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Undated handout photo of Rhodes Scholar student Suzanne Newing. (Handout)
Undated handout photo of Rhodes Scholar student Suzanne Newing. (Handout)

Meet Canada’s 11 new Rhodes Scholars Add to ...

Free education. Money is probably one of the most important barriers for studying appropriately. Only students who don’t have to work on full-time jobs can be “true” students: Students who do complementary readings, who are involved in community organizations, who organize reading clubs, who take part in sports teams, etc.

What are you most looking forward to about your time at Oxford?

Discussing philosophy in what seems to me one of the most beautiful places in the world to do so.

 

Suzanne Newing – McGill University

Ms. Newing’s interest in development initiatives runs in the family. A native of Chelsea, Que., she has worked extensively in Ethiopia through Digital Opportunity Trust, a social enterprise founded by her mother in 2002. Her main interests include women’s empowerment, human rights, and social entrepreneurship, and she plans to extend her work in Africa as she starts a master’s in Development Studies at Oxford. She also enjoys digital film and photography, and sails competitively on the Gatineau River.

How does one win the Rhodes?

Winning the Rhodes Scholarship takes incredible perseverance, commitment to academics, passion, leadership, and an insatiable desire to create change in the world. It takes stepping beyond yourself to envisage something greater.

What is the one change you’d like to see in the education system so that students can reach their potential?

There are so many opportunities and activities that students can engage in at university. I believe there needs to be a shift in university education that focuses not only on assignments and deadlines, but also on enabling students to discover their interests, passions, and capacity to contribute meaningfully to their local or international community.

What are you most looking forward to about your time at Oxford?

I am most looking forward to joining an international network of like-minded, talented, and passionate students and leaders who are each committed to creating a tangible change in the world around them. I believe we can gain so much from cross-cultural, global collaboration and I am thrilled to be joining such a network. I am looking forward to expanding upon my education, and having the opportunity to focus on my passion for youth and women’s empowerment in Africa academically and through fieldwork. Ultimately, I am most looking forward to the myriad opportunities that Oxford will open, and to the change that this Scholarship will help me bring in the world.

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ATLANTIC PROVINCES

Michael Mackley – Dalhousie University

Mr. Mackley fell in love with genetics in a first-year biology course. After working on conservation of marine populations, he soon joined a team of Dalhousie researchers looking at genetic diseases in humans. “We were kind of like gene detectives,” he said. He studied Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy, or FEVR, which can cause early childhood blindness. An a capella singer who plays trumpet and piano, he now works on so-called orphan diseases, which are rare enough to attract little attention.

How does one win the Rhodes?

With a lot of help and support. I am where I am today because of the amazing support I've gotten from everyone in my life – from my family and friends to professors and colleagues. They've provided me with invaluable opportunities and have encouraged me to push myself. I wouldn’t have even considered myself Rhodes-material if it weren’t for the support of my supervisor, Karen Bedard.

What is the one change you’d like to see in the education system so that students can reach their potential?

Opportunities such as getting to work in a lab and with a research team have allowed me to understand how the things I learn in the classroom can be put into practice in the real world. I think there should be better access to these sorts of hands-on experiences, as well as a wider range of options and better integration into the curriculum, would be a beneficial change.

What are you most looking forward to about your time at Oxford?

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