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Student Speakers

September 27, 2019
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Each convocation ceremony October 10 - 11 will feature a student speaker reflecting on on their SFU education.

Anahita Mahmoodi, BASc

October 10, 9:45 a.m.  

Anahita Mahmoodi is graduating with a bachelor of applied science in mechatronic systems engineering (MSE). Active on campus, she served as both vice-president of events and acting president for the MSE Student Society, and also served as a liaison between students and the MSE administration. She completed co-op education internships at Cooledge Lighting, Tesla and at TransLink, where she has just accepted a full-time position on TransLink’s mechanical engineering team. Mahmoodi, who loves to act in film and television, looks forward to continuing this interest as well.

Violeta Dima, BA (Hons)

October 10, 2:30 p.m.

Violeta Dima is graduating with a bachelor of arts (hons) in political science. An award-winning scholar, she worked as a teaching assistant and also volunteered with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ Peer Mentorship Program and as a student engagement coordinator with the Elizabeth Fry Society. This fall, Dima began a master’s program in political science to further her interest in community activism, and her research into the judicial impact of legal interest group mobilization. Her goal is to further her education in law and improve the accessibility of the Canadian justice system.

Iman Baharmand, BSc

October 11, 9:45 a.m.

Graduating with a bachelor of science in biological sciences and a minor in anthropology, Iman Baharmand received awards to conduct research in the Lowenberger Lab on disease-carrying insects. In 2017, he and two other students won first place in the University of Oxford Global Challenge for their work on medical waste management, returning home with $10,000 to continue their research. On campus he created and led the Blood, Organ and Stem Cell Club, which has recruited more than 400 potential stem-cell donors. Baharmand is now working in the Manges Lab at the BC Centre for Disease Control, and plans on pursuing medical or graduate studies in the future.

Olivia Kanna, PhD

October 11, 2:30 p.m.

A language educator and lifelong learner, Olivia Kanna is graduating with her fourth degree, a PhD in curriculum theory and implementation, after previously completing her third master’s degree at SFU, an MEd in teaching English as an additional language. She holds MA and MPhil degrees in English, and is also a technical writer trained in Silicon Valley. She has recently completed post-doctoral work in the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma at Harvard Medical School, where she earned a certificate in Global Mental Health. An avid reader and passionate foodie, she currently teaches English and is poised to start a new career in human rights at the United Nations.