Schmeelk Foundation announces 2016-2017 winners of the Richard J. Schmeelk Canada Fellowship

MONTREAL, June 27, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Schmeelk Canada Foundation announced today the winners of the prestigious Richard J. Schmeelk Canada Fellowship and the newly-established Ken Taylor Fellowship at the University of Calgary. The latter honours the life and work of the late Ken Taylor, Canada's Ambassador to Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

Chosen for their academic excellence and community leadership, Francophone Fellows pursue their graduate studies at the University of Western Ontario or the University of Calgary whereas Anglophone Fellows do so at Université Laval or Université de Montréal. The Schmeelk Canada Foundation offers recipients a unique opportunity to expand their network and pursue diverse opportunities country-wide while completing their graduate studies. Every year, the Schmeelk Canada Foundation awards its fellowship recipients $10,000 per term, renewable up to $40,000, to fund their studies, making it one of Canada's most generous academic awards.

To date, more than 100 Canadian graduate students have been awarded a Schmeelk Fellowship.  They are making significant contributions to Canadian businesses, governments and academic life.

The following four graduate students have been awarded the 2016-2017 Richard J. Schmeelk Canada Fellowship and the Ken Taylor Fellowship:

Richard J. Schmeelk Canada Fellowships

Benoit Talbot of Laval, Quebec will complete his doctorate in Biology at Western University in London, Ontario. Benoit received his Bachelor of Science degree at the Université de Montréal and his Master's of Science at the Université de Sherbrooke. His thesis explores the ecology and evolution of Cimicids or bedbugs, and their effects on both humans and bats. Through his leadership at the 2014 Distributed Graduate Workshop in Landscape Genetics, Benoit helped build a collaborative network of academics and students in six countries and five provinces and participates actively at national and international conferences. 

Leila Pieper of Ottawa, Ontario will complete her Master's degree in Water Engineering at Université Laval focusing on integrated urban water systems modeling. Leila holds an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from McGill University. Fluent in Hungarian and English, she is the first non-francophone Canadian to undertake studies in the field of Water Engineering at Université Laval under the tutelage of the Canada Research Chair on Water Quality Modeling. She is the recipient of numerous awards, scholarships and bursaries, including being named McGill's top graduate in Environmental Engineering in 2012. Leila was involved in an Engineers Without Borders volunteer program, having led a development project at a French immersion elementary school, and plans to continue with similar youth-involvement projects.

Cathy Pak of Ottawa, Ontario holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Development from the University of Ottawa. She will undertake her Master of Science degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from HEC Montréal Business School. In 2015, Cathy was part of an HEC team that was victorious over 13 other universities at the national APICS supply chain management competition. Her team will participate in the international APICS competition in Washington, D.C. this autumn. Cathy has also demonstrated her leadership skills as a Trade Commissioner for the Northeast Asia Division of the federal Department of Global Affairs.

Ken Taylor Fellowship

Lou Dunant-Vincent of Montreal, Quebec will undertake a Master's degree in Music at the University of Calgary. Lou holds an undergraduate degree in Music Performance from the Université de Montréal. Previously awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant, she is a co-founding member of the Quatuor Appache, an award-winning chamber musician at the Concours de Musique du Royaume in 2013, a co-founding member of the Latin-pop inspired Duo Cὸrdoba and a long-time member of Montreal's I Cellisti chamber ensemble. Lou is a volunteer music teacher who she passes on her knowledge of the French language and Quebec culture to her students.

About the Schmeelk Foundation
The Schmeelk Canada Foundation is a registered charity founded in 1994 and dedicated to the promotion of intercultural awareness and interprovincial studies. The Foundation was founded ten years after the distinguished American investment banker Richard J. Schmeelk created the Schmeelk Fellowship through his own personal contributions. The Fellowship aims to build tolerance and understanding between anglophone and francophone Canadians and to encourage more effective collaboration and trust between Canadian business and government. More than 100 graduate students have been awarded up to $40,000 since the Fellowship's founding.


SOURCE Schmeelk Canada Foundation

For further information: Adam Daifallah, Vice-President - Communications of the Board, 514.316.7089

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