The University of Winnipeg community congratulates Anya Ingram, Seerat Jaura, and Cain Kiddell who will serve as the valedictorians at the 2021 Spring Convocation ceremonies taking place June 10 and 11, 2021.
Meet Anya Ingram, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Anya Ingram will address graduates being conferred degrees in Arts at a virtual convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 10 at 9:30 am.
Ingram is an accomplished student known for her enthusiasm and passion for human geography, city planning, and public space. Through her studies in geography, Ingram developed interests in the intersection of transportation, public participation, and sustainability in urban environments, with a close eye on community engagement, participatory planning, and gentrification
Her honours thesis research focused on the relationships between power, mural art, and place making in Winnipeg’s West End. The product of this research was a framework of how future mural art could best ensure positive engagement and representation of the community it is embedded within.
Ingram received many accolades throughout her studies, including the 2020 Undergraduate Award for most outstanding student in Classics and the Canadian Association of Geographers 2021 Undergraduate Award for most outstanding graduating student in geography.
Between classes and research, Ingram found time to serve as a teaching assistant for urban and human geography courses and was also a research assistant for the Institute of Urban Studies (IUS). Her favourite part of the university experience was building relationships between students and professors while being actively involved in the Geography and Environmental Studies Student Association (GESA) and the Classics Student Association (CSA), of which she was president in 2019-2020.
In 2019, Ingram participated in UWinnipeg’s Regional Geography Field Course in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and a three-week archaeological field course in Redondo, Portugal. Her travels helped her see urban planning through a fresh lens, and she plans to use these experiences to contribute to urban environments here in Canada.
This fall, Ingram will continue her work on urban environments: beginning a Master of Arts in Planning at the University of Waterloo. She intends to become a professional urban/city planner with a focus on the intersection of transportation, public participation, and sustainability in urban environments.
Meet Seerat Jaura, Bachelor of Science
Seerat Jaura will address graduates being conferred degrees in Science, and Business and Economics at a virtual convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 10 at 2:30 pm.
Jaura says her three years at The University of Winnipeg provided her with the “platform and opportunities to be the best version of myself.”
“From gaining academic knowledge, teaching experience, and leadership qualities to building lifelong relationships, I’ve gained experiences here that will help me transition into the real world,” Jaura said.
Outside of the classroom, Jaura’s most memorable time as a student was spent being co-president of the UWinnipeg Applied Computer Science Students’ Association and taking the initiative to bring more diverse perspectives to the subject.
Graduating with a major in applied computer science and a minor in mathematics, Jaura now has her sights set on the University of Alberta, where she will be pursuing a Master of Science this fall in computing science with a specialization in artificial intelligence.
She credits Jeanette Bautista, Ron McFadyen, and Dr. Sheela Ramanna — all of whom she considers “like family” — for making a positive impact on her during her studies. More specifically, Jaura’s research experience last summer with Dr. Ramanna gave her the confidence to apply for graduate studies.
Looking ahead, Jaura’s dream is to one day complete a PhD and become an educator so she can help shape future generations and contribute to the growth of her community.
For the Class of 2021, Jaura shares this piece of advice: “Don’t be afraid to try out new things, because you never know what treasure life holds for you. I am confident we can go out into the real world and achieve remarkable things because at the end of the day, our skills are only worthwhile if they bring happiness to someone’s life.”
Meet Cain Kiddell, Bachelor of Education
Cain Kiddell will address graduates being conferred degrees in Education, Kinesiology, Physical and Health Education, and Marriage and Family Therapy at a virtual convocation ceremony on Friday, June 11 at 9:30 am.
Kiddell envisions his future classroom as an inclusive learning environment where all students are empowered to thrive.
He spent his early twenties facilitating skateboard camps in Winnipeg’s inner city, an experience that fueled his desire to become a teacher.
“The exposure to the systemic barriers that impact the individuals living in the inner-city inspired me to pursue a career where I can help address these problems,” he said.
One of his most memorable university experiences was in a first-year earth science course with Dr. Ed Cloutis. The lecture began normally enough with Cloutis explaining about sedimentary layers of rocks and their physical and chemical properties.
“Then, mid-sentence, he takes the piece of chalk in his hand and begins to eat it, with no explanation, and carries on with the lesson,” said Kiddell.
Kiddell went on to work in Cloutis’s C-TAPE laboratory where he excelled as a research assistant. In this role, he engaged in field research locally and internationally and was first author on a research article in The Journal of Geophysical Research, as well as co-author of research articles in Icarus and The Astronomical Journal.
Years after their first meeting, Kiddell asked Cloutis about the chalk. He smiled and replied with a question of his own, “how do you get students to pay attention and remember you?”
As Kiddell gets set to embark on a career at the head of his own classroom, it’s a lesson he will never forget.
Watch the 118th Convocation Ceremonies webcast live to help us celebrate this year’s graduates. We encourage you to use the hashtag #UWinnipegGrad on Instagram and Twitter to show us how you’re celebrating virtual convocation.