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Fall Convocation 2020 Student Awards

Karshigul Turdimuradova

Diploma in Accounting

President's Outstanding Graduate Award - Diploma Degree

Originally from Uzbekistan, Karshigul has been a student at KPU for four years.  Karshigul has always had a keen interest in puzzles and numbers and definitely found her career niche when she took her first Accounting course.  Her instructors describe her as dedicated and driven team player, with highly developed communication skills.  Learning English wasn’t easy, but with determination and perseverance, Karshigul used every available opportunity to master the language.  She read many books, newspapers, watched movies and television, and spoke in English as much as she could.  Karshigul has been constantly active within the KPU community, volunteering for many events as well as volunteering for the Kwantlen Student Association.  Off campus, she supported the local community by volunteering at the food bank.  Karshigul plans to continue her education in accounting and has goals of becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant.

Shabnam Faiz

Bachelor of Science, Nursing

President’s Outstanding Graduate Award - Bachelor's Degree

Shabnam’s decision to become a nurse was one made from an innate sense of caring for others.  She is highly empathetic, genuine and sensitive, and has a natural ability to connect with others when providing care.  She has constantly demonstrated exemplary academic performance within the classroom and in her clinical placements.  She is highly organized, works well under pressure, remains calm in uncertain situations and relays her strength and determination to others.  Shabnam has been a student of KPU for five years and now goes on to live her dream.  Her passion is to not only provide nursing care for those in need, she wants to give back to her nursing community by setting examples for her peers and to mentor future nursing students.

Sam Garzitto

Bachelor in Business Administration, Entrepreneurial Leadership

Lieutenant Governor's Medal

Sam has been a student at KPU for the past 4 ½ years, majoring in the BBA, Entrepreneurial Leadership program.  He chose this program because his interests encompassed every aspect of business.  Sam is very passionate, and has a unique inquiring mind.  He loves a good challenge.  His instructors would call him dedicated, an exceptional scholar and a natural leader.  Sam was very active in Case Competitions, in which business students take a specific business case, analyze the situation and recommend resolutions.  He took part in several competitions over the last couple years and won 1st place in the Achieve 2019 (Toronto) for Corporate Social Responsibility.  In 2020, he won 2nd place in the Western Canada Business Competition 2020.  Throughout his time at KPU, he worked part-time, volunteered in the community for the Surrey Urban Farmers’ Market, and is very active in sports.  His accomplishments as a KPU student are many, but what is most notable is the creation of a student-led group called the KPU Case Analysis Network (KPU CAN).  Recognizing that case competition events and activities offered such immense opportunities to business students, he also saw that students could gain more if there were a mechanism to facilitate matching students with case teams.  KPU CAN “works as a network to connect students to these case teams.  Prior to the creation of the network, it was more difficult for students to get information on the case teams and learn about how to join.  The network aims to bridge students to the resources and people they need in order to be successful case team members.”  The network attracted diverse students across many faculties and experiences, and provided a supportive environment where all members were treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity.  KPU CAN has 160 members, and will continue helping to develop business leaders long after Sam leaves KPU.  This is Sam’s legacy to KPU, and the KPU community is grateful for his insightful intellect and drive to make a difference.

Andrea Woo

Bachelor in Applied Journalism

Distinguished Alumni Award

In 2003, Andrea Woo wrote a story for the Kwantlen’s student paper, the Chronicle, about the opening of Insite, North America’s first legal, supervised injection site. She spent a day in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, interviewing drug users and activists, making connections with people a world away from what she knew as an 18-year-old journalism student.

“People sat with me on the stoop, telling me about their lives. Some of their stories were heartbreaking,” Andrea says. “I remember being fascinated with everything that I learned that day and feeling excited to put that story together.”

She had no idea that when she did put it together, she’d be writing about some of these same people nearly 20 years later. But she is, as a reporter for the Globe and Mail, mostly focusing on substance use, mental health, drug policy and, lately, how it intersects with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrea’s reporting has earned her seven journalism awards, including a 2017 Canadian Association of Journalists award for her reporting on Canada’s fentanyl crisis.

