Garden Valley School Division is pleased to share the news that Patrick Giesbrecht, a graduate of Garden Valley Collegiate (GVC), has won the Governor General's Award at the Master of Science level in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Manitoba (U of M).
The Governor General's Medal was announced on June 6, 2018 at the U of M's spring graduation and convocation ceremony. Created in 1873 by Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third Governor General after Confederation, to encourage academic excellence across the nation, the Governor General's Academic Medals have become the most prestigious award for outstanding achievements that Canadian students can receive. "I’m honoured that I was chosen to receive this award," says Giesbrecht, "especially with the pedigree of other recipients. I put in a lot of work and had a lot of support along the way, and am glad that it’s recognized."
Giesbrecht graduated from Garden Valley Collegiate in 2010, and he is the son of former GVC Principal Dan Giesbrecht, and Karen Giesbrecht, Choral Director at NPC. Following his graduation from GVC, Giesbrecht began studies in science at the U of M. In the 8 years following high school graduation, he completed a 5-year Bachelor of Science honours degree, as well as a Master of Science degree specializing in material chemistry. His cutting-edge research and his thesis, entitled "Mechanistic Insights towards the Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol Facilitated by Benzannulated Pyridine and Dihydropyridine Additives," has drawn the attention of academic institutions and governmental agencies alike. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which provides major scholarships for graduate students, has funded his summer research work for the last number of years. His summer research projects have included developing polymers for microchips, converting solar energy into electricity, and splitting hydrogen as an alternative energy source.
Giesbrecht credits where he is today to the head start he received from his high school science teachers--notably Della Friesen, Dale Martens, Joey Elias, Tim Wiebe and Mike Dyck--who he says "set in motion and laid a lot of the groundwork" for his pursuit and interest in science. He is also grateful for the wide range of experiences in school that helped him to become a scholar today. Whether it was gaining public speaking skills as a student council member, being on the Schoolreach team, or working hard in challenging classes, they've all paid off with "massive dividends," he says. He also acknowledges the influence of classmates and supportive school staff during those formative years. "I can’t forget the librarians-they got new science texts for me when I noticed all the ones they had were from the 80’s," he recalls fondly.
Giesbrecht is currently working for one year at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. Following that, he will begin pursuing his PhD at Dalhousie University in Halifax next January.
GVSD congratulates Patrick Giesbrecht on his special academic achievement and wishes him every success in his future endeavors!
See also the references below: