Thompson Rivers University has awarded four exceptional graduate students with entrance scholarships valued at $15,000 each. This marks a $60,000 investment by the Province of BC through the BC Graduate Scholarship Fund.
These merit-based awards are granted to students in research-focused professional programs and have a significant impact on the lives of the students receiving them. They allow students to concentrate on their research and reduce the financial burden of graduate school.
‘“Government is breaking down barriers to affordable, accessible post-secondary education in all regions of the province so students can focus more on excellence in education rather than making ends meet,”’ says Anne Kang, minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. ‘“The B.C. Graduate Scholarships support our next generation of researchers, innovators and leaders by increasing affordability for our best graduate students and keeping the talent pool in BC.”’
“Graduate students’ discoveries contribute to improving all of our lives and enriching our understanding of the world around us, so provincial support is vital. The fund encourages our most innovative researchers to excel without limits. Congratulations to the recipients of the BC Graduate Scholarships ,” says Troy Fuller, TRU director of Research and Graduate Studies.
Making a difference
Master of Science in Environmental Science (MScES) student Camille Roberge, whose work with the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council explores the impact of forest cutblocks (harvested areas) on declining moose populations, recognizes the scholarship’s significance.
“I am very honoured at being chosen for the BC Graduate Scholarship,” says Roberge. “I am very thankful to TRU for selecting me to receive this award. Having the encouragement and support from the TRU community is a great feeling.”
Morgan Whitehouse, a Master of Education (MEd) student, whose research supports science educators (K-16) to rethink pedagogical approaches during the pandemic and reflect on teaching practices in the future, acknowledges the impact of the scholarship.
“Being a recipient of the BC Graduate Scholarship is a tremendous honour,” says Whitehouse. “It is humbling having our research, and my credibility, recognized with this award. I would like to recognize the passion and hard work of my collaborators, without which this important research would not be possible. I am reminded of Isaac Newton’s words: ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ I am grateful for my giants. Receiving this scholarship reaffirms the significance our research will have to K-16 science education, and equitable scientific literacy in society more broadly.”
Through her work with snakes, Veronica McKelvey, MScES, hopes to better understand the variability in behaviour and habitat use between different species overwintering. For McKelvey, the scholarship allows her to continue her important work.
“I am honoured to be selected as a recipient of the BC Graduate Scholarship,” says McKelvey. “It feels incredible to be recognized for my research and past achievements. I look forward to applying it to my studies at Thompson Rivers University and having this financial support to continue focusing on my research!”
For MEd student Jeneen Herns-Jensen, who is working as a research assistant within an Intergenerational Secwepemctsín Language Revitalization project in addition to her fellowship through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the scholarship provides an opportunity for positive change.
“Receiving this scholarship is such a blessing because it means I can focus on finishing my thesis without taking any time off of my studies,” says Herns-Jensen. “Having this extra financial support will allow me to truly focus on the things that I am passionate about changing within academia, and work towards beginning my PhD after I finish my graduate studies.”
The scholarships are part of a $3.75 million investment announced last year by the provincial government to support 250 awards of $15,000 each over the next two years. TRU is one of 10 post-secondary institutions benefiting from the scholarship fund, receiving a total allotment of $135,000 to support graduate students.