“It sounds corny,” she says, “but it's a really fulfilling feeling when something that you have put your heart into results in some sort of tangible change, that helps better a situation for someone. I don't know what more you could ask for in a career.”

Her reporting also earned her another this year: KPU’s 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award. Andrea graduated from KPU with a Bachelor Degree in Applied Journalism in 2006, after which she wrote about hip-hop for numerous music publications in Canada and the U.S. She was interviewing for a job at Seattle’s The Stranger when the Vancouver Sun hired her first. She moved to the Globe in 2012.

She says the KPU Journalism program equipped her with “a foundation of very practical knowledge” from a supportive faculty who worked in and understood the publishing industry. She says the instructors were essential in helping her navigate the sink-or-swim reality of daily news journalism.

“A prospective student taking journalism at Kwantlen now probably has no idea just how good and respected the current instructors are,” she says. “These people are the best at what they do. That's not hyperbole.”

Spring Convocation 2020 Student Awards

Angeli Dela Rosa

Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture

Angeli immigrated to Canada from the Philippines with her family when she was just a teenager. She found that adjustments to Canadian life were not easy, especially since she is a shy individual. She found ways of dealing with those challenges by volunteering for local events and charities, then working at her first job in a restaurant. Since 2016, Angeli has been a student at KPU and during this time she has demonstrated excellence in her academic work, provided leadership in the student community and been an exceptional ambassador for KPU. In 2018 Angeli received the Nature’s Path Award for Sustainable Agriculture and in 2019 she received the Lee Lockwood Award for Sustainable Agriculture.

Academically, Angeli has consistently provided outstanding quality  in her work. In all her classes she demonstrated a passion for learning, and embraced every learning opportunity that came her way. The product of her work was always a reflection of her integrity, love of learning and academic excellence. She was consistently a top performer in all of her classes. In addition to her school work, she excelled when given the opportunity to conduct research at the Institute of Sustainable Food Systems where she contributed to several projects and carried out her work with professionalism and was a valued member of the research team.

As the president of the Sustainable Agriculture Student Association, Angeli demonstrated her leadership skills and facilitated the opportunity for students to engage in social events and professional development. Her kind and genuine disposition and her willingness to help others was apparent as she would go out of her way to ensure that students felt comfortable in the student community and were shown how they could engage and become involved. Her level of care for her peers

was noticeable in the classrooms, hallways and on the farm. Angeli’s commitment to community and sustainability extended beyond the hallways and farm of KPU and into the broader community. She was always the first to volunteer to represent KPU at external agricultural events and would go above and beyond to ensure that KPU’s best was presented. She was indeed an exceptional ambassador for KPU. She is actively engaged in social justice movements in her community and is passionate about building sustainable communities.

She’s an avid cook, gardener, cyclist, and chorister and likes to surprise her family with “experimental meals.” Angeli hopes to gain diverse career experiences across the food system and also aspires to find ways to make those food systems more just and sustainable.

Anna Montabello

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Anna was enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for the period of 2017 to 2019. Prior to becoming a nursing student, Anna had already established her career as a teacher and counsellor. Being a student was not new to her, and she is determined to combine her skills as a teacher/counsellor and now, nurse, where she will be able to promote and improve the health of all populations.

As a student, Anna’s performance was exemplary and she received many commendations from faculty members and supervisors of placement situations. She is well organized, highly focused, determined and self-directed. She is also highly confident and always remains calm and positive in stressful situations.

As well, Anna is a mother of two children and worked part time throughout her time in the nursing program, which could not have been easy. She loves to spend time with family, take strolls in nature and is an avid runner.

Chun Fu (Ricky) Su

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Political Science

Chun (Ricky) Fu Su distinguished himself as an exceptional B.A.  Major in KPU’s Political Science program from 2015 to 2019. His unfailingly professional manner, polished and thoughtful writing, and lively and well-informed contributions to class and seminar discussion made him a leader among his peers. Ricky’s stellar academic record reflects an admirable combination of work ethic and critical insight.

