The University of Winnipeg



Meet the 2019 Spring Convocation Valedictorians

Larissa Chubenko © UWinnipeg

Larissa Chubenko, BA, BEd
Valedictorian (Theology, Education, Kinesiology, Physical and Health Education, and Marriage and Family Therapy)

Larissa Chubenko is passionate about working with inner-city children. After initially graduating from The University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts in international development, Chubenko chose to return to school and is now graduating with a Bachelor of Education (Early/Middle-Years Stream) through the After Degree program.

“Through the international development program, I was able to appreciate access to education — both locally and internationally — as a powerful means of helping even those most vulnerable with opportunities to reach their potential,” Chubenko said. “Having taught students and worked with children that have come to school directly affected by societal inequities that have left them without their basic needs being met has further established my own sense of purpose and calling as an educator.”

Working as a substitute teacher in the Winnipeg, Seven Oaks, and Lord Selkirk school divisions, Chubenko hopes to teach full time after convocation. In the future, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in international development and education.

As she reflects on her five years at UWinnipeg, Chubenko offers this advice to her fellow graduates:

“Always make sure you’re happy with what you’re doing in life and that it’s meaningful to you.”


Ferron Guerreiro © UWinnipeg

Ferron Guerreiro, BA (Hons) 
Valedictorian (Arts)

An award winner and creative writer, Ferron Guerreiro has a passion for English. Before finding her way at UWinnipeg, she studied theatre at a conservatory in New York City. One of her professors described her as “a talented writer with a professional attitude toward her work.”

Guerreiro has an interest in early modern English literature that covers 16th– and 17th-century texts, which she enjoys for its absurdity and complex human interaction, and has a particular research interest in the religious and cultural significance of sexually chaste women of this time period.

As an active creative writer, she has already published in UWinnipeg’s Juice Journal and served as a practicum student with Prairie Fire, a Canadian Magazine of New Writing. She has a deep and varied interest in literature as a living art and enjoys experimenting with language: “Fiction is a great way to work through questions about identity and purpose,” she said.

Between classes, Guerreiro found time to participate in UWinnipeg’s English Literature Students Association (ELSA), which helps build collegiality among students and faculty, and is an important resource for English students.

Guerreiro will head to Halifax this fall to pursue a Master of Arts degree at Dalhousie University. She will continue her creative writing, in addition to academic work analyzing the effect of the English Reformation on literary constructions of femininity. She aims to attain a PhD and teach what she loves: English.


Jennifer Lischynski © UWinnipeg

Jennifer Lischynski, BSc (Hons)
Valedictorian (Science, Business and Economics)

Jennifer Lischynski is heading to medical school this fall and is one step closer to her dream of becoming a surgeon.

While studying at UWinnipeg, Lischynski volunteered at CancerCare Manitoba’s Teddy Bear Picnic and Dragon Boat Festival, was active in UWinnipeg’s Chemistry Student Association, worked as a pharmacy assistant, and volunteered in the Misericordia Health Centre surgical ward. Opportunities to interact with patients cemented her desire to study medicine.

Working as a research assistant in Dr. Doug Craig’s biochemistry lab led to two publications and a presentation at The Chemical Institute of Canada’s annual conference in Quebec City. It also opened her eyes to how much she loved research, something she hadn’t expected.

“There are so many careers out there that you don’t even know about until you talk to the right person,” she said. “Even in the medical field, there are different niches that might suit you more than the three options you thought were the only ones when you began university.”

As a 2019 valedictorian, Lischynski looks forward to the opportunity to encourage her fellow graduates. “If you see something you’re interested in, do it. You never know where it might lead.”