Congratulations to the 2020 King’s Gold Medal Award recipients, who will be honoured at the Celebration of Graduates, to be held on June 17, 2020. This ultimate academic achievement represents years of hard work and dedication.

Gold Medal Awards are presented to the graduate in each category with the highest average in the last year of their module to recognize their outstanding academic achievement. A common thread that tied together many of the recipients of the 2020 King’s Gold Medal Awards was the recognition by the recipients of the overwhelming support they feel they received by  King’s faculty and staff throughout their journey at King’s.

The Gold Medal Award Recipients for 2020 are:

Hanqi Wang ’20 is the Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies Honours Gold Medal Award recipient. Wang, from Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China, will be attending the Master of Economics Program at the University of British Columbia.  

Wang enjoyed sharing his experiences with first-year students while teaching at King’s Management, Economics, and Mathematics Help Centre. One of his favourite memories, however, took place at the 2020 School of Management, Economics and Mathematics (MEM) Gala when he and his friends chatted until midnight with Dr. Joseph Turnbull (Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Mathematics) about spies and threats related to spying.

“King's School of MEM let me have the unique chance to study all management, economics, and mathematics in depth. As a management student who is passionate about economics, and also obsessed with mathematics, I got the exact training I wanted. The training not only helped me  get offers from top graduate schools, but also gave me both the practical and theoretical intuition to tackle the same problem in businesses, which is undoubtedly beneficial for my graduate studies and future career,” says Wang.

Ashley Ratnayake ’20 is the Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies Gold Medal Award recipient. Ratnayake, from London, Ontario, is starting the CPA Professional Education program to become a chartered professional accountant. She has been hired at MNP LLP, where she completed her internship. She will be working there full-time while she earns her professional designation. Her favourite memories of King’s are studying in the Darryl J. King Student Life Centre and working on group assignments “with really great people.”

“I feel as though the MOS Internship Program was a huge help for me, as it enabled me to gain experience before graduation and get a head start in my career,” says Ratnayake.

Ishita Kumar ’20 is the Bachelor of Arts Honours – Social Science Gold Medal Award recipient. Kumar is from New Delhi, India and moved to Canada in 2016. She will be starting a Master of Science in Statistics program at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the fall.

Kumar’s favourite memory was an experiential study trip to Spain and France as part of MOS 3390, which gave her the opportunity to visit a wide range of organizations, such as the Airbus headquarters, a winery etc., to learn about their operations, meet new people, and learn more about cross-cultural business practices. She also enjoyed being involved with the King’s Economics and Mathematics Society, meeting many friends through the club, and serving as the club’s vice-president during her second year. Kumar says being involved with student clubs and as a student leader (including as a residence assistant, research assistant, communications assistant with the School of Management, Economics, and Mathematics, and teaching assistant) helped to improve her interpersonal and quantitative skills, and made her undergraduate experience that much richer.

“King’s has prepared me well for taking on graduate studies and the road ahead. I received excellent mentorship from my professors. They helped guide me not only through academics, but also through the process of applying to graduate schools,” says Kumar.

Kathryn Cormier ’20 is the Bachelor of Arts Honours – Humanities Gold Medal Award recipient.

Cormier, from London, Ontario, will be taking a year off from her studies before going to graduate school to study history. She says she will remember King’s for the people she met, the friends she made, and for finding a subject she feels so passionately about.

“The supportive community at King's allowed me to grow more confident and pursue the subjects that interested me most. These are skills that I know will help me day-to-day and in my future academic endeavours,” says Cormier.

Alexandria Armstrong ’20 is the Bachelor of Arts Honours - Interdisciplinary Programs Gold Medal Award recipient.  Armstrong, from Middlesex Centre, Ontario, will be completing a post-graduate certificate in Autism and Behavioural Sciences at Fanshawe College. Her favourite memory of King’s was participating in the HBK Relay for Life. She says it is a wonderful opportunity for the King’s community to come together and share their passion for helping others.

“Being part of the King's community has taught me how to focus on the present while also looking forward to the future. I was always encouraged to acknowledge and honour every person's lived experiences and unique perspective. And because of these lessons, I truly feel prepared to make a difference in the lives of others, locally and globally,” says Armstrong.

Luke Garrett ’20 is the 4-Year Bachelor of Arts - Social Science Gold Medal Award recipient. Garrett, from Bright’s Grove, Ontario, is attending Western University’s Faculty of Education next semester and while he plans to teach secondary school Social Sciences and Geography, he wants to keep his options open with an application to Western’s Law School.

