Medal winners of honour

June 20, 2017

Congratulations to all the prestigious student medal winners

This year’s student medal recipients worked hard and studied harder. They filled their after-class time with extracurricular activities, summer research opportunities and event planning. They made the grade and made us proud. Congratulations, students—your bright futures await you.

President’s Medal for Academic Excellence and Student Leadership

The President’s Medal recognizes an exemplary combination of academic achievement and contribution to the betterment of MacEwan University. Medal recipients are graduates who demonstrate the best qualities of a MacEwan University student by maintaining a high grade point average while providing leadership through active participation in university-wide committees, groups, organizations, or extra-curricular activities. One medal may be awarded to a graduating student in a certificate or diploma program and one medal to a graduating student in a degree program.

Nominate a graduating student for the President's Medal
Spring deadline: April 29 


Brandon Craig
Bachelor of Science, Psychology Honours 


I was volunteering in a lab after first year, when one of the pathologists asked me what I wanted to study. I told him I was interested in the brain and he asked if I had ever held one before. I said no, so he walked me to the morgue, took a human brain out of formaldehyde and put it in my hands. It was such a humbling experience, and fascinating to think that something that looked so simple could be so complex. It was one of the hints that my future was in neuroscience.

Things really solidified when I got an NSERC grant after my third year and went to the University of Waterloo to study patient recovery from strokes. I really loved working with patients, and doing work to help advance rehabilitation strategies is so exciting. I still smile every time I look at an MRI scan because it’s incredible to think that we see the brain in such minute detail—what we study often comes down to a single millimetre.

I got to build on that research in my fourth year, looking at non-invasive brain stimulation as a rehabilitation strategy, and I’ll get to use that experience again when I go to the University of Calgary for my master’s in the fall. I’ll be working in the Alberta Children’s Hospital with a pediatric neurologist, looking at different ways to rehabilitate motor skills in children with cerebral palsy who have had perinatal strokes (strokes that happen just before or just after birth).

It seems like every day there’s a new paper being published and a new discovery being made. It’s such an exciting time to be doing this work.

Kelly Fagan
Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences


I was sitting in a 200-level biology class when the prof put up a slide on gene therapy. I had no idea you could do that—supplementing missing genetic or protein products to cure genetic diseases like muscular dystrophy and even cancer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve known that I wanted to be a scientist, but that was the moment I realized that I loved genetics.

When I fractured my orbital bone during a basketball game during my second year and completely lost my vision for about six weeks, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do science the way I had anticipated. That shook me to my core, but it also showed me just how fortunate I am to have an incredible support system—even the person who sat next to me in class copied all of her notes and said, “Here you go.”

As my sight slowly returned to normal, I redoubled my efforts. I knew I wanted to do genetics research, so I started working at a neuroscience lab at the U of A. I was really proud to be able to represent MacEwan and its students there—we’re capable of doing really great things.

I’m moving to Philadelphia in August to start my PhD at the University of Pennsylvania this fall—they have a really amazing gene therapy and vaccine program there—and my dream is to run my own gene therapy research lab. There are many different highs in this world—winning a basketball game and having your teammates rush you, getting a great mark on an exam or being accepted to grad school—but there is nothing quite like doing research and getting the results you’re looking for. That thrill is truly indescribable.

Amanda Ozga
Design Studies
Outgoing president of the Design Club
Vice-president of Operations, Enactus Club


I wanted to be an architect when I was a kid—but I suck at physics, and if you don’t understand physics, your building is going to collapse and kill everybody. I’m still really into architecture, so that’s why I’m into spaces and environmental design, like wayfinding and implementing technology into the walls. I don’t really know what my current dream job is because I don’t think it exists, but I’d love to do something in experiential interface environmental design.

As part of the Design Club, I threw a three-day conference. It was the first time the club put together such a big event. We had one day of mingling with industry members—designers and professionals—and we held a pop-up shop so designers could sell their work. For two days, we had workshops and speakers talking about a lot of cool stuff, like designing a transit system, bookbinding and talking about advertising. The club was really determined to do something crazy. We didn’t have any support, so it was a lot of long nights of questioning if we could do it, but in the end, it all turned out really well.

I’m more outgoing and less shy than I was when I started here. I’m less scared. I used to think I was the best that I could be because I’d been doing Photoshop for so long before I came to Design Studies. I would say I was just doing this program for the credentials, but now I know I’m not the best that I can be. I’ve seen people doing such crazy, talented things, and I aspire to keep getting better. I don’t want to leave school now—I’m not done!

Governor General’s Silver Medal (Degree)

The Governor General’s Silver Medal is awarded to the student who achieves the highest overall academic standing based on their Graduation Grade Point Average (GGPA) in a degree-level program. This medal is awarded at Spring Convocation.

  • Karlen Hutlet, Bachelor of Arts, Honours Psychology

Governor General’s Bronze Medal (Diploma)

The Collegiate Bronze medal is awarded to the student who achieves the highest overall academic standing based on their Graduation Grade Point Average (GGPA) in a diploma-level program (minimum two-year, full-time duration). This medal is awarded at Spring Convocation.

  • Charece Pearman, Therapist Assistant Diploma – Physical and Occupational Therapist Assistant

Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence

The Dean’s Medal is each faculty or school’s highest academic honour. Each dean may award one medal to a graduating student in a certificate or diploma program and one medal to a graduating student in a degree program. Medal recipients are recognized by the dean for their exemplary success in meeting the learning challenges and academic requirements of their programs of study.

  • Jasmine-Grace Chan Nacu, Library and Information Technology Diploma
  • Stephan Exner, Bachelor of Commerce, Management
  • Celena Veltkamp, Perioperative Nursing for Registered Nurses Post-Diploma Certificate
  • Shayna Nent, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Haley Martens, Police and Investigations Diploma – Investigative Studies
  • Shayleen Fortier, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
  • Paige Knickle, Music Diploma, Recording Arts
  • Caitlin Farquharson, Bachelor of Communication Studies, Professional Communication
  • Karlen Hutlet, Bachelor of Arts, Honours Psychology

MacEwan University is proud to celebrate the Class of 2017. Congratulations to this year's graduates, medal recipients and distinguished award honourees.

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