Each of the eight convocation ceremonies, June 7-10, will feature a student speaker who will represent their peers and reflect on their SFU education.
SFU Convocation June 2016
First Master's in Big Data cohort graduates
- Big data degree reaps big rewards
- PhD grad chews on global food issues
- Disability no deterrent to completing degree
- Shedding new light on sex offenders' crimes reveals surprises
- PhD research startles world scientists
- Spring 2016 Honorary Degree Recipients
- Student Convocation Speakers
- Degree opens doors to world travel
- Promising undergrad researcher fast tracks to PhD program
- Stand-out student seeks to help others walk again
- Engagement, scholastics and school spirit earn Shrum medal
- Undergrad takes on the full university experience
- Grad immersed herself in global indigenous cultures
- Grad faces tough choice: Olympics vs medical school
- Love for mathematics trounces adversity
- Saving lives by connecting the 'docs'
- Enterprising mechatronics student is flying high
- Eye for design attracts awards for SIAT grad
- From senior to señora: Margaret Torgerson’s journey in gerontology
- Naqib Azad leaves legacy of social entrepreneurship
- Zebang Wei first in Canada to graduate with a bachelor of environment degree
- Mid-career move pays off
- White Rock politician seeks to improve public policies
- It’s no kidding matter: marriage, two kids and a PhD
- Vivian Abboud’s remarkable journey from Canadian immigrant to doctor of education graduate
- Undergraduate convocation medalists
- Graduate convocation medalists
Amelie Pedneault’s groundbreaking research into sexual offenders’ crimes led to a surprising discovery: sexual offenders are less likely to re-offend if they have been interrupted during an offence and are unable to complete it.
Honorary Degree Recipients
More than 5,000 students are eligible to convocate during SFU’s convocation ceremonies June 7-10. They join more than 137,000 alumni who have graduated since SFU opened its doors 50 years ago. As SFU concludes its 50th Anniversary celebrations, the University is proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of eight exceptional individuals who will receive honorary degrees during the June convocation ceremonies.
David Gillespie, Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Tuesday, June 7, 9:45 a.m.
SFU alumnus David Gillespie’s groundbreaking scientific achievements in the field of entomology have revolutionized greenhouse agriculture around the world, significantly reducing the need for pesticides. An SFU adjunct professor and a scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, he was first to discover predatory insects and mites that are natural enemies of pests—leading to the new field of biological pest control. He has received many awards and honours for his contributions to pest management, biocontrol and agriculture, including the Entomological Society of Canada’s Gold Medal in 2014. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2015 for his contributions to reducing pesticides in agriculture. He continues to work in research and development, seeking new microbial agents to biologically control pests, and new biological control agents for managing aphids on greenhouse vegetable crops.
Keith Beedie, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Tuesday, June 7, 2:30 p.m.
Keith Beedie is a visionary business leader and philanthropist. He is the founder and chairman of Beedie Development Group, one of Canada’s premier real estate development companies. For the past six decades, he has been a true innovator in the real estate industry—and his contributions to the industry have helped shape the way we work and live in Metro Vancouver and beyond. Well known for his philanthropy, he has donated more than $30 million to various charities, health centres and institutions around Metro Vancouver. In 2011, the Beedie family gave a record donation of $22 million to SFU to establish the Beedie School of Business. Keith Beedie is more than just a namesake: his business integrity, innovation and commitment to give back to his community make him a role model for SFU’s emerging leaders and entrepreneurs.
Nigel Lockyer, Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Wednesday, June 8, 9:45 a.m.
Experimental particle physicist Nigel Lockyer is internationally recognized as a transformative leader for contributions to research, innovation and community service. As director of TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for nuclear and particle physics, Lockyer expanded TRIUMF’s operations while also establishing national and international partnerships and collaborations. Prior to that he co-led the Collider Detector Facility experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, which discovered the top quark, the heaviest of six elementary particles. He is now director of Fermilab, where he is leading the LBNF/DUNE effort to host the first international science mega-project on U.S. soil. He holds a PhD in physics from Ohio State University, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and received the Society’s 2006 Panofsky Prize for work on the bottom quark.
Evaleen Jaager Roy, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Wednesday, June 8, 2:30 p.m.
