Growing students into leaders

Being courageous and compassionate.

What defines a leader? Recent UBC graduate Shirley Hutchinson feels that “a leader is someone who is courageous, just and compassionate”. Now she has been recognized and rewarded for these same qualities, receiving the 2011 Pushor Mitchell Gold Medal Leadership Prize.

“I’m starting my Master of Arts in the fall, and this prize will really help to cover the cost of my degree and my research,” says Shirley. “Over the next couple of years, I will investigate issues associated with the criminal justice system and some of the prejudicial biases toward offenders I have seen as a result of some of my work in the community. I believe all people, including offenders, need to be treated with justice and compassion.”

Pushor Mitchell created the $10,000 award to nurture and reward volunteerism and leadership in students. It’s given annually to a top graduating student in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. Pushor Mitchell is among a growing number of donors who want their gift to UBC to have an impact on the community. The prize reflects a core value for the firm—giving back to make the Okanagan a better place to live.

Shirley’s exemplary leadership skills have allowed her to grow at UBC’s Okanagan campus. She recently graduated with a BSc in Psychology (Honours) with a Forensic Specialization. The John Howard Society and the Okanagan Halfway House are among those who have benefited from Shirley’s volunteer services.

Dr. Cynthia Mathieson, Dean of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences sees tremendous value in the Prize. “We need to produce well-rounded graduates who will guide us to a more sustainable and equitable future. We want our students to develop their leadership potential as part of their experience and growth at UBC’s Okanagan campus”.


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