SFU Convocation October 2015

October 06, 2015
International student Vanessa Kong studied for one year at SFU and one year at the Communication University of China to earn dual MA degrees in global communications. She is among the first 10 students to graduate from this award-winning program.

Jobs plentiful for dual MA grads

Vanessa Kong and her nine classmates hold passports from all over the world but have one thing in common: they are the first 10 students to graduate with a Master of Arts in Global Communication from both SFU and the Communication University of China in Beijing.



Exploring passion pays off

Be flexible. That's the advice from Catherine Parsons, who is graduating with a master’s degree in resource and environmental management (REM).


Student convocation speakers

Each of the four convocation ceremonies, October 8-9, will feature a student speaker who will represent their peers and reflect on their SFU education.


Honorary degree recipients

During two days of convocation ceremonies Oct. 8 and 9 more than 2,300 students are eligible to cross the convocation dais to collect their degrees. They join the 135,000 alumni who have graduated since SFU opened its doors 50 years ago. And to mark SFU’s 50th Anniversary, 20 charter alumni will once again cross the convocation dais on Oct. 9, this time to receive a special parchment and an alumni pin.

As SFU celebrates its 50th anniversary, the University is proud to recognize the exceptional achievements of four outstanding individuals who will receive honorary degrees during the October convocation ceremonies: 

Sut Jhally

Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa
Thursday, Oct. 8, 9:45 a.m.

Sut Jhally, an SFU alumnus, is professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts, and founder and executive director of the Media Education Foundation (MEF), an organization that inspires critical thinking about mass media’s impact on society. 


Bill Nye

Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2:30 p.m.

Bill Nye is a scientist, educator and performer known to millions of people as “Bill Nye The Science Guy,” from his popular science-education television series of the same name. 


Harry B. Gray

Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Friday, Oct. 9, 9:45 a.m.

Harry B. Gray is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and founding director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. 


Nancy J. Turner

Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Friday, Oct. 9, 2:30 p.m.

Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist and ethnoecologist at the University of Victoria who has collaborated with First Nations peoples for more than 40 years to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and habitats.


More student stories

Suicide research prompts CIHR Banting fellowship

According to the World Health Organization , someone commits suicide approximately every 40 seconds. Brianna Turner is working to change that.


SFU couple makes a splash with home-aquarium water sensor

It started with a goldfish. Husband and wife graduands Kyle and Leonie Tharratt, who met at SFU and married in 2013, received the unwanted pet from a family friend.


Student engagement triggers national television role

Bachelor of business administration graduate Edwin Hendrawan has a unique claim to fame among this year’s crop of SFU graduates: he has hosted a national Indonesian television show.


Budding doctor gets big picture through Master of Public Health

Lara Brewster will walk away with much more than a Master of Public Health when she crosses the convocation dais this fall.


Academic social entrepreneur fosters Bolivian development

Bolivia’s indigenous people are now charting their own development path, thanks in part to a training program initiated by Gretchen Hernandez, who graduates this month with a PhD in geography.


SFU NOW paves path to long-awaited degree

Graduand Bonnie Tetlock has some wisdom to impart to high school graduates and adult learners alike as she prepares to collect her BA this fall.


Spreading the mathematics love

The majority of SFU’s Aboriginal students are in the arts and social sciences, but not Jamie Nordio.


Co-op jobs help fulfill Iron Man career ambition

Spellbound by the high-tech suit worn by armoured superhero Iron Man, Sheldan Manansala had starry ambitions to create a similar exoskeleton device.


Two degrees, one career goal

Mona Lisa Delva is one of those students whose intellectual curiosity can’t be confined to one faculty or discipline.


Community engagement reaps career rewards

Even before she convocates this fall, Carmen Tang has landed her dream job.


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