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Student success and honorary degree recipient to be celebrated at the 2013 University of Regina fall convocation

News Release Release Date: October 17, 2013 1:30 p.m.

The University of Regina’s 40th fall convocation on Saturday, October 19 will celebrate the outstanding achievements of 584 graduates. The ceremony will begins at 1 p.m. at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina and be seen live online by visiting www.uregina.ca/student/registrar/convocation/webcasts.html.

During the ceremony, 10 students will be presented with awards for academic excellence and commitment to community service. Among those being recognized is Theresa Fitzgerald, who will receive the President’s Distinguished Graduate Student Award. This award is presented to the student who demonstrated outstanding academic performance in a graduate program, and has achieved an exceptional thesis, exhibition or performance, and corresponding defense. Fitzgerald is graduating with a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Joseph (Joey) Swarbrick will be awarded the President’s Medal. He is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in sport and recreation studies as well as a diploma in business administration. The President’s Medal is awarded to a student with a minimum average of 80 per cent and who has shown leadership in and commitment to extra-curricular activities while at the University of Regina.  

Student award winners who will also be recognized at the 2013 fall convocation include:

Helen Phillippi – Faculty of Fine Arts Dean’s Medal and the University Prize in Fine Arts
Paulina Paton – Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Prize
Ethan de Winter – University Prize in Arts
Mathew McIntyre – University Prize in Business Administration
Ian Rogan – University Prize in Engineering and Applied Arts
Michelle Degelman – University Prize in Kinesiology and Health Studies
Christina Jepson – University Prize in Science
Katie Curtis – University Prize in Social Work

In addition, the University of Regina is bestowing k.d. lang with a Doctor of Fine Arts honoris causa (DFA) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to music and her achievements in performing arts.

Previous recipients of University of Regina honorary degrees include former Saskatchewan premiers Tommy Douglas (1978), Allan Blakeney (1993) and Roy Romanow (2005); former Saskatchewan Lieutenant-Governors Sylvia Fedoruk (1991) and Lynda Haverstock (2006); Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard (1989); hockey great Gordie Howe (1997); Saskatchewan philanthropist and patron of the arts Jacqui Shumiatcher (2002); The Princess Royal, Princess Anne (2004); Regina entrepreneur Frederick Hill (2005); Regina Symphony Orchestra conductor Victor Sawa (2006); internationally renowned speed skater Catriona Le May Doan (2007); paralympic athlete Lisa Marie Franks (2009); past president of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Tom Shepherd (2010); researcher and reformer of higher education Keli Liu (2011).

BACKGROUNDER

40th Annual Fall Convocation Platform Recipients

President’s Distinguished Graduate Student Award
Dr. Theresa Fitzgerald

The President’s Distinguished Graduate Student award is awarded to the student deemed to have achieved an exceptional thesis, exhibition, or performance, and corresponding defense, and who had an outstanding academic performance in his or her graduate program.  Leadership and university or community involvement is also considered.

Dr. Theresa Fitzgerald is this year’s recipient and is graduating with a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.  Throughout her graduate program, she maintained an average in the high 80s. 

Theresa has shown herself to be an excellent junior scientist, having been recognized with a prestigious CIHR Doctoral Research Award valued at $70,000 over two years.  This is in addition to the nearly $90,000 in awards and scholarships she has earned during her time in graduate school.  Theresa has co-authored six articles that were published in top peer-reviewed journals and has presented her work at a number of academic conferences across Canada and abroad.

Despite committing herself fully to success in coursework, research and her clinical practica, Theresa made time to volunteer on the Psychology Graduate Students’ executive team holding nearly every position on the executive between 2005 and 2010.  She also served as the Student Liaison for the Canadian Counsel of Professional Psychology Programs from 2009 to 2011.

President’s Medal
Joseph Swarbrick

The President’s Medal is awarded at each spring and fall Convocation to a student receiving a first degree with a minimum average of 80% who has shown leadership in and commitment to extra-curricular activities while at the University of Regina and is being awarded to Mr. Joseph (Joey) Swarbrick.

Joey’s program of study was sport and recreation management. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree, maintaining a program grade point average above 83% and a major grade point average above 84%.  In addition to his degree, he received a Diploma in Business Administration.

Joey transferred to the University of Regina from the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 2010. From his first semester on campus, he has actively contributed to the Faculty and university community.  He has served in many capacities on the Kinesiology and Health Studies Students’ Society, including as president. 

His leadership and involvement in sport and recreation has been recognized through numerous awards.  Perhaps one of the most influential in Joey’s student experience was being the recipient of the Physical and Health Education (PHE) Canada Student Award in the fall of 2012.  This award allowed him to be nominated for the PHE Canada Leadership camp, where he spent time with youth from across the country exploring his leadership style, and learning more about the leader he wants to become. 

Faculty of Fine Arts Dean’s Medal and University Prize in Fine Arts
Helen Phillippi

The recipient of the Faculty of Fine Arts Dean’s Medal is a fine arts student who has shown both academic achievement and leadership while attending the University of Regina.  The University Prize in Fine Arts is awarded to the most distinguished graduate of fine arts at convocation each fall.

Helen Phillippi is this year’s recipient of both awards. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major: Visual Arts (Open Studio), Distinction and a cumulative grade point average above 84%.

Helen returned to University after working for many years as a local artist, performer and volunteer in her home community of Swift Current. She began her studies while remaining in Swift Current, making the most of distance courses through the University of Regina and other institutions. She moved to Regina in the latter portion of her degree to focus on the completion of her studio art courses.