Ricky served as editor of the Kwantlen Journal of Political Science, one of KPU’s leading undergraduate scholarly journals, and being an avid amateur photographer, placed his considerable audio-visual skills in the service of departmental projects. Ricky also represented our university in the halls of Parliament during a federal political internship in 2019 – a fitting capstone to an outstanding undergraduate career at KPU. Ricky has also been awarded an Simon Fraser University Graduate Fellowship and is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Policy program. He has aspirations of becoming a Public Policy Analyst or sharing his passion for knowledge and learning by becoming a university professor.

Dami Choi

Diploma in Music

Dami is described as being ambitious and relentless, and constantly strives to develop her potential. She is driven and is considered to be altruistic. Having her eye on being a pianist, she learned how to turn her frustration into passion, and was more than ready when it came time for her university audition. Dami sees music as therapeutic, especially for those struggling with disabilities or mental health issues. She believes it is her mission to become a music therapist, and believes she can transform lives through healing and spreading the joy of music. In the Fall of 2020, Dami will be enrolled in the University of British Columbia’s Degree in Music program where she anticipates selecting the variety of courses that would enhance her knowledge in music therapy. Dami was an active member of the KPU Music Student Association as the Social Media Manager, helping to promote active community participation and engagement by running the public accounts on a variety social medial platforms. Off campus, Dami volunteers within her church, teaching religious studies to children and going on annual mission trips to countries such as Panama and the Philippines.

Janmeet Grewal

Diploma in Computer Information Systems

Originally from India, Janmeet has been a student of KPU for  the past two years. He always had a deep interest in Information Technology and sought out the Diploma program in Computer Information Systems to support his career goals. Long term, his goal is to learn a variety of areas within the field of Information Technology and then build his career around that. Being an introvert, Janmeet developed excellent skills in observing, thus learning in a variety of ways. He also has learned very efficient methods of time management and continues to test his own skills. Janmeet sincerely appreciates receiving this award as it recognizes the tremendous effort he has put into his learning.

Julie Hartman

Diploma in Fashion Marketing

Julie was considered to be an exemplary student with not only her academic performance but also in giving back to the community. She is motivated, interested in sustainability, and is a fast learner. She has strong communication skills and is not afraid to take the initiative. She has volunteered her time to help the program, including participating in information sessions and various Wilson School of Design events, and is currently working as a marketing assistant with a previous guest speaker that she met in her class. Julie sought out this particular program as it fit with all of her career aspirations. She eventually would like to establish her own sustainable fashion retail business that would sell long-lasting and practical clothing and accessories that would combine stylish staples with timeless beauty, while focusing on ethical and sustainable products. In her spare time Julie is an avid runner, and loves taking on DIY projects such as embroidery and upcycling.

Kimberly Saunderson

Certificate of Completion in Access Programs – Work Exploration

Kimberly has been a student at KPU for the past two years and during her time with Access Programs in the 2018- 19 school year, she was exemplary in all areas of expectation. A caring and compassionate individual with a bubbly personality, Kimberly was always willing to assist others and ensure everyone was included in everything. She undertook a work experience at an autobody shop which eventually expressed interest in hiring her because of her great skill set and attitude. Her hobbies vary from reading books to walking in nature. Kimberly is also very involved in the community, assisting her mother in the training of Girl Guides. She was a role model in every aspect.

Lincoln Saugstad

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Policy Studies

Lincoln Saugstad is an up-and-coming “mover and shaker.” He came to Surrey from Austria in 2012 seeking a Fine Arts certificate at KPU. His interests evolved to him embracing the natural environment, which lead him to complete a horticulture certificate at another institution.

