Release Date: October 15, 2004
Media Contact: James Duggleby
Phone: (306) 585-5439
Mobile: (306) 536-4312
Fax: (306) 585-4997
Nine students receive top awards and prizes
Nine University of Regina students will be recognized for a variety of achievements during the University's annual fall convocation Sat., Oct. 16 at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts. 

The President's Distinguished Graduate Student Award, recognizing a student deemed to have achieved an exceptional thesis, exhibition or performance, and corresponding defence, will be awarded to Vernon Grant Slipetz. Notably, Slipetz is the first graduate of the master of fine arts program in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in music and theatre. The examining committee ranked both his thesis defense and his performance 10 on a 10-point scale. 

Slipetz came to the U of R from the University of Saskatchewan, where he graduated with a bachelor of music in music education in 1993. He started the graduate program in 2002 after taking leave from his position as a high school music teacher.

Gavin Semple, the external examiner from the University of Calgary, says Slipetz's "final performance was excellent, easily achieving professional standards and the capacity audience gave two enthusiastic standing ovations." 

The President's Medal, awarded at each spring and fall convocation to a student receiving a first degree with a minimum average of 80 per cent, and who has shown leadership in and commitment to extra-curricular activities while at the University, was awarded to Anne-Marie Rollo.

Rollo will also be awarded the University Prize in Kinesiology and Health Studies, as the most distinguished student of the graduating class in the faculty, with a bachelor of kinesiology with great distinction. Her area of concentration is adapted physical activity.

Rollo enrolled in the University in 1999 after graduating from LeBoldus high school. She has been on the dean's honour list. Rollo completed the fieldwork portion of her program with the Acquired Brain Injury Prevention and Education Program of the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region. During her tenure with the program, her fieldwork supervisor reported that she demonstrated superior leadership, facilitation and interpersonal skills. 

Jennifer Nicole Smith will be awarded the University Prize in Science, which is given each convocation to the most distinguished student graduating with a first degree from the Faculty of Science. She is graduating with a bachelor of science degree with great distinction in biochemistry.

Smith enrolled in the University (Luther College) in 1999 after graduating from Winston Knoll Collegiate. She has been on the dean's honour list and has received several awards in recognition of her academic achievements. She has just begun the second year of a program in medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. 

The Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation prize, awarded to the most distinguished member of the graduating class in the Faculty of Education who does not hold another degree, will be presented to Erin Rae Tarala. Tarala is a graduate with great distinction of the elementary program. During her studies at the University, Tarala was on the dean's list and was recipient of several awards.

Raised in Tisdale, Tarala played on the Cougars women's volleyball team and the Canada Games women's team. She coaches volleyball and teaches piano lessons, and is teaching full time in the Rosetown School Division. 

The University Prize in Administration, awarded to the most distinguished student in the Faculty of Administration graduating with a first degree, will be awarded to Jennifer Ann Neiszner. Neiszner convocates with a bachelor of administration with distinction and the co-operative education program designation.

Neiszner enrolled at the University after completing elementary and high school in Weyburn. She is continuing her studies at Queen's University where she is enrolled in the master of public administration program.

The University Prize in Arts is presented to the most distinguished student in the Faculty of Arts graduating with a first degree. This year, the recipient is Marcie R. Landstrom, who is graduating with a bachelor of human justice with a grade point average of 89.3 per cent.

As a human justice student, Landstrom interned with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission and with Human Rights Watch in Geneva, Switzerland. While with Human Rights Watch, Landstrom attended the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Landstrom is currently the child development co-ordinator with YWCA in Saskatoon. 

The University Prize in Engineering, presented to the most distinguished student graduating with a first degree from the Faculty of Engineering, will be awarded to Peng Liu

Peng graduates with great distinction. Since his admission in fall 2001, he has had an outstanding academic record. Peng will be pursing a master of applied science in environmental systems engineering at the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Regina. 

The University Prize in Fine Arts, awarded to the most distinguished student graduating with a first degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts, will be presented to Twyla Dawn Exner. Exner is graduating with distinction with a bachelor of fine arts in sculpture.

Exner enrolled in the University (Campion College) in fall 2000 after graduating from Sheldon Williams Collegiate. Throughout university, she has participated in exhibitions at museums and galleries. In 2003, she co-curated an exhibition in tandem with David Suzuki's lecture. Recently, Exner and a fellow student won the Student Outdoor Sculpture Competition. The sculpture will be installed in the courtyard outside of the Laboratory Building and College West. 

Linda Barbara Bulmer, won the University Prize in Social Work as the most distinguished social work student, achieving the highest grade point average of students 
graduating with a first degree in social work.

Bulmer has volunteered in her community, working with Scouts Canada and as a member of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Committee of Yorkton. She has studied spiritual principles and energy healing and has been trained as a Reiki Master. A single mother of three, Bulmer says her future includes a combination of social work practice, volunteer commitment and community service.