When Helen decided to return to University, she was determined to achieve the best possible results in her courses and art practice. Her scholarships and academic awards include the Gene B. Ciuca Memorial Scholarship and the Mearl and Gaynel McCaw Memorial Scholarship in Fine Arts in 2012. She also earned a spot on the Dean’s list in the fall of 2012, the first time she was able to take enough courses during one semester to qualify for this distinction.

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Prize
Paulina Paton

This convocation, Paulina Paton will receive the Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation (STF) Prize for being the most distinguished student of the graduating class in the Faculty of Education who does not hold another degree.   

Paulina graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education with Great Distinction.  As a student of the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program (YNTEP), Paulina appreciated the personal connections she gained with her instructors and life-long friendships with her classmates. The program provided her with an opportunity to understand the cultural significance for First Nations students within the Yukon Public Education system. 

During her studies, Paulina was the recipient of the Academic Gold Scholarship (2011 Fall), Academic Gold Prize (2012 Spring/Summer), and the Academic Silver Prize (2013 Spring/Summer).  She was also honoured by being on the Dean’s List in 2012 (Winter). 

University Prize in Arts
Ethan de Winter

The University Prize in Arts is presented at fall convocation to the most distinguished student in the Faculty of Arts graduating with a first degree.

Ethan de Winter graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Religious Studies with Great Distinction. Ethan’s cumulative grade point average is above 90%. As an undergraduate, he was on the Dean’s List eight times. He has received another 10 academic awards during his studies.  

University Prize in Business Administration
Mathew McIntyre

The University Prize in Business Administration is awarded to the most distinguished graduate of the Faculty of Business Administration receiving a first degree at fall convocation. 

The recipient for 2013 is Mathew McIntyre who distinguished himself as an excellent student and graduated with a program average above 89%.  He received a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with Great Distinction, a Co-operative Education Designation and a major in Accounting.  In addition to his degree, he also received a Certificate in Economics with Distinction from the Faculty of Arts.

After his high school graduation from Martin Collegiate, Mathew entered the Paul J. Hill School of Business as part of the Faculty of Business Administration’s Excellence Program.  During his studies, Mathew has received a variety of scholarships and awards including the Academic Gold Scholarship, which is awarded to the top 1% of students in the Faculty. Mathew’s name has also appeared numerous times on the Dean’s List. 

University Prize in Engineering and Applied Science
Ian Rogan

Ian Rogan is the recipient of the University Prize in Engineering, awarded to the student with the highest graduating average. Ian graduated from the industrial systems engineering program with an average above 82%.  He was a participant in the Cooperative Education program and was also a member of the University of Regina’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja racing team since 2011.  Among his other honours are an Academic Silver Scholarship, a CMIEF (Canadian Mineral Industry Education Foundation) Scholarship, and a Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship.  Ian is a graduate of Winston Knoll Collegiate in Regina.

University Prize in Kinesiology and Health Studies
Michelle Degelman

Michelle Degelman is the recipient of the University Prize in Kinesiology and Health Studies.  This prize is awarded to the most distinguished student of the graduating class from the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at each convocation ceremony.  Michelle is graduating with a Bachelor of Health Studies with Great Distinction.

Graduating from Dr. Martin Leboldus High School in Regina, Michelle’s academic career at the University of Regina began in September 2009.  In the fall of 2009 Michelle received the Centennial Merit Plus Scholarship, the Reverend Isidore Gorski Memorial Scholarship and the Peter Ventre Entrance Scholarship.  In 2010 Michelle was the recipient of the Academic Silver Scholarship, the Jesuit Fathers Senior Bursary and the Academic Silver Scholarship. The Academic Silver Scholarship was awarded in 2011 (Winter and Fall).  The Academic Gold Scholarship and the Saskatchewan Innovation Undergraduate Scholarship were awarded in 2012, and Michelle was named to the Dean’s Honours List every semester she attended the University of Regina.  Michelle graduated with Great Distinction from the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies with a program average above 90%. 

University Prize in Science
Christina Jepson

The University Prize in Science is awarded at convocation to the most distinguished student graduating with a first degree from the Faculty of Science and is being presented to Christina Jepson this convocation. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in biochemistry, with a minor in computer science, achieving High Honours in her major.

Chris joined the University of Regina community in 2008. While studying here, she has received the Academic Silver Scholarship, Saskatchewan Innovation Undergraduate Scholarship, the Wallace McConnell Memorial Scholarship, and two NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards in recognition of her academic achievements. 

University Prize in Social Work
Katie Curtis

The University Prize in Social Work is awarded to the most distinguished Social Work student achieving the highest grade point average among students graduating with a first degree in Social Work. The recipient this fall is Katie Curtis.

Raised in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Katie was involved in her United Church community attending youth group and participating in Global Service and Learning Experiences in Nicaragua and Mexico. It was during these trips that Katie was exposed to the reality of inequality and injustice in the world. Katie also worked for a social justice program called the GO Project which exposes youth to the realities of homelessness and poverty in Canada’s major cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. It was during this experience that Katie met many inspiring people working tirelessly and passionately for social justice and equality. As a result, Katie made the choice to enter into social work.

An education in social work allowed Katie to delve deeper into understanding the injustices that exist in the world. Her experiences throughout the last four years have given her the opportunity to develop both her passion for working with youth, as well as social activism.

 

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