An advisor to top CEOs and organizations, Evaleen Jaager Roy is a business and community leader whose work has created a lasting legacy. An early builder of the interactive entertainment sector in B.C., she is an Outstanding SFU Alumna award-winner and first alumna to chair SFU’s board of governors (1999-2002), overseeing the University’s expansion to downtown Vancouver and laying the plans for future development at the Burnaby campus. More recently she chaired the board at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. She is currently a board member at Curatio, named one of Canada’s hottest tech startups, and also sits on the boards of the Banff Centre and the Asia Pacific Foundation. Named a Vancouver Influential Business Woman, she holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BBA (Hons) from SFU.
Robert Bringhurst, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa
Thursday, June 9, 9:45 a.m.
Robert Bringhurst is a celebrated author and poet who has written more than 40 books of prose and poetry. A recognized linguist, typographer, editor and designer, he is renowned for translating and interpreting Native American oral literature, and sharing it with the world. Among his many accolades is the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology in 2004, for A Story as Sharp as a Knife, his monumental study of Haida oral literature. It is accompanied by two volumes of translation devoted to the work of the Haida poets Skaay and Ghandl. In 2005 Bringhurst received the B.C. Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence and in 2013 was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada for his outstanding achievement in the arts.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Doctors of Laws, honoris causa
Thursday, June 9, 2:30 p.m.
The Hon. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, is a lawyer, scholar, humanitarian and strong advocate for Aboriginal people, children and youth. A judge on leave from the Saskatchewan Provincial Court, she is currently in her second five-year term as B.C.’s first representative for children and youth. Throughout her career she has championed the voice and rights of children and youth, particularly as a former elected president of the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates. In 1994 she was named to TIME magazine’s list of 100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow, and in 1999 was named one of the Top Canadian Leaders for the 21st century. She holds a PhD from Harvard Law School and an MA in international law from Cambridge University.
Geoffrey Massey, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Friday, June 10, 9:45 a.m.
Architect Geoffrey Massey, who with his business partner Arthur Erickson won the design competition to build SFU, helped create and realize SFU’s distinctive, innovative architecture. With an M. Arch. from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Massey coupled his design knowledge with his business sense to bring SFU to fruition on time, and on budget. The duo went on to win several architectural awards and honours. In the mid-70s, Massey turned his attention to politics, serving as a Vancouver alderman for two years. He also sat on the board of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, and served as a trustee for the Granville Island Trust. He then returned to private practice and while he has now retired, he continues to design projects for family and friends. He is a fellow of both the Royal
Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, Doctor of Science, honoris causa
Friday, June 10, 2:30 p.m.
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian physician and human rights and peace activist. Born and raised in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abuelaish overcame adversity to become the first Palestinian physician appointed to an Israeli hospital. In 2010 his critically acclaimed autobiography, I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey, became an international bestseller. The story, inspired by the tragic loss of his three daughters and a niece during the 2009 Gaza War, has become a symbol of the inhumanity of the Middle Eastern conflict. Dr Abuelaish established the Daughters For Life Foundation, a Canadian charity providing education to young women from the Middle East. A three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee characterized as the “Martin Luther King of the Middle East,” he is currently a professor at the University of Toronto. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2013.
Alexa Nelson knew in high school that she wanted a career in cellular research, but discovered a second passion during her undergraduate years at SFU—teaching.
When Carmen Tang entered SFU in 2010 with a Gordon M. Shrum Major Entrance Scholarship, she didn’t foresee graduating with the Gordon M. Shrum Undergraduate Medal as well.
From a field school in Fiji and Tonga to an exchange semester in Australia, SFU graduand Tessa Fryer has travelled the world to experience cultures typically only read about.
Cameron Proceviat is conovocating this month with a B.Sc. in molecular biology and biochemistry (MBB). He never imagined his SFU experience would lead to a crossroads requiring him to decide between applying to medical school or taking a run at representing Canada in the 2020 Olympic games.
After earning a bachelor of arts in psychology and English Margaret Torgerson didn’t expect to pursue a post-baccalaureate in gerontology.
Bachelor of business administration graduate Naqib Azad leaves SFU with a legacy of empowering students to benefit society through social entrepreneurship.
Canada's First B.Env. Graduate
International student Zebang Wei switched programs from geography to global environmental systems when he discovered that SFU was introducing a bachelor of environment program in January 2015.
Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg, the oldest of the spring convocation class, at 70, says as citizens become isolated and disconnected in an increasingly complex society, the matter of creating successful policy is more challenging than ever.
The past five years have been a whirlwind for Alexis Palmer-Fluevog. She married, enrolled in a PhD program, and gave birth to two sons. Now, she is graduating with a PhD in population and public health from SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences.
Her passion for learning and community engagement drives her many life accomplishments.