More than 5,200 Carleton University students from the Class of 2023 are receiving degrees that recognize their hard work and commitment to education during this spring’s convocation ceremonies.

Along with conferring degrees, Carleton awards numerous medals to honour the dedication of students who have performed exceptionally in their studies. Continue reading to learn more about this year’s top medallists.

Governor General’s Gold Medal & University Medal for Outstanding Graduate Work (Doctoral Level)

The Governor General’s Gold Medal is awarded to the graduating PhD student at the head of the graduating class.

The University Medal for Outstanding Graduate Work (Doctoral Level) is awarded to a graduating PhD student with an outstanding thesis.

David Luong, PhD Electrical and Computer Engineering

Thesis: Quantum Radar Signal Processing

“Winning these medals means a lot to me. The awards vindicate the hard work that my supervisor, Prof. Sreeraman Rajan, my co-supervisor, Dr. Bhashyam Balaji, and I have put into advancing — or creating — the field of quantum radar signal processing. The idea of applying quantum technologies to radars is about two decades old, but most research into quantum radar was highly theoretical. The world’s first quantum radar experiment was only done very recently, in 2019, and my involvement in that experiment was the impetus for me to begin my PhD. Since then, my supervisors and I have been laying the foundations needed to use quantum radar in everyday life. Winning these medals for my PhD thesis, which literally bears the title, “Quantum Radar Signal Processing,” means that at least a few people think we really are helping to bring practical quantum radars closer to reality. That’s simultaneously humbling and thrilling, and I’m extremely happy and grateful for those votes of confidence.”

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David Luong

Governor General Silver Medal

The Governor General’s Silver Medal is awarded to two undergraduate students at the head of the graduating class.

Martin Dobrev Dimitrov, Bachelor of Science, Computer Science

“It is a great honour to receive this award. It shows that all of the hard work and late nights spent studying during my undergraduate studies has finally paid off. To me, winning this award means obtaining the final seal of approval to complete this chapter of my life in style! I am truly grateful for all of the amazing people and professors that supported me along the way.”

A man with short curly hair and a dress shirt poses for the camera to celebrate being a medallist.

Martin Dobrev Dimitrov

Simon Spencer VanDerLoo, Bachelor of Science, Neuroscience and Mental Health

“I’m super flattered — and honestly, kind of shocked — to be one of the two recipients of the Governor General’s Silver Medal this year. It’s an exciting and humbling close to my four-year stay at Carleton, after many, many hours of joining group study sessions with friends and frantically finishing essays the day before they’re due. To me, this medal represents the support I’ve gotten from my friends and professors here over the last few years. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to study alongside, ask to edit my writing last-minute, and lean on when I needed to — I definitely couldn’t have done any of this on my own!  Special thanks to Dr. Hildebrand and Dr. Dedek for all their wisdom and support throughout my thesis. I will miss you all!”

A young man dressed in academic regalia poses for the camera while holding a degree

Simon Spencer VanDerLoo

Chancellor’s Medal

The Chancellor’s Medal is awarded annually to graduating undergraduate students with outstanding academic achievement.

Waleed Darwish, Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry

“This medal showcases how much dedication and effort was undertaken throughout my time at Carleton. Importantly, it represents the blessings Allah has bestowed upon me in that I hope to use this knowledge to improve society. I am very thankful for having received this opportunity to showcase my academic prowess.”

A man in a black t-shirt sits on an ATV

Waleed Darwish

President’s Medal

The President’s Medal is awarded annually to the student with the highest standing in a general degree program of studies.

Sergiy Onyshchenko, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

“Being selected for the President’s Medal is a great honour and a momentous recognition of the many sleepless nights and years of hard work. Despite the effort that I’ve personally put in, I would be remiss not to emphasize that throughout my academic journey. I was supported by my loving wife, dear mother, and friends, without whose continuous encouragement, I would not be where I am today. I am very grateful to Carleton, especially the departments of Political Science and Psychology, for providing me with unparalleled opportunities to grow as a person and deepen my understanding of the world. My degree has challenged me throughout and the lessons I have learned will remain with me for the rest of my life.”

A man in a grey suit and tie looks away from the camera

Sergiy Onyshchenko

University Medal for Outstanding Graduate Work (Master’s Level)

The University Medal for Outstanding Graduate Work (Master’s Level) is awarded to a graduating master’s student with an outstanding thesis or research essay work.

Lisa Sarraf, Master of Arts, Psychology

Thesis: The Mediating Effect of Coping on the Relationship Between High School Victimization and Psychological Distress in Early Adulthood: Does Social Support Reduce Maladaptive Coping?

“I am greatly honored to be selected for this medal and for the opportunity to pursue my master’s studies in the Department of Psychology at Carleton — an environment that is intellectually stimulating and rewarding. My master’s experience was a pleasant and unforgettable journey in my life. I am profoundly thankful to my remarkable supervisor Dr. Tina Daniels and my master’s thesis committee members Dr. Shelley Brown and Dale Spencer for their guidance, support, and encouragement. Receiving this university medal is truly a recognition of my work and dedication, which encourages me to continue my research and help the vulnerable in my community.”

A woman with long dark hair and a light shirt smiles for the camera in front of a white background.

Lisa Sarraf

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Monday, June 12, 2023 in , ,
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