Negin Saheb Javaher is the winner of a Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal, acknowledging not only her achievement in earning the highest grade in a diploma or certificate program but also her extracurricular activities as a crisis-line volunteer.

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Sociology connects student to bigger picture

June 05, 2017
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By Wan Yee Lok

"The day I found out I was admitted into SFU's sociology BA program was one of the happiest days of my life," recalls Negin Saheb Javaher. "I was struggling with studying in English and navigating my new life in Canada and I had actually considered moving back home to Iran."

She completed her BA, and this month will graduate again with a post-baccalaureate diploma in sociology, a program she took to prepare for graduate school.

Graduate studies aren’t likely to be a problem, however. She earned a 3.89 cumulative grade point average out of a possible 4.33 in the diploma program, winning a Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal. It acknowledges not only her achievement in earning the highest grade in a diploma or certificate program but also her extracurricular activities as a crisis-line volunteer.

"This medal is the most precious gift I have ever received," says Saheb Javaher, whose post-baccalaureate studies concentrated on women and globalization. 

Born and raised in Iran, she identifies more with women who live in third-world countries and says every woman deserves to be empowered, and to be in control of her life, body and mind.

“In some third-world countries, women are often denied the right to live the life they want,” she says. “Globalization, in addition to political, cultural, religious and socio-economic factors, contributes to obstacles that get in the way of how a woman may make decisions or express herself.”

Saheb Javaher enjoys sociology because it gives her a perspective for understanding what goes on around her and enables her to connect her personal issues to sociopolitical matters in the rest of the world. 

She gained additional insights into sociology after volunteering at the Battered Women Support Services (BWSS) as a crisis-line volunteer.

“Training and volunteering at BWSS enabled me to experience the things I had learned and to better understand empathy, which is a fundamental concept in sociology. As a crisis-line volunteer, I learned about the social issues that affect some women in a real-life setting and witnessed how violence affects real people in real life.”

She will begin a master’s degree in sociology at the University of Calgary in September.