During that time, he learned to value the understanding the political climate and history of the word, which lead him to complete a degree in Global Stewardship. Blending all his interests and his newly found knowledge, the thirst for more led Lincoln to the KPU Sustainable Policy Studies program. His volunteer activities inside KPU and outside are vast. He has lent his expertise to the Surrey Urban Mission, managed newsletter subscriptions for the Economy for a Common Good (Vienna), facilitated workshops on social and economic justice issues at local high schools, and volunteers with a youth-run organization, Check Your Head. Within that organization, he volunteered for the Living Wages Campaign as well as Exchange Inner City, which developed an online mapping tool to display  social enterprises within Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He also volunteered for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and helped them recalculate and update the 2019 Living Wage metrics for Metro Vancouver. In 2019, Lincoln assisted Check Your Head again with their Youth Building a New Economy cohort, and helped to code qualitative data from a survey about the economic issues facing youth living in the Lower Mainland. He also helped to facilitate a discussion table at an event where the results were presented to Vancouver city staff, provincial MLAs and other non-profit executives and representatives. Within KPU, Lincoln participated in the KSA Environmental Sustainability Committee, sat on the Senate Standing Committees of Academic Planning and Priorities, Research and sat on the Search Advisory Committee for the Vice President, Academic and Provost.

Lincoln is driven by his passion and hopes to complete a Master’s Degree in Urban Studies to learn more about creating cities that are designed in an ecologically sustainable way while improving the lives of the people who live within them.

Minjun Zhu

Citation in Construction Electrician

Minjun Zhu graduated from the Electrical Foundations class with a GPA of 4.0. Through this 28-week program, Minjun excelled in every subject. Although English is his second language, Minjun overcame the language barrier through hard work and dedication. In class, Minjun took valuable time to help the other students and in the end, helped turn the class into a community of learners. Minjun plans to further his education and obtain his Red Seal in Electrical. Minjun is described as being very friendly, funny and outgoing. Outside of school and work, he is an avid basketball player and loves watching movies.

Rawan Ali

Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Leadership

Rawan has been a student at KPU since 2015. As a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program of KPU’s School of Business, her contributions to the university were tremendous. Both faculty and students recognize Rawan as a leader, and change maker. Her many qualities in the classroom demonstrate the makings of a responsible businessperson. Rawan had served as the Student Representative to the School of Business Faculty Council for two years. During that time she provided critical insights and was the driving force behind making the student representative a voting member on the Faculty Council.

Rawan was very active in many KPU activities. Not only was she a student representative on the KPU Senate, she participated in the Kwantlen Entrepreneurial Students Association, Toastmasters, ENACTUS and the Kwantlen Gaming Guild. She is also the founder and president of the ARTversity Club, which is a student-run club that promotes the performing arts through workshops that including singing, dancing and acting.

Her efforts and enthusiasm have not been unacknowledged. She is the recipient of the Eagle Spirit Award, the Canada Ticket Award, EcoSafe Zero Waste Award, Jared Penland Personal Real Estate Corporation Award, two Student Leadership Awards, Contribution to Student Life Award and Best Actress Award (Philadelphia Theater Festival).

Rawan is a very artistic individual and loves to paint, write and create short stories. She is also an actress and a theatre director. Her aspiration is to start a film production company that will produce timeless masterpieces.

Taylor Lanthier

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology

Taylor has a passion for law and for advocating for others, especially for those who are disadvantaged. During her time at KPU, Taylor involved herself into every aspect of the KPU community. After learning her way around KPU she volunteered for the KPU Orientation Team and progressed to become a Senior Leader and Mentor, with  the goal of helping other new students to feel welcomed and to foster a sense of belonging for them and their families. Having gained the support and acknowledgement from her student peers, Taylor was voted to be a student representative on the KPU Board of Governors. In that role, she also sat on the Board Governance Committee. In the broader community, Taylor volunteers for the Burnaby Youth Custody Services, where she interacts with at-risk youth who are facing court or who have already been sentenced. She acts as a peer tutor, plays basketball, pickleball, volleyball with the youth, and even take part  in event baking. Taylor is currently completing a practicum with the University of British Columbia’s Law School with their Indigenous

Community Legal Clinic (ICLC). This practical experience has been rich in professionalism, research, learnings and advocating on behalf of Indigenous peoples caught up in the criminal justice system and/ or seeking other legal advice or services. In Fall 2020, Taylor will begin her journey in law as a student of the UBC’s JD program.