Mahmoud Sohrabi - Graduate, Political Science

Recipient: Graduate Excellence Award (Arts and Science)

Upon his arrival in Canada, Mahmoud Sohrabi attended intensive English courses before starting his studies at Langara College. After completing his Associate of Arts degree, he was admitted to UBC’s Political Science Honours program.

Of his experiences, Mahmoud writes:

“I truly believe that the skills I learned at Langara were critical in my success in that very challenging program. Since graduation from UBC in 2008, I completed a 6-month internship at the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague and I am currently in the process of becoming a licensed immigration consultant.”

One of his instructors, Linda Hale, says of Mahmoud, “Mahmoud was an exceptionally capable student. He brought a wonderful blend of curiosity, intellectual ability, and a genuine respect for the views of his fellow students, instructors, and scholars. His approach to Canadian history courses effectively combined critical analysis with empathy for the challenges confronted by Canadians of previous generations. He excelled in identifying the key factors under discussion and enjoyed exchanging perspectives with other students. It was a pleasure to have him in class.”

Another of his instructors, Ros Scarnell, writes, “Initially quiet, Mahmoud soon revealed his intelligence, understanding and gentle humour in class. His work was exceptional, and he always applied himself with a great deal of diligence. He is not only an exceptional student but a very caring person with deep commitments to his family. Mahmoud is one of those students that one never forgets, and I was honoured to have him in my class.”

Emma Peake - Graduate, Recreation Diploma

Recipient: Graduate Excellence Award (Career) & Governor General’s Bronze Medal

A native Prince Edward Islander, Emma Peake initially pursued a career in biology, working as a research ecologist for several years. During that time, she began teaching fitness and discovered a passion for working with people. This led her to the Recreation Program at Langara College. Through her experiences she learned valuable skills such as facilities maintenance and event planning, helping her identify and refine her personal philosophy with respect to recreation.

“Emma Peake was a pleasure to have as a student. She was able to combine an excellence in academics with the very important practical aspects of her studies,” says Vince Kreiser, coordinator of the Recreation Program.

One of her instructors, Elizabeth Ballard, writes, “Emma took my Applied Psychology course, a course involving leadership in small groups. She not only brought more to the course than most but through her own efforts she also took more away.

If I were forming a team that was charged with solving a complex problem I think Emma would be one of the first people I’d ask to join me. Her input would be invaluable. She has a calm confidence that inspires others to do their best. She listens deeply to everyone and finds the value of each person’s contribution. Emma’s creative talent, quick wit and lightning intellect coupled with her gracious good manners move people towards cooperative solutions.”

Emma is now working as an event co-ordinator with the Rick Hansen Foundation, and she looks forward to a long and rewarding career in planning and delivering quality recreation programs to the public.

Neal Kansy - Graduate, Film Arts

Recipient: Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal

Neal was raised in Penticton, BC and received his B.A. in history and international relations from Cornell University. After working at a winery and then as an executive search recruiter, Neal studied screenwriting in the Film Arts program at Langara College. After graduation, Neal completed his second year of law at UBC while remaining active in Film Arts.

The Department Chair of the Film Arts Program, Alyson Drysdale writes:

“Neal was a fantastic student in the Film Arts Program and his excellent work helped raise the profile of the students as well as the program itself. Neal was co-Executive Producer of an 8-part webisode series called “The Department of Solutions,” which he spearheaded in getting the series onto the Web. The series was a collaboration of all of the program’s writers, actors, and directors, so everyone benefited from this promotion.

Neal also wrote and produced a ten-minute film called “Delivery,” which won the Screenwriting Award at our graduation “Unlock the Vault’ screening and took the Audience Award as well!

He was one of the founding members of the Film Arts Alumni Association and continues to attend and support our events.”

Thanks to Neal for all his contributions to Langara College.