Every year, 50 students from across Canada begin university with the ultimate boost: the Schulich Leader Scholarship. Twenty-five such awards (valued at $80,000 each) are discerned to students entering an engineering program, while another twenty-five (valued at $60,000 each) are given to students entering science, technology or math. Students are singled out for this award based on academic excellence and community involvement during their high school careers. Funded by Canadian philanthropist and business leader Seymour Schulich, the scholarship seeks to promote the future of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields in Canada and Israel.
The University of Ottawa nominates two students to be Schulich Leaders every year, and this year’s winner in engineering is Reed Bell from Owen Sound, Ontario. Starting fall 2015, Reed is studying Chemical Engineering. He is an exemplary student, with an overall high school average of 96%. Between classes and activities in his new city, Reed took the time to answer some questions for us.
What were your favourite subjects in high school? What kinds of extracurricular activities were you involved in?
In high school, I took classes in math, science, languages, music, law, accounting and even a co-op placement. However, my favourite subject was always math, and it was something I excelled in. I also diversified my extracurricular portfolio to include athletics, student government and volunteering. Among these were: cross country running, track and field, volleyball, Nordic skiing, mountain biking, student council, Link crew, student senate and many more! I also took on leadership roles as Student Council President and Student Trustee for my local school board.
How have your first few weeks at uOttawa been?
So far, my uOttawa experience has been nothing less than amazing! Getting to participate in 101 week and getting an insight into the engineering culture was awesome! I am very excited to meet other likeminded individuals with passions and interests similar to mine, something I really didn’t have the chance to experience in high school. I’m also looking forward to exploring the culture and recreation of Ottawa, from the canal trails, to the Byward market and the nightlife!
Why did you choose to study chemical engineering?
I chose chemical engineering because I have a passion for math and chemistry. I didn’t see many future opportunities for me in theoretical mathematics or chemistry, so I chose engineering as a way to apply my knowledge in the real world while using the fundamentals of math and science. Another reason was the wide variety of career options, from oil and gas to pharmaceuticals and other raw material processing. Following my studies, I think it would be very interesting to travel internationally or domestically as a Petroleum Engineer! However, I’m still keeping my options open!
What, or who, inspires you to work so hard?
I don’t think there was ever a direct what or who that has influenced me. Many indirect influences from coaches, family members and friends though. Most of my drive was self-motivated, a personal goal to succeed, stay fit and live a balanced lifestyle. For some reason, I felt the need to spread a little piece of myself into every aspect of life that I could fit! I found out early in life that hard work and dedication are incredibly rewarding!
For more information on the Schulich Leader Scholarship, please visit www.schulichleaders.com.