The Schulich Leader Scholarship is a coveted award amongst students graduating high school in Canada. The scholarships are given to 100 students annually, and winners receive $120,000 to attend a Canadian university in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) program. Six first-year students at the University of Alberta have received the Schulich Leader Scholarship for 2022.
Hunaid Khan is currently in U of A’s computing science specialization program. Even before Khan started university, he knew that he wanted to pursue computing science.
Khan has taken part in three hackathons, and has won multiple awards. He has also volunteered for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Youth Advisory Committee, in which he was able to discuss issues concerning today’s youth with other young people.
When asked what inspires him, Khan said that “[his family] moved to Canada [from India] last year, and that’s what motivates [him] the most.”
Currently, Khan is volunteering for TeamUp Science, a science organization at the U of A, as a social media director. He hopes to get a coding internship in the next year.
Geli Ferriss is studying computing science at the U of A. Ferriss has a passion for video games, and being able to use their creativity.
Ferriss coded a short four-level video game in nine months. It started as a summer project in grade 11 that continued into grade 12.
“I made all of the art, all of the dialogue, and I started everything from scratch,” Ferriss said.
Ferriss is also a ski racing coach for the Parkland Racers Ski Club. According to Ferris, “you need a lot of communication skills and people skills when you’re dealing with kids.”
Ferriss’s future plans involve video games, and they hope to keep creating new things.
Colin Chan is studying engineering at the U of A.
During high school, he discovered his love for mechanical engineering through his high school’s VEX Robotics team. Under his leadership as co-captain, the team went to provincials for the first time and placed fourth place.
Chan has also participated in the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair, and won awards for the development of a bioplastic spoon. Because of his participation in the science fair, Chan realized he was passionate about sharing his knowledge with others. He later went on to be the Alberta Outreach Ambassadors regional lead for a STEM Fellowship internship program.
Divya Prasad is currently in U of A’s computing science specialization program.
When she was in grade 11, Prasad did a summer internship at the U of A for the Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, and Technology (WISEST) program. During this internship, Prasad developed skills while working on website interfacing and coding. In grade 12, Prasad joined AlbertaSat, a student group at the U of A that builds and operates satellites.
When asked how it felt learning that they’ve won the Schulich Award, Prasad said “it just felt really unreal, it took [her] a few days to process it.”
Rion Schulz is a first-year student studying engineering at the U of A.
Schulz has gained experience by working for Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFM), and Greenplanet Energy Analytics. At these two companies, Schulz worked on many green energy projects, including the development of the Three Nations Energy solar farm for ACFM.
When asked how he felt when he won the award, Schulz said it was a surprise.
“I didn’t know that I was nominated … So when I got the email saying I won it, it was very overwhelming, but also very shocking.”
Currently, Schulz is focusing on his studies, but he wants to give back to the community and volunteer after he is done his first year.
Muhammed Shareef is a first-year student studying engineering at the U of A. Throughout high school, Shareef was very dedicated to giving back to his community.
With his love for STEM, Shareef mentored children at his local library by teaching them robotics and computer programming.
Shareef wants his future career to be technology-oriented, aligning with his passions in computer programming and robotics. He also wants to connect technology to other aspects such as medicine.
“I want to bridge the gap between medicine and technology, and make [medical] technology more affordable and accessible to everyone.”