sense of appreciation and kinship towards the SFU community.

“Faculty members, my peers and the Department of Geography with were so kind and supportive,” says Barnard. “They inspired me to think critically, be open minded, and be a better person.”

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