Ten incoming Queen’s students received the Schulich Leader Scholarship, Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM scholarship.
Among this year’s recipients were five students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science who received $120,000 scholarships, and five students in the Faculty of Arts and Science, who received $100,000 scholarships. These individuals are among the 100 students across 20 partner universities in Canada who were awarded the honour this year.
“I think something that makes [the scholarship] unique is that it has a really strong network and community that continues to get better every year,” said David Goodman, executive director Schulich Leader Scholarships and Schulich Foundation vice-president, in an interview with The Journal.
Goodman shared the scholarship program was born out of a desire to financially support Canada’s best students pursuing STEM fields with an entrepreneurial mindset. The hope is by eliminating financial pressures and not having a minimum GPA requirement to retain the scholarship year-to-year, students can enjoy their studies and explore non-academic pursuits.
Schulich Leader Ishaan Grewal, Sci ’27, echoed this sentiment. He explained the funding allowed him to attend Queen’s, and he hopes to join design teams and embrace the engineering experience as much as possible.
“I think [the scholarship] opens a lot of avenues other students might not have. The scholarship, the Schulich Leader network, the mentorship [all] provide a great sense of community [and] help me grow as a person,” Grewal said in an interview with The Journal.
Grewal is in the direct-entry electrical and computer engineering innovation (ECEI) stream, which he chose over the general engineering stream because of its focus on innovation with specialized commerce classes for engineering students.
“I was really intrigued by the business aspect of things as well, because if I want to create my own start-up company, I need that experience,” Grewal said.
While Grewal appreciates the direction and focus his direct-entry stream provides, most students apply to the general stream with the potential to declare a specialization after their first year. Schulich Leader Torrin Bigrigg, Sci ’27, likes the broad exposure this stream provides.
“I feel like every day I’m here I hear of a new career, a new sort of research field. While I didn’t see myself in research before, now I’m kind of considering it,” Bigrigg said in an interview with The Journal.
Bigrigg hopes to become involved in the engineering community during her time at Queen’s by joining several clubs and applying to be an orientation leader next year.
The Schulich Leader network provides ongoing mentorship and support to its students. One aspect of this network is to connect upper year Schulich Leaders with incoming students to provide guidance and advice as they navigate their new programs.
For the first time, Queen’s is hosting the Schulich Leaders Across Canada (SLXCA) conference on Sept. 23. Leaders from partner universities in Kingston, Ottawa, and Montreal will be in attendance.
“Clusters of Schulich Leaders from the host university and nearby universities come together for a day of learning, inspiration, and connection. It embodies what we’re trying to do throughout the entire year with the Schulich Leader network,” Goodman said.
“We’re trying to expose these students to thought leaders, mentors, and potential employers, where they can both learn and find opportunities.”
—With files from Vineeth Jarabana
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