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Date: May 28, 2008

UVic Convocation 2008: Academic Medalists

Medals recognizing outstanding academic achievement will be awarded during the University of Victoria’s spring convocation ceremonies, June 3 to 6 in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium.

In all, the university will confer 3,111 degrees, diplomas and certificates at convocation. Four honorary degrees will also be granted (see: http://communications.uvic.ca/releases/release.php?display=release&id=931).

The following are profiles of medal recipients who are available for interviews:

Governor General’s Gold Medal (outstanding graduate grade point average and dissertation/thesis): Erik Kjeang, PhD (Mechanical Engineering) Fuel cell specialist Kjeang came to UVic from Sweden to complete his doctorate where he combined “cutting-edge research with a great lifestyle.” He now works for fuel cell developer Ballard Power Systems of Burnaby.

Governor General’s Silver Medal (outstanding undergraduate grade point average) and IEEE Victoria Section Gold Medal in Software Engineering: Aaron Kaspar BSENG (Software Engineering) Kaspar’s top marks placed him first among all engineering and software engineering graduates. For his final project he and two other students designed and built an autonomous blimp. An avid skier and mountain biker, he recently moved to Whistler.

Jubilee Medal, Fine Arts: Carli Kennedy, BMus A guitarist, Kennedy is sharing this convocation with her identical twin, Julie Kennedy, a violinist. Raised in Powell River, the Kennedy twins plan to record and continue performing together.

Jubilee Medal, Humanities: Kathleen Gaudet, BA (Italian/Linguistics) Grade 12 spent in Trieste, Italy, ignited Gaudet’s passion for the language of Dante and Boccaccio. The Victoria-raised Italian aficionado will pursue her doctorate, on a scholarship from the University of Toronto.

Jubilee Medal, Science: Meghan Bland, BSc (Biology) Raised in Sidney, Bland credits hard work and determination for her outstanding grades. Future goals include research on invasive species and conservation of native flora and fauna.

Jubilee Medal, Social Sciences: Adam Cota, BSc (Psychology) A former member of the Canadian rowing team, Cota is enrolled in the Island Medical Program and plans to specialize in orthopedic surgery.

Law Society of BC Gold Medal: Meagen Lang, LLB The law faculty’s top marks-earner is clerking with the BC Court of Appeal before articling with a Vancouver firm this fall. “One of the nice things about UVic is that it’s such a small school,” she says, “so the faculty is very involved.”

Faculty of Education Maxwell Cameron Award, Elementary Education: Hélène Poulin, BEd Originally from Quebec, Poulin brings together her life experience and creative approaches to teaching that provide innovative ways for her students to learn.

Faculty of Education Maxwell Cameron Award, Secondary Education: Michelle Couture, BEd A newly minted French immersion teacher, Couture takes her award in stride: “It’s so wonderful to be recognized for…just doing what I love to do. It’s a privilege to be honoured for being me.”

IEEE Victoria Section Gold Medal in Computer Engineering: Simon Ramage, BEng (Computer Engineering) Ramage, from Okotoks, Alberta, capped a stellar undergraduate career with co-op work terms at Intel and the UVic Physics and Astronomy Department where he took part in leading edge research.

The remaining medal recipients are unavailable for interviews:

Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal (top master’s thesis, all faculties): Alexander Townson, MA (History in Art)

Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal (top master’s other than thesis, all faculties): Brandi Field, MA (English)

Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Medal: Olivier Bergeron, BEng (Mechanical Engineering co-op)

Department of Computer Science Graduation Medal: Rei Thiessen, BSc (Computer Science co-op/Mathematics)

IEEE Victoria Section Gold Medal in Electrical Engineering: Filippo Rossi, BEng (Electrical Engineering co-op)

Media contacts:
Mike McNeney (Alumni Communications) at 250-721-7642 or mmcneney@uvic.ca

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

(image: fern)