University Canada West celebrated more than 1,200 graduating students at its Fall 2022 Convocation Ceremony on Friday, October 28.

Students were joined by family and friends, UCW faculty and staff, and dignitaries for the ceremonies to celebrate graduates hailing from 57 different countries.

“Convocation is one of those moments when we take the measure of our lives and of ourselves. We think of where we began, how far we have come and where our journey will lead us next,” UCW President and Vice-Chancellor Sheldon Levy said.

Excitement was in the air at The Centre in downtown Vancouver as family and friends from around the world came together to celebrate the students’ dedication and perseverance in earning their Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and Associate of Arts degrees.

“Remember this moment. Remember these friendships and all that you have learned together because through the shared experience of education comes shared respect and understanding,” said Cyndi McLeod, CEO of Global University Systems Canada and Chair of the Board of Governors at University Canada West.

“You are the leaders of tomorrow. And may you lead us in the direction of peace and safety across all borders. Our world needs more of both, and you will guide us there.”

The Valedictorian for Fall 2022 was MBA graduate Cynthia Eapen.

Born and raised in Kuwait, Cynthia moved to Canada 25 years ago as her family fled the first gulf war.

Her experience at a young age taught her to be resourceful, creative and resilient. Cynthia has spent the last 17 years working in the financial industry, where she leveraged what she learned in leadership roles focused on strategy and execution, change management, operations and product development, driving net new revenue of $2B-plus.

She is a Certified Human Resources Professional and previously studied Computer Programming and Analysis at Seneca College. She also has Prosci Change Management Certification and Lean Sigma Certification.

In 2021, she decided to pursue her MBA at University Canada West, which has been an enriching and rewarding experience. As an online student, Cynthia completed the two-year MBA program in 10 months with a CGPA of 4.06.

“I want to congratulate my fellow graduates – those attending in person and those joining online,” Cynthia said. “Today is a testament to our hard work, dedication and commitment.”

In her address to her fellow graduates Friday, she said, “As we look forward, the path ahead is filled with endless possibilities which can be exciting and scary. Remember that life is, the way we think life is. For some of us it may mean finding our first job, for others finding a new role or changing course in our career paths to starting our own business or entrepreneurial venture.”

This year, UCW has three Medal for Academic Excellence winners. Cecilia Brisson Egli from Argentina and Olakunle Omololu Mumuney from Nigeria, who both completed the MBA program with a CGPA of 4.06, and Associate of Arts graduate Matos Ramos Jussara from Brazil, who completed his degree with a 3.96 CGPA.

The Fall 2022 Convocation Ceremony marked the inaugural presentation of UCW’s Teaching & Learning Excellence Awards.

Dr. Eli Sopow received the Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award for his teaching contribution, which is manifested in practice by supporting students to learn through critical thinking and a questioning nature to apply course objectives and content to actual circumstances and events.

Dr. Mostafa Nazari also received the Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award for his meaningful contributions to student learning through inclusive teaching methods and assessment strategies and by maintaining a welcoming teaching and learning environment.

Dr. Bruce Heibert received the Sessional Excellence in Teaching Award for his long track record of teaching excellence in both undergraduate and graduate programs as attested through statements of support by colleagues and students.

And Harpreet Kaur Ahluwalia, who is now UCW’s Director of Curriculum and Quality Assurance, received the Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award for her dedication and commitment to student-centred education through a non-formal leadership role and as substantiated by peers.

Matt Vickers (Gunaatsk), an accomplished businessperson who has been at the forefront of establishing links in a cross-cultural business environment in Canada for more than 40 years, received an Honorary Doctorate during the ceremony.

For more information about Mr. Vickers’ background and accomplishments, please see the full press release on UCW’s website.

“We are thrilled to bestow an honorary doctorate on Matt Vickers, recognizing his important contributions to Canada and Canada’s Indigenous people over the past four decades,” said UCW President and Vice-Chancellor Sheldon Levy. “His commitment to creating an enduring legacy that will educate and impact the world is not only an inspiration to all of us at UCW, but to many others in Canada and around the world.”

Recordings of UCW’s Fall Convocation ceremonies will be available on the University’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel.

For more on UCW Fall 2022 Convocation, read the stories below:

Published on October 28, 2022.
Updated November 14, 2022.