Eight incoming undergraduate students at the University of Guelph received top entrance awards during an event held Sept. 1.
Seven of the students received President’s Scholarships, which recognize high school achievements, leadership abilities and citizenship activities.
One student received the Lincoln Alexander Chancellor’s Scholarship, named for former long-time chancellor Lincoln Alexander. The award recognizes top students who have made significant community contributions and who are Indigenous, a person with a disability or a racialized person.
U of G received more than 300 applications for this year’s awards.
During a scholars’ luncheon held Sept. 1, Dr. Byron Sheldrick, associate vice-president (academic), thanked the selection committee members for their work. He also acknowledged award donors and faculty members who will serve as mentors for this year’s scholarship winners.
Commending this year’s scholars for their academic and leadership achievements, Sheldrick said, “You are joining a special group of students who enrich this campus with your commitment to making this a better world, with your passion for volunteerism, with your dedication to excellence in the arts or as an athlete, and with your leadership.
“We are honoured to have you as new Gryphons at the University of Guelph.”
U of G chancellor Mary Anne Chambers congratulated the scholarship winners and encouraged them to continue pursuing opportunities to engage and to lead.
“At the University of Guelph, we encourage a holistic approach which includes the student’s academic, social, physical and mental wellbeing,” said Chambers.
“All of this will help you to grow as you learn, not only in the areas of study that you choose to pursue, but also about who you are, who you can be, and the impact that you can have on our ever-changing world.”
The President’s and Chancellor’s Scholarships are worth $8,250 a year over four years plus one $9,500 stipend for a summer research assistantship. Recipients are teamed with a faculty mentor in their discipline.
The scholarship program has recognized hundreds of entering students since the first President’s Scholarships were presented in 1987. The awards are funded mostly through donations from alumni, friends, faculty and staff.
Lincoln Alexander Chancellor’s Scholarship
Ryan Hornseth (psychology, co-op)
Ryan has supported diversity and inclusion by leading an installation art and video project and a gender sexuality alliance to prompt discussions and understanding about queer identities in school and community. Ryan has encouraged inclusive language and support for queer youth services, including volunteering as a human library “book” during Pride events and representing the event in a social media campaign.
Alexander Adair (wildlife biology and conservation)
Alexander has served on a team helping the less fortunate and addressing community food scarcity. His extensive volunteer commitments include contributions to a Parks Canada turtle tracking program in Bruce Peninsula National Park and leadership of school and community groups in music and athletics.
Aly Anany (computer engineering, co-op)
A founding leader of his school’s Muslim Student Association and an equity and diversity advocate, Aly has used his language skills to ensure access to necessary services and support for Arabic-speaking immigrants in his community. He founded a school mental health exercise club, competed in local squash tournaments, and served as an international ambassador to help incoming students transition to high school.
Evelyn Balfour (psychology, co-op)
Evelyn served as student council representative, leader of a school gay-straight alliance and advocate for student inclusiveness and support of 2SLGBTQ+ peers. During her diverse volunteer commitments, she has supported a local homeless shelter through food drives and fundraisers, organized a used-book drive for immigrant families and youngsters in local shelters, and helped incoming students adjust to high school studies.
Eli Batchelor (environmental management)
As a United Nations sustainable development goals ambassador, Eli drew attention to human trafficking issues, including working with One Child and launching the #Beh1ndTheScr3ens campaign to raise awareness of child sex trafficking. They served on their community Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, founded a school Eco Club, and advocated to their school board on equity and inclusion issues faced by diverse students.
Theodore Hall (biological science)
Arts and science have been twin pursuits for Theodore, a musician, writer and enthusiast of classical civilizations who also led a local rocket club, an award-winning school robotics team and a community e-sports club. Community volunteering, ranging from student tutoring to chairing of his school Me to We group, earned him the bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Stephen Mitchell (biomedical engineering, co-op)
Stephen has contributed to school and community through involvement in student government, volunteer tutoring, athletics, music, and provincial and national debate competitions. He has promoted environmental literacy through membership with the award-winning Alberta Youth Leaders for Environmental Education and as an educator on green practices and co-founder of a school environment club.
Anna Nevoit (biological engineering, co-op)
Anna arranged for a safe school space for students affected by the war in Ukraine and organized a school-wide donation drive. She helped lead school initiatives in sustainable development, received an internship for top Canadian students in a Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology summer research program, and served on school groups for yearbook, athletics, food sharing and a model United Nations.