Elizabeth Dreise wins Governor General’s Medal for Highest Academic Standing


Graduate Elizabeth Dreise was awarded the Governor General’s Medal at the 2019 Spring Convocation. The Medal is awarded to the student in the highest academic standing with the university.

“It’s been a long process,” said Dreise. “You start university and you just hope it will go well. It’s nice that I have been able to come this far and achieve this much.”

Dreise has been earning awards for her marks since her first year at St. Thomas University. She has won the Prize for Psychology—an award the department gives to recognize students with top marks—all four years of her degree.

This year she was also awarded the Psychology Department Award for Outstanding Performance in Honours for her thesis work, which focused on how caregivers working with people with dementia navigate the safety issues that surround driving.

Alongside the accolades she earned from STU, Dreise won the Science Atlantic’s Science Communication Award for best oral presentation of a topic to her peers at their student conference at Mount Allison University, which draws in students from across Atlantic Canada.

Dreise said she owes a lot of her success to her family and friends.

“I know sometimes when I look at people that win these awards, they can seem intimidating, but this is the area I love,” she said. “I love academics, I do well, but it has taken a lot of people around me to help me.”

Dreise said she is also thankful she could find her passion at STU.

“When I started, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was interested in Psychology, and I enjoyed it, but I like that you had to take more courses. In first year, I took Spanish and Criminology. I really love Psychology, but it’s not my sole interest and now I can see how it informs a lot of my other interests.”

“I’m very honoured to have received this award, but I am also thankful for the learning, and the diversity of learning, that I have received here.”

Dreise graduated with a Honours in Psychology and minors in Spanish and Criminology. She said law school is next.

“I think STU does a great job exposing you to the issues in society, and I see law as a way to be equipped to start addressing some of those.”