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UNB to honour valedictorians and professors at 2023 spring graduation ceremonies

Author: Kathleen McLaughlin

Posted on May 3, 2023

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

At the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) graduation ceremonies in Fredericton and Saint John, five valedictorians will address UNB’s graduating classes of 2023. The university will also honour three outstanding professors.

Kianna Bear-Hetherington

Valedictorian Kianna Bear-Hetherington will address students in the faculties of forestry and environmental management, nursing and science on Wednesday, May 17 at 10 a.m.

As the first Wolastoqey valedictorian and Indigenous valedictorian in a STEM-related field at UNB, Bear-Hetherington is accustomed to breaking down barriers. She grew up with a special relationship with the land and all living things in it. Her deep spiritual connection to nature and a burning desire to help Indigenous communities thrive drove her to complete her bachelor of science in environmental and natural resources with a major in water resource management.

Inspiring and empowering young women to pursue their dreams is also a passion for Bear-Hetherington. Her favourite memory from her time at UNB was her participation as a speaker for the 2023 Girls Stem-Up Conference where she spoke to high school students about her journey as an Indigenous woman navigating a STEM field.

Bear-Hetherington's dedication to supporting future female and Indigenous students and opening the doors for others means her time at UNB will leave a legacy that creates future valedictorians in STEM who look like her.

Amy Thomson

Valedictorian Amy Thomson will address students from the faculties of management, education and kinesiology on Wednesday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m.

Thomson is a Dean’s List student graduating with a bachelor of science in kinesiology. She is the recipient of several scholarships, including the Dorothy A. Gregg Memorial Scholarship and the Dax Brown Memorial Scholarship. She volunteered as a peer mentor for the UNB faculty of kinesiology where she piloted the ‘Peers on Careers’ program. She was also the faculty of kinesiology’s student ambassador.

Amy helped ensure all UNB students felt included on campus. She was on the UNB All Abilities executive team to help promote disability awareness and inclusion for UNB students on campus.

Working to impact the community outside of UNB, Amy volunteered with UNB S.P.R.I.N.G., a YMCA program that connects UNB students with children with disabilities. She also volunteered in the REDS Recreation Silver Series programs, which help older adults with osteoporosis and neurodegenerative disorders exercise in rehabilitation programs.

Callum Hunter

Valedictorian Callum Hunter will address students from the faculties of graduates of arts, law, Renaissance College and interdisciplinary studies on Thursday, May 18 at 10 a.m.

Hunter is graduating with a bachelor of philosophy in interdisciplinary leadership, with minors in philosophy and political science.

Over the last four years, Hunter has actively participated in several community and campus initiatives, placing a high priority on establishing connections, both between herself and other students.

Hunter has served as a residence assistant, peer mentor, member of her faculty's student council, member of the Student Experience Team, frequent volunteer and participant in campus and faculty events and a dance teacher, student and performer off campus, establishing a reputation for her dedication to service that reflects her appreciation and love of UNB and Fredericton.

Brandon Saulnier

Valedictorian Brandon Saulnier will address students in the faculties of computer science and engineering on Thursday, May 18 at 2:30 p.m.

Graduating with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering with minors in psychology and electrical engineering, he has also obtained a diploma in the university's technology management and entrepreneurship program.

Throughout his undergraduate years, Saulnier has sought to enrich his own university experience as well as those around him. He has served as resident assistant for UNB Resident Life, VP external for the Engineering Undergraduate Society, VP services for the Atlantic Council of Engineering Students, VP financial for the Canadian Engineering Competition, academic rep for the Student Society of Mechanical Engineers, project manager for CubeSat NB, writer and photographer for the Atlantic Student Research Journal and co-chair of TEDxUNB 2023.

Saulnier will continue his education with a master of science in aerospace engineering.

Clara Kelly

Valedictorian Clara Kelly will address students in the faculties of arts; science, applied science and engineering and business on Friday, May 19 at 2 p.m.

Kelly is graduating with a bachelor of nursing degree. She has been a Dean’s List student all four years of her degree, as well as UNB’s Saint John Nursing Society representative and president in the 2022-2023 academic year.

Kelly was heavily involved with the UNB community in both academics and extracurriculars as the Seawolves women’s volleyball team manager, Summer Term in Europe Program (STEP) assistant and Student Representative Council (SRC) nursing and health sciences student representative for two years.

Alongside her community involvement, Kelly earned many awards and accomplishments, including UNB’s Saint John Graduating Student Leader Award and SRC Excellence in Service Award. She also received the Foley Woodroffe Scholarship and was part of the Golden Key International Honours Society.

Professors emeriti

The designations of professor emerita and professor emeritus will be bestowed upon the following professors for their accomplishments and commitment to teaching, research and administration:

  • Dr. Allan Adam, professor emeritus in chemistry
  • Dr. Richard Cunjak, professor emeritus in biology and in forestry and environmental management
  • Dr. Randall Martin, professor emeritus in English

UNB Fredericton will celebrate its 194th Encaenia on May 17 and 18 with four ceremonies at the Richard J. CURRIE CENTER.

UNB Saint John will celebrate its 48th Spring Convocation on May 19 at the G. Forbes Elliot Athletics Centre.