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Student achievements celebrated at Burnaby's SFU convocation

SFU saw its first-ever Black graduation celebration event this year, and undergraduate students win medals for academic success, inclusion efforts and character.
SFU convocation image
Simon Fraser University students will graduate this week at ceremonies from June 7-10 on Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus.

Students at Simon Fraser University are celebrating their academic careers with medals and firsts this week at the Burnaby campus.

This spring, nearly 5,000 students are eligible to graduate.

For the first time in SFU history, the SFU Black Caucus and SFU Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry held a Black graduation celebration event on Monday night (June 6).

Black SFU graduates from 2020, 2021 and 2022 were celebrated and given SFU Black Caucus-branded Kente cloth stoles. The celebration included foods, music and performances.

University-wide, SFU undergraduates will be lauded with various medals in recognition of academic and extracurricular achievement.

Cory Macklin and Ethan Hinchcliff took the Governor General’s silver medal for the highest academic standing in an undergraduate honours program.

Macklin decided at age 20 he wanted to become a doctor and began his academic career at Douglas College. He’s volunteered at the Last Door youth program in New Westminster for the last decade and plans to apply to UBC medical school next year.

Hinchcliff identified a security vulnerability in SFU’s own IT network, and has volunteered on a variety of projects. After graduating, he intends to work in software development at Amazon.

Ashley Kyne has won the Lieutenant Governor’s medal for inclusion, democracy and reconciliation.

Kyne, an iTaukei (Fijian) student in SFU’s school of criminology, wrote her honours thesis in the department of Indigenous studies, where she examined culturally informed risk factors for Indigenous offenders. She won a national graduate scholarship for her studies and will begin her master’s at SFU in the fall.

Xin Spencer Chen’s academic and extracurricular work earned her the Gordon M. Shrum gold medal, for demonstrating “outstanding qualities of character and unselfish devotion to the university.” She will join SFU’s clinical psychology program to research borderline personality disorder in the fall.

PhD students Razvan Cojocaru and Herath Gedara won the Governor General’s gold medals for graduate students with the highest academic standing in a master’s or doctoral program.

Honorary degrees are being conferred on:

  • Former SFU president Andrew Petter
  • Humanitarian Dr. James Chi Ming Pau
  • Author and publisher Alan Twigg
  • Conservationists and photographers Christina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen
  • Health care leader and former BC deputy health minister Dr. Penny Ballem
  • Heritage consultant and B.C. transportation historian Robert Turner