The University of Winnipeg community congratulates Sharissa Neault, Callum Goulet-Kilgour, and Philippe Larouche for serving as the Valedictorians during the 2022 Spring Convocation ceremonies taking place June 9 and 10, 2022.
Meet Sharissa Neault, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Sharissa Neault will address graduates being conferred degrees in Arts on Thursday, June 9 at 9:30 am.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, Sharissa originally arrived at UWinnipeg in 2015 with an interest in pursuing social work. However, she fell in love with psychology and made it her major in her second year.
During her time at UWinnipeg, she says many faculty and staff members had a profound impact on her; introducing her to psychology, making her feel welcome as an Indigenous person, and encouraging her interest in research. However, it was Dr. Melanie Martin who had the biggest impact — in both her studies and life.
Sharissa says that if one day she becomes a professor, she hopes she can work half as hard as Dr. Martin.
Outside of classes, Sharissa served as the President for UWinnipeg’s chapter of the Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society. She also worked with the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre to share Ininímowin (Cree) with others on TikTok.
Through the Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society, Sharissa had the opportunity to meet Indigenous scientists from all over North America through conferences.
She says it was an incredible experience that helped her remember her ancestors who were scientists long before colonization.
As she looks ahead to life after University, she remains committed to her language and culture, and knows she will continue to honour that commitment wherever she ends up.
She intends on taking the Graduate Records Examinations before pursuing a master’s degree and PhD in psychology.
Meet Callum Goulet-Kilgour, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Callum Goulet-Kilgour will address graduates being conferred degrees in Science, Business and Economics on Thursday, June 9 at 2:30 pm.
Callum was drawn to a Bachelor of Arts in Economics for its vast and varied impact on major policy decisions — as well as the way it draws from mathematics, political science, business, philosophy, history, and other fields.
His most memorable University of Winnipeg moment was the chance to interview David Suzuki and Stephen Lewis as part of his work with The Uniter.
As a recipient of two Undergraduate Student Research Awards, Callum had the privilege of working alongside world-class scholars on projects combining quantitative analysis with social, cultural, and political considerations.
A lifelong learner, he believes that his university education comes with a duty to help others. During his time at UWinnipeg, he learned the importance of respectful dialogue, free speech, intellectual curiosity, commitment to social justice, and the celebration of diversity. This is knowledge that he plans to take with him into his future career.
He says one of the most amazing things about his UWinnipeg experience has been the amount of research he was able to take part in. The chance to take part in Honours level courses with small class sizes opened doors for him to participate in innovative research that gave him a more in-depth understanding of his chosen field. He recently had the chance to present one of his essays at the Canadian Economics Association Conference in Ottawa.
He encourages his fellow graduates to think about what the world needs and align this with their unique skills and interests. His goal is to find a career that matches both.
Meet Philippe Larouche, Bachelor of Kinesiology
Philippe Larouche will address graduates being conferred degrees in Education, Kinesiology, Physical and Health Education, and Marriage and Family Therapy on Friday, June 10 at 9:30 am.
Philippe has long understood the beauty and poetry of a body in motion. It was, after all, his career as a professional ballet dancer that led him to The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Kinesiology and Applied Health.
And while he initially arrived at UWinnipeg seeking a way to more effectively train for his career in the arts, he discovered that it wasn’t just academic lessons that would leave a lasting impression. The people he met here had a huge impact. Every one of his professors offered an unexpected perspective and challenged how he understands the world and enriched his experience at UWinnipeg.
Philippe is no stranger to academic achievement. He was recognized with an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award and the 2021 Dr. Henry Woltman Scholarship, which is awarded annually to the most promising student entering the final year of the Kinesiology and Applied Health major.
His advice to present and future students is to focus not on the results, but on the process.
“No one path is the same,” he said. “Allow yourself the freedom to be unsure, to change your mind, and to take your time.”
As he prepares for what comes next — including CSEP and nutrition certification, as well as the possibility of pursuing his master’s or medical school — Philippe is thankful for all the opportunities he has had at UWinnipeg.