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Date: May 11, 2005

Blue and Gold Winners Announced

Eight University of Victoria students have been honoured with 2005 Blue and Gold Awards for their on-and off-campus volunteer work and solid classroom achievements. The awards recognize students who help improve the quality of life on campus and in their community.

Stephen Albinati, Chris Darimont, and Sarah Marsden were the top prizewinners, and have each been awarded $2,500. Shaun Doherty, Sue Duffy, Leanne Gutierrez, Chelsey Llewellyn, and Prasanna Ranganathan won $1,000 each.

Fourth-year business student Albinati co-founded Carbon-Free Campus, a student-run group that promotes alternative energy systems. He has been involved with Habitat for Humanity in Mexico, and has made and advertised African AIDS Angels to raise money for AIDS- and HIV-affected communities in Africa. In November 2004, Albinati spoke on a student panel at the Western Regional Conference for the Canadian Catholic Students’ Association.

Darimont, who is conducting a pioneer study of the wolves of B.C.’s central coast for his PhD in biology, is considered one of North America’s emerging conservation ecologists. An outspoken advocate for science-based wildlife conservation, he volunteers for the Raincoast Conservation Society and earlier this year won the Animal Action Award for Compassion in Science from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Darimont is also featured in a new National Geographic documentary film Last Stand of the Great Bear. He has volunteered with the Koeye Youth Camp and the Heiltsuk Science and Culture Camp, and has previously won the President’s Scholarship, the David S. Strong Research Award, and the Edward Basset Family Scholarship.

Marsden, a master of laws student, has worked at home and abroad for human rights agencies. In Victoria she worked for Victoria Street Newz as a volunteer researcher and community liaison, as well as for the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition as a volunteer legal advocate. In India, Marsden worked for the Indian Missionaries of Charity as a volunteer childcare and hospital assistant. In Cambodia, she worked with the U.N. Inter-Agency Project as a volunteer legal and policy researcher on human trafficking issues, and in Thailand, she worked for the Asia Pacific Forum on Women and Legal Development as a volunteer legal researcher and editor.

Doherty is a fourth-year political science and sociology student. He has volunteered with the BC Special Olympics, the Rock Solid Program, the Victoria Youth Custody Centre, and Operation Trackshoes. He has been captain of the Vikes men’s basketball team at UVic since 2003, and has been a team member since 2001.

Duffy, a master of education student, has volunteered for the Single Parent Resource Centre of Victoria for over 10 years. She has also volunteered with the William Head Institution and the Victoria Hospice Society.

Gutierrez is a fourth-year biochemistry student. She has coached Gordon Head girls’ soccer teams and plays competitive soccer. She has worked on scientific research in the B.C. Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Laboratory, and worked in a hospital in Tanna, Vanuatu.

Llewellyn, a fourth-year biochemistry student, is a member of the Vikes women’s rugby team. She volunteers at Sandringham Care Centre and participates in the UVic Student-Senior Work Program. Llewellyn has also volunteered for the Rock Solid program.

Ranganathan, a third-year law student, is president of the Law Students’ Society. He is the founder and co-coordinator of the UVic Law Peer Counselling program, and a co-organizer of the UVic Law Volunteer Book Project, which is creating a resource book for the career development office for students interested in volunteering in Victoria. Ranganathan won the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Edward K. Rowan-Legg Award in 2004, which is awarded to one law student nationally for service to the CBA.

The Blue and Gold awards received financial support from CIBC.
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Media contacts:
Jessica Gillies (UVic Communications) at (250) 472-5667 or ucom1@uvic.ca

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