Backgrounder: Spring convocation celebrates UVic’s class of 2003

Here are some of this year’s outstanding graduates who would welcome the opportunity to talk about their UVic experiences:

Law Society Gold Medal winner Ben Blackmore taught English in Korea, worked in the hospitality industry in Halifax and spent three summers tree-planting in the mosquito-ridden woods of Northern Ontario before deciding to study law. (Contact information available on request.)

Lieutenant Governor’s Silver medalist Kevin Cryderman is interested in parallels between the Middle English challenge to Latin as the language of literature and 20th-century postcolonial subversions of the dominance of English in global culture. Aside from finishing his master’s in English, Cryderman is a novelist and writes and records his own folk, pop, comedy and rock music.

Andrés Vidal Gadea’s passion for science led him from Uruguay to Canada. While completing his bachelor’s degree, Vidal paid for his education by working with people with autism and muscular dystrophy.

Thomas Kerr is dedicated to helping HIV/AIDS patients in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. His PhD study on medication therapy use by injection drug users has strengthened his resolve to help HIV-positive injection drug users find appropriate care. “I can’t just collect data and walk away.”

Environmental studies and geography master’s grad Lehna Malmkvist is leaving some of Victoria’s fresh waterways healthier than she found them. She worked with developers, farmers and three levels of government to rebuild two stretches of Victoria-area streams.

Earth and ocean sciences grad Sheri Molnar didn’t feel the February 2001 earthquake near Victoria—she was riding a bus at the time—but she knows all about it. For her master’s degree she analysed seismographs and public accounts of the quake to determine which areas of the Capital Region are most susceptible to earthquakes.

Counselling psychology master’s graduate Tamara Rozeck-Allen wanted to make a positive contribution to scholarship on the sex trade. She studied the experiences of four women who transformed their lives, and the factors that helped them stay off the streets.

For Julia Shinaba, a degree in women’s studies was a dream that would have been unattainable in her native Nigeria. Now she’s ready to put her education to work. “I like to make a difference anywhere I am,” says the human rights activist and energetic mother of two.

Physicist Brigitte Vachon—Governor General’s Gold Medal winner for her PhD grade point average and dissertation—studies speed-of-light collisions of electrons and positrons. Her work has helped scientists narrow their pursuit of a better explanation of how the universe formed.

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Keywords: spring, convocation, celebrates, uvics, class, 2003

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