His favourite memories of King’s were the friendships and networks formed with professors and classmates, as well as the steady encouragement and support he received from “the caring and expert faculty.”

“King's prepared me for post-graduate studies and employment by requiring academic focus and the development of effective skills in research, writing, and presentation.  More importantly, King's informed me as a global citizen, and developed in me a sense of social stewardship by opening my eyes to difficult human issues in need of greater attention and solutions worldwide,” says Garrett.

John Fazio ’20 is the 4-Year Bachelor of Arts – Humanities Gold Medal Award recipient. Fazio, from Bright’s Grove, Ontario, is planning to continue his studies. His favourite memory occurred during his third year, when he had the opportunity to study in Europe via the King’s French program. Then, in his fourth year, all of his King’s experiences were pulled together into a fun, social and academic experience culminating in a mentoring opportunity with the online presentation for students and parents interested in a similar experience. “I was honoured to be asked,” he says.

“King’s has provided me with a broad liberal arts perspective that I know will benefit me as I try to keep and enhance my aspirations to make a difference in the world, whether that be in a languages, medical or business setting. The future looks exciting! Thanks King’s!” says Fazio.

Sarah MacDonald ’20 is the 4-Year Bachelor of Arts – Interdisciplinary Programs Gold Medal Award recipient. MacDonald, from Sarnia, Ontario, is working for Participation House Support Services of London, an agency which supports residents with disabilities.

MacDonald says her favourite memory of King’s was meeting her best friend, Nyema Reiz. MacDonald admits she was shy and not looking to make new friends, but Reiz sat down next to her, introduced herself and, after the two began talking, they became best friends.

“King's has helped me prepare for the road ahead by teaching me to be more open-minded to different opinions and to hear other peoples’ voices as equal to my own. King's has transformed the way I think,” says MacDonald.

Nicholas Armstrong ’20 is the 3-Year Bachelor of Arts – Social Science Gold Medal Award recipient. Armstrong, from Kilworth, Ontario, will be pursuing a career in law enforcement. Armstrong says the smaller class sizes at King’s allowed him to meet many great new people. Thus, his fondest memories of King’s were being able to hang out and have some laughs with those people, both inside and outside of the classroom.

James Martin ’20 is the 3-Year Bachelor of Arts – Humanity Gold Medal Award recipient. From Tilbury, Ontario, Martin will be entering the Theology program at St. Peters Seminary, while he continues his formation towards the Catholic priesthood. His favourite memory of King’s was spending time to pray before the statue of Our Blessed Lady, as he found it to be very peaceful when praying before and after classes. “From the teachings in Philosophy to the time of prayer, I believe that King’s has helped me prepare for the road ahead,” says Martin.

Jordan Shanlin ’20 is the 3-Year Bachelor of Arts – Interdisciplinary Programs Gold Medal Award recipient. Shanlin, from Hamilton, Ontario, is currently applying to law schools for 2021 fall term. She will be writing the LSATs this summer and hopes to work as a civil rights lawyer or in immigration law, helping refugees come to Canada.

Her favourite memory of King’s was the opportunities which the Social Justice and Peace Studies program allowed her, including many experiential learning programs, such as traveling to Italy to study.

“Going to King’s has allowed me to meet lifelong friends. King’s has also helped prepare me for the road ahead by teaching me how to think critically and challenge the status quo--two very important skills necessary to create concrete and just change in our society,” says Shanlin.

Tina Nguyen ’20 is the Bachelor of Social Work – Honours Gold Medal Award recipient. Nguyen, from London, Ontario says she will pursue a Masters of Social Work but wishes to gain work experience to narrow down specific interests and passions within the Social Work field, because of the many worthy social issues to care about. She says her favourite memories of King's were the last two years in the Social Work field. "This experience was unforgettable and will hold a special place in my memories and heart indefinitely," says Nguyen.

Nguyen says she has appreciated the opportunities for a more intimate learning experience both at King's and within the Social Work program itself. "The opportunity to take advantage of and thrive in a more intimate learning environment resulted in my ability to maximize my learning and form closer connections with both my peers and professors. The knowledge and networks gained from these experiences are definitely assets I will take with me moving forward," she says.

Congratulations to all of the Gold Medal Award recipients! All of the King’s community wishes these outstanding graduates all the best in their future career, vocational  and academic pursuits!

For more information on the Celebration of Graduates, to be held on June 17, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/current-students/future-planning/convocation/spring-convocation/.