University Medal awarded at Convocation

By Costa Maragos Posted: June 5, 2015 2:45 p.m.

Belma Kamencic is awarded the University Medal from President Dr. Vianne Timmons at Convocation June 4.
Belma Kamencic is awarded the University Medal from President Dr. Vianne Timmons at Convocation June 4. (Photo courtesy of Rae Graham - U of R Photography)

Belma Kamencic and Tuan Mihn Mai are this year’s recipients of the 2015 University Medal. Kamencic received the University Medal at Convocatin June 4, for having achieved academic excellence with the highest GPA on campus this past year.

“I was just sitting looking at my email,” says Belma. “The first time I read that I got the medal, I was in disbelief.”

Kamencic credits her early university success to hard work, the support of her family, and good study methods. Her parents, Edita and Huse, are extremely proud of their oldest daughter.  Kamencic sees her parents as role models on her path to one day becoming a future medical professional.

The Kamencics, originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, moved to Saskatoon and then Regina. Their hard work and determination paid off when Edita and Huse passed their respective Canadian qualifying exams to practice medicine in Canada.

“Belma, even in elementary school, was always a super kid in everything,” says her mother.

Belma enrolled in the IB program at Campbell Collegiate in Regina, which she says prepared her for university. Belma has completed her first year in Biology and currently has a summer job at the U of R.

She was awarded a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Undergraduate Summer Student Award to do research under the direction of Dr. Tanya Dahms.

Dr. Dahms is a Professor Biochemistry who studies the impact of chemicals in our environment on non-target organisms. With graduate student, Supriya Bhat, she is studying the unintended effects of 2,4-D on microbes. Belma is continuing her Biology studies at the U of R in the fall, with hopes of eventually getting into medicine or dentistry.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first year at the U of R,” says Belma, “What made it enjoyable was having many friends to share my experiences with.”