Grace Hominuke and Saanvi Mital will cross the stage next week. (photos submitted)

Hominuke and Mital earn major kinesiology 2024 grad awards

Each year at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Spring Convocation ceremony, the College of Kinesiology recognizes its Most Outstanding Graduate and Dean’s Medal Recipient.

By Alyssa Wiebe | Kinesiology Communications

This year, the college is proud to award the Most Outstanding Graduate to Saanvi Mital and the Dean’s Medal to Grace Hominuke.

The most outstanding graduate recipient must demonstrate leadership and participation within the college, on campus, and in their community, with academic performance also taken into consideration. Making a difference on campus, in her college, and in the community, has earned Mital the honour for 2024.

“I am so grateful for being named the top graduate from the College of Kinesiology. It has been a privilege to grow as a student and an individual in the college, and it is truly an honour to be recognized,” said Mital.

Mital was born and raised in Edmonton and chose to pursue a degree in kinesiology because she grew up playing sports and was not completely ready to dismiss that part of her when she started university. She also enjoyed the ability to take classes such as physiology and biochemistry, but also had the opportunity to learn about health in a more holistic manner.

“Having moved to Saskatoon for university, I started off at the college in a new city without knowing anybody from home. My time at the College of Kinesiology has been like finding a home away from home. I have met the most wonderful friends, professors, and staff, who have challenged me, but also given me opportunities to be involved in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I have grown to find a lot of confidence and resilience in myself.”

During her time spent in the college, Mital was involved in many extracurricular experiences as an undergrad, especially once classes resumed in person (after the COVID-19 pandemic). She was a peer mentor, a part of two different research labs as an undergrad, a member of the KIN LIFE committee, Orange You Ready?, served on multiple hiring committees, and as president of the Kinesiology Students’ Society.

“My favourite memory from my time as a student would probably be the February Be-active Bike-a-thon that I got to be a part of in my third year as treasurer of the Kinesiology Students’ Society. I came to school expecting to sit at a table expecting to count money, and then suddenly there was music and so much activity in the main PAC area. It was a great experience to have our students having that opportunity to get to know the faculty and staff in a setting outside of academics.”

Next fall, Mital will be attending the Schulich School of Medicine at Western University in August.

If she could tell incoming freshman one thing it would be, “reach out to older students in their program and find mentors. I received the advice to get involved many times, but there are so many things to do in university, that it can be helpful to have a mentor’s advice to navigate through what you really want to do.”

The second kinesiology award presented at Spring Convocation is the Dean’s Medal, awarded to the graduating student with the highest grade-point average. The recipient of the 2024 Dean’s Medal is Grace Hominuke.

“It is a true honour to be recognized with this award. My academic achievement is a direct reflection of the hardworking and inspirational staff, faculty, and students at the College of Kinesiology who have enabled me to flourish both personally and academically throughout my degree,” said Hominuke.

When exploring degree options, Hominuke chose kinesiology after discovering her interest in health promotion and the sciences in high school. She had heard great things about the College of Kinesiology at USask and pursuing a kinesiology degree seemed like a natural fit.

“I consider my time in the College of Kinesiology to have been transformative: it was a period of significant learning, discovery, growth, and personal development. I am so grateful for my time at the College of Kinesiology, and will forever cherish the knowledge, skills, and friendships I have developed here.”

Hominuke has always put a priority on her academics, but she also has a great appreciation for extracurricular activities. She learned the importance of balancing her academic pursuits with her hobbies in high school and knows it has been an essential avenue for her to relieve stress, get involved in the community, and develop practical skills such as leadership.

“I have so many great memories from my time as a student, but I would have to say the times I spent studying, working on lab reports, and writing papers on the second floor of the PAC with my friends would have to be some of my favourites. I spent so much time laughing with friends, learning new things, and meeting new people. It always brings a smile to my face to reminisce on those times.”

Her words of advice to incoming students? “Take advantage of the close-knit community and abundant resources that the college has to offer. As kinesiology students, we are so lucky to benefit from exceptionally talented, caring, and passionate faculty and staff who want to help you thrive and succeed. Don’t be afraid to get involved in the college, make new friends, and ask for help when you need it.”

After crossing the stage in June, Hominuke is looking forward to taking a year off from academics to catch her breath.

“Community involvement has been a formative part of my undergraduate experience, and I am excited to continue volunteering with local organizations such as the Saskatoon Open Door Society and the SWITCH Clinic.”

She hopes to return to the university in the near future to receive further education that will enable her to pursue a career in the health sciences.