Outstanding students and educators honoured at BU Convocation

This article is over 6 years old.

BRANDON, Man. – The efforts and accomplishments of exceptional students and educators were recognized as part of the Brandon University (BU) 2017 Spring Convocation ceremonies on Friday, May 26.

Over the course of two ceremonies, 520 graduates received their degrees on Friday. Each graduate in attendance was also presented with a scarf by the Brandon University Alumni Association (BUAA). Degrees in the Faculties of Health Studies and Science were conferred in the morning ceremony. Degrees in Arts, Education and Music were conferred in the afternoon. A video archive of the two events can be seen at BrandonU.ca/Convocation.

Honorary degree recipient Andy Murray encouraged the graduates to measure their success each day by the number of smiles and to make each day better than the last. The title of President Emeritus was bestowed on Dr. Dennis Anderson, who served as President and Vice-Chancellor of BU from 1990 to 2000. He was also the recipient of a Star Blanket for his contributions to Indigenous education at Brandon University. Murray and Dr. Anderson are also both BU alumni.

Alicia DeDecker was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal as the graduate student with the highest standing in a Master’s program. DeDecker also received the Brandon University Gold Medal for achieving the highest standing in the Master of Education program.

Carrie Bergen received the Governor General’s Silver Medal, awarded to the undergraduate who achieves the highest academic standing in a Bachlor’s degree program. Bergen was also the recipient of the Brandon University Gold Medal for the Bachelor of Science (4-Year Honours) program.

Tara VanCauwenberghe was the recipient of the Lieutenant-Governor’s Gold Medal as the undergraduate to achieve the highest academic standing, excluding the faculty or school already represented by the Governor General’s Silver Medal. Along with that distinction, VanCauwenberghe received the Brandon University Gold Medal for the Bachelor of Physical Education program.

Department of Psychology Assistant Professor Dr. Nicholas Watier was presented with the Brandon University Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Watier’s students credit him for his positivity, enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise, as well as his respect for his students.

Distinguished Teacher Awards were presented to three recipients: Melanie Gamache, Erin Green and William Lamont.

Gamache, who graduated from BU with a Bachelor of Education in 2005. She now teaches English at Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School.

Green has completed a Bachelor of Education and General Studies concurrent degree (in 2004) as well as a Master of Education (2010) from BU, and is currently a Grade 7 teacher at Carberry Collegiate.

Lamont teaches at Elton Collegiate in Forrest, Man. He earned Bachelor of Science (1989) and Bachelor of Education (1992) degrees at BU. Lamont shared the special day with his daughter, Ellen, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts on Friday.

Brandon University Gold Medal Recipients

(Awarded for the highest standing in each degree program)

  • Bachelor of Science (3-Year) – Vrajna Patel
  • Bachelor of Science (4-Year Honours) – Carrie Lynn Bergen
  • Bachelor of Nursing – Daria Katherine Michaleski
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing – Jessica Heino
  • Master of Psychiatric Nursing – Andrea Elizabeth Thomson
  • Master of Science (Environmental & Life Science) – Ashley Anna Greenley
  • Bachelor of Arts (3-Year) – Qin Zhao
  • Bachelor of Arts (4-Year) – Amanda Marie Nellie Ledoux
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (4-Year) – Longyu Fan
  • Bachelor of Education (A.D.) – Stephanie Marie Innes
  • Bachelor of Physical Education – Tara Lynn VanCauwenberghe
  • Bachelor Music (4-Year) – Mark Marinic
  • Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education (A.D.) Concurrent – Julianne Michelle Bercier
  • Master of Rural Development – Christian Ugochukwo Okeke
  • Master of Education – Alicia Rachel DeDecker
  • Graduate Diploma in Education – Claudette Lucille Christison
  • Master of Music – Luis Jesus Ramirez Padilla


Brandon University Silver Medal Recipients

(Awarded to those students deemed by the Departments to have the best academic performance, and who obtain a 3.50 grade point average or better in their major or minor area of study)

  • Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies – Evan Eugene Antony Gouldie
  • Biology – Carrie Lynn Bergen
  • Computer Science – Jeremy Ryan Bray
  • Environmental Science – Janelle Marie Vachon
  • Geography – Tobi Bjorn Hoefer
  • Geology – Roy Temu Ching
  • Mathematics – Tess Marie Roma Stephenson
  • Physics – Brett Allen Meggison
  • Psychology – Erica Joelle Sharanowski
  • Anthropology – Nicole Andrea Fletcher Hughes
  • Business Administration – Konstantin Krumin
  • Creative Arts – Derek Randall Booth
  • Drama – Derek Randall Booth
  • Economics – Konstantin Krumin
  • English – Shayne Alexander MacGranachan
  • Gender & Women’s Studies – Shaylyn Renee White
  • History – Susan Waldner
  • Languages – Ellen Grace Lamont
  • Native Studies – Amanda Marie Nellie Ledoux
  • Philosophy – Sean Michael Dana Carrothers
  • Religion – Shaya Lynn Smith
  • Sociology – Caitlyn Elizabeth Sheppard
  • Bachelor of Education (Early Years) – Ashton Darby Smith
  • Bachelor of Education (Middle Years) – Vanessa Dawn Neufeld
  • Bachelor of Education (Senior Years ) – Diane Lorelei Brown
  • Bachelor of Music (Performance) – Christian Neil Tapia Ilagan
  • Bachelor of Music (4-year Honours) – Jakub Marshall


Certificate of Honourable Mention (Brandon University Gold Medal)

  • Bachelor of Arts (3-Year) – Shaya Lynn Smith
  • Master of Rural Development – Monique Octavia Frith
  • Master of Education – Maria-Adele Isabel O’Greysik
  • Master of Education – Lindsay Michele Filewich


Certificate of Honourable Mention (Brandon University Silver Medal)

  • Geography – Christine Laura Onyschak
  • Geology – Markus Suderman
  • Psychology – Andrea Stacy Antoniuk


To receive any BU publication in an alternate format please contact Communications@BrandonU.ca

About BU

Success is built at Brandon University. Our growing, progressive campus welcomes a diverse and inclusive community that combines proud tradition with shared ambition. Through our excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, we educate students to make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. Join us at BrandonU.ca.