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Congratulations 2020 Graduates!

Date Published: May 22, 2020

Last Friday, Sobey School of Business was proud to graduate 306 Bachelor of Commerce students from Canada and around the world. Five Masters’ students graduated in this ceremony: most of our Masters’ students graduate in the Winter convocation, due to the length of programs.

View the Virtual Graduation and Valedictory addresses

Four Sobey PhD students graduated on Friday. These were students in the PhD (Management stream). Starting soon, PhD students will have the option to pursue an Accounting or Finance stream.

David Iremadze presented his dissertation on 20 March, the first virtual dissertation presentation we’ve had at SMU. It was called Towards a Better Understanding of Christian Social Entrepreneurship. After being separated from his family for the last year as he wrapped up his studies, he is now back home in Georgia, reunited.

Michelle Thomason gave her dissertation, Desperately Seeking Kindness:  An Epistemological Paradigmatic Adventure, on January 16. Michelle completed her doctoral thesis while working full time as a manager in the public sector, where she was inspired by the value of kindness to mental health at work.

Robert Russell Murray presented his doctorial thesis on April 8, 2020.  Like David’s, it was delivered virtually, and was titled Improving Young Workers’ Safety Voice: A Three-Part Study Exploring Safety Voice Interventions.

Kristin Williams has continued to lead Junior Achievement while crafting her dissertation, Conversing in Time with Overlooked, Historical Female Proto-Management Theorists: A Ficto-feminist Polemic. It was delivered virtually on April 20, 2020. Dr. Albert Mills called the thesis “ground-breaking”.

He pointed out that during her PhD studies, Kristin published several journal articles and book chapters; presented her work at local, national and international conferences; taught; mentored other PhD students; served as Editorial Assistant of a major scholarly journal (Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management), and won awards that include Best Paper Award for 2018 in the Journal of Management History. 

May 22nd marked the first ever Saint Mary’s University Virtual Graduation, with a live broadcast of a video prepared to highlight the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. Speeches and congratulations from President Robert Summerby-Murray, Chancellor Dr. Michael Durland BComm’87 DComm’10 and each of the faculty Deans were accompanied by a special honour song presentation from Raymond Sewell MA’14, Indigenous Student Advisor. Congratulations were delivered from the members of the Alumni Council and special guest alumna Sylvia Gawad BSc’14, who shared, “As a Saint Mary’s graduate, the education you have received has equipped you with the ability to innovate, adapt and be a trailblazer. Those skills will be your assets.”

The valedictorians for each Faculty were recorded giving their speeches earlier in the week. Sobey School’s valedictory addresses were given by Mohammad Ashiq and Mohamed Azharuddin (Azhar) Akbor Rahman. These talks were excerpted. 


Azhar Rahman

Mohammad Ashiq

Many of this year’s Sobey graduates have been very involved, and made significant contributions to the life of the School. Among these are Emma Sencabaugh, Megan Brodmann, Holly Foxall, Ashley LeBlanc, Kory Henn and Braden Newell. Vince Kennedy worked with the BComm Advising Centre last term and was responsible for some of our engaging social media posts. Among the list are varsity and intramural athletes who made an impact; society members; entrepreneurs; students who worked part- or full-time throughout their studies. Each name on the graduation list represents a unique person, with a set of experiences and skills all their own; and each could be singled out for praise on any number of points.

Major Field Test Results

Every year, Sobey School asks students to participate in the Major Field Test, a part of our AACSB accreditation that compares our program to other BComm programs, based on the learning of our students. In the 2020 edition, graduate Chris Cox scored highest among Sobey students, and in the 99th percentile in the world. Sobey School overall ranked in the 92nd percentile in the Major Field test, proof that our students’ education is comparable to any business school anywhere.

Congratulations to Award Winners

  • Lynina Yulan Shi: Bachelor of Commerce Faculty Medal.
  • Céline L. Doucet: Hermann F. Schwind Award for Excellence in Human Resource Management
  • Bradley N. MacMaster & Morgan B. Toole: Edwin C. Harris Tax Prize
  • Rebecca Skinner (graduated in the fall): Dr. Harold G. Beazley Medal

These four graduating students were winners of the 2019 Accounting Achievement Awards, a set of awards sponsored and initiated by the faculty members in the Sobey School Accounting Department.

  • Justine Burns - Citizen of the World
  • Emma Haley Sencabaugh - Active Learning
  • Adam Smith - Active Learning
  • Morgan Toole - Nicola Young Financial Accounting

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