Meet some of Queen’s newest Schulich Leaders

Recipient says scholarship was ‘life-changing’

Vivian Hughes, Liam Doris, and Ahmad El-Barbary at their high school graduations.
Credit: 
Supplied by Vivian Hughes, Liam Doris, and Ahmad El-Barbary

Ten first-year students at Queen’s received the Schulich Scholarship award this year.

The $100,000 or $80,000 award is granted to students who showcase academic excellence, leadership, charisma, and creativity, combined with a strong interest in scientific research and an entrepreneurial mindset.

The application process requires students to be nominated by their school, and then fill out the Schulich Leader application for their desired university. Admissions decisions are made independently by each university, and 100 students across Canada receive the award every year.

Recipients of the award sat down with The Journal to share their background in STEM, experience at Queen’s so far, and life as a Schulich leader.

Vivian Hughes, ArtSci ’26, is studying mathematics at Queen’s and intends to minor in computer science. Originally from Calgary, she started a volunteer-based science and math peer tutoring club at Saint Mary's High School.

“I brought that club to life to attempt to show people that math and science can be more fun than what's just taught in school,” she said in an interview with The Journal.

Hughes wrote about extra barriers women must overcome as STEM professionals in her Schulich application. She looks forward to meeting people with similar career aspirations in the scholarship program and the many opportunities its network presents.

“At Queens, the scholarship allows me to connect with teachers as well as other students and steer me in the right direction,” Hughes said.

Beyond its beautiful campus, Queen’s “rigorous academics” and “close-knit” community appealed to Hughes.

“I'm looking forward to what the community has to provide. I think Queen’s fosters self-growth, as well as discovering what you want in your career and what you want in your relationships.”

Liam Doris, Sci ’26, has been interested in agriculture since growing up on a farm outside Peterborough. He attended Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, specializing in aerospace and aviation.

He originally wanted to be an agronomist and found his way to engineering following the suggestion of his grade 10 science teacher.

Now, he’s interested in engineering and its relationship to the agriculture sector—whether it’s more efficient farm equipment, or other aspects of farming engineering.

Doris decided to apply to Queen’s because of the school’s prestige and community.

“I already feel like I've met a million people and made a million friends, which is awesome,” he said.

He looks forward to events alongside the Schulich leaders, such as a conference at McGill next Saturday and a dinner with Kevin Deluzio, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, on Monday.

Doris called winning the award the best day of his life so far.

Ahmad El-Barbary, Sci ’26, loves physics, chemistry, math, and, recently, programming. Queen’s appealed to him because of the “amazing opportunities” it presents.

When meeting with Dean Deluzio this summer, he learned about the Engineering internship program and the “caring and helpful” culture at Queen’s, which helped cement his decision.

El-Barbary is going into the Electrical and Computer Engineering Innovation stream of Engineering at Queen’s. He believes one of the greatest perks of the scholarship program is connecting with STEM leaders across the country who have accomplished amazing things.

“I am extremely grateful for this scholarship and all the opportunities it provides me with,” he said. “I would like to thank all of those who have supported me and taught me over the years, most notably my mother.”

Gabrielle Barsky-Giles, Michael Cassidy, Emma Dafoe, Hussam Hayek, Tacen Huezo, Lucas Komljenovic, and Connor Leung are the other Schulich Leaders at Queen’s this year.

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