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Date: November 20, 2000

Class of Fall 2000 Takes Centre Stage at UVic

On Saturday, Nov. 25, more than 1,300 students will mark the end of one journey and the beginning of another when they graduate at the University of Victoria's fall convocation ceremonies.

Every graduate has a story to tell, and here are a few of them:

LEANNE PYLE, PhD, geology:

For five consecutive physically demanding summers, Pyle was part of research teams that flew by helicopter into remote regions of B.C.'s northern Rockies to collect rock samples dating back 500 million years. Fish fossils hidden in the rock provide clues about Western Canada's geological origins. Contact Pyle at 472-6181.

ALLISON MURRAY and CLAUDETTE RAMOS, bachelor of nursing:

Murray and Ramos are starting their careers treating patients at opposite ends of life's spectrum. Ramos is working with low birth weight, sick and premature infants at the B.C. Children's Hospital, while Murray is specializing in palliative care at Prince George Regional Hospital. Both women are graduates of North Island College. Contact Murray at (250) 563-8475 and Ramos at (604) 434-7439.

RAMIN SEDAGHATI, PhD, mechanical engineering:

Sedaghati struggled to regain interest in his studies after the sudden death in 1999 of his mentor and original thesis supervisor Prof. Bez Tabarrok, the founder of UVic's mechanical engineering program. Overcoming his depression, Sedaghati completed his doctorate a year ahead of schedule. He has accepted a fellowship at the Canadian Space Agency to continue research into the design of robotic arms and antennae used by astronauts in the space shuttle and the International Space Station. Contact Sedaghati at 472-4214.

CRISTINA STOICA, PhD math:

Stoica, UVic's first female PhD in math, has spent the last three years learning a culture, a language and advanced mathematics. As an undergraduate in her native Romania, she was one of thousands of students who participated in the country's short but bloody revolution to overthrow communist rule in 1989. Discouraged by lack of advancement opportunities in Romania for women scientists, she has adopted Canada as her new homeland. Contact Stoica at 920-9923 or 721-7466 (UVic).

REZA DIZAJI, PhD, electrical engineering/ocean acoustics:

A nominee for the best doctoral thesis in Canada, Dizaji has helped make significant advances in the field of ocean acoustics. He's working for Raytheon Systems in Ontario to develop new long-range radar systems with coverage of up to 500 km. Dizaji was attending university in Tehran when an Iraqi bomb struck the school. Contact Dizaji at (519) 885-0110 (ext.327) and at UVic (after Wednesday) 472-4255.

CAROLYN GRANEWALL, MA, French:

For her thesis, Granewall, a teacher of French as a second language at Reynolds Secondary, examined why males and females perform differently in language learning situations and found that sex-based differences express themselves in an individual's learning style. "Women usually learn in a variety of ways, but men tend to be active learners, extremely visual and less adept at learning through auditory channels." Contact Granewall at (250) 479-1504.

Degrees, diplomas and certificates will be awarded by UVic Chancellor Norma Mickelson during the three convocation ceremonies at 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium.

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Media contacts:
Valerie Shore (UVic Communications) at 721-7641.

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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