Melanie Hiepler

Melanie is a two-time recipient of the Caledonia Award. She says the award is further confirmation that she made the right decision to pursue World Literature.

She studied in Prague last summer and says the experience proved formative, academically and personally. She hopes to use work she did in Prague as a springboard for her honours in World Literature.

After graduation, Melanie would like to travel and work before pursuing a Master's of Library and Information Sciences at UBC. “I like the idea of becoming a librarian and working either in a research context or in a community-oriented environment,” she said. She is currently completing her first co-op work term as a Junior Communications Officer at Transport Canada, which she describes as a great learning curve in terms of transferring her writing and communication skills from an academic situation to a professional environment.

"Receiving the award for a second time has been very motivating and has inspired me to work even harder at World Literature and to pursue my studies deeper.

Thank you. I can't say it enough."

Avnit Garcha   

Avnit enjoys competitive bhangra dancing, teaching dance, and reading. She just completed her BA and will be heading to UBC in the fall to join the Teacher Education Program.

Avnit planned to study English when she entered SFU, but after taking World Literature 100 with Ken Seigneurie, she was hooked. She was drawn to the broader area that World Literature covered. She participated in the 2016 World Literature Student Conference and presented her paper, "Performance as a Mode of Female Objectification in the 1993 Bollywood Film Khal Nayak."

Avnit says the Caledonia Award relieved much of the stress associated with tuition for her final semester. She has been working part-time and is now able to put aside money and further her education. She hopes to teach high school English and literature classes once she completes her teacher training.

"I cannot thank you enough for this award, which acknowledges my love for SFU's World Literature Program.

I am grateful for the role that the donors of the Caledonia Award have played in my education"

Amanda Rachmat

Amanda always thought she would study English and a social science at university. Coordinators from the First Year Learning Community at SFU Surrey visited her high school and promoted a variety of first-year programs. The Global Issues Program caught her eye as it satisfied her desire for a more worldly education.

Her very first World Literature professor, Ken Seigneurie, convinced her to join the World Literature Program, and after her first semester, she majored in both World Literature and International Studies.

She was honoured to receive the Caledonia Award and plans to use it to travel and gain first-hand experience of the world. Asia has often been the focus of her literary and political research, and her father has family roots in Indonesia.

The World Literature Program has given her a view of human nature, culture, and civilization, and it surprises her that not everyone has the chance to learn about the world in this way. She hopes to pursue a master's degree in either public policy or urban planning, then incorporate what she learns about cities abroad back to life in Canada.

"I cannot thank you enough for your support. The Caledonia Award inspires me to continue to give my best in my studies and back to my community."

Maya Gal   

Maya had been searching desperately for a literature course to accommodate her schedule when she discovered and then signed up for her first World Literature class. After she experienced the support of staff and the welcome of students in the World Literature Program, she switched majors from biology to English with a minor in World Literature.

Maya experienced many hardships throughout her degree, both mentally and financially, and the Caledonia Award was an amazing help in both those struggles.

Maya was involved in the 2016 World Literature Student Conference and presented her paper, “The Epic Archer: A Portrayal of Divinity and Humanity.” This fall she will begin an MA in English at SFU, with the hope of following it with a Ph.D.

"This award is far beyond money. It is a treasured appreciation that changed my attitude about my studies.
The Caledonia Award made me believe in myself when I had not done so for some time, and to me, that is utterly priceless, and I am forever grateful for it."