2020 Bursary Recipients

Cecily Williams

Cecily Williams - Originally from Kelowna BC, Cecily moved to Vancouver several years ago to attend university. She is now in her third year of pursuing an Honours degree in English literature at UBC.

While Cecily had always been an avid reader, it wasn’t until she read Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse in English 100 that she realized her specialty was destined to be in modernist and surrealist literature. Since that revelation, Cecily has been flexing her literary expertise on a variety of fronts. She served as editor for UBC’s English Undergraduate Conference, where she assisted in selecting essays to be presented and helped student writers edit their work for proper presentation format. At the end of her first year, Cecily was awarded the Frank and Betty de Bruyn Memorial Essay Prize for best first year English Literature essay. This then led to Cecily being selected as the volunteer research assistant for Dr. Ira Nadel; this ongoing project has her conducting all preliminary research for Dr. Nadel’s upcoming book.

Outside of university, Cecily gives back to the community by serving as senior editor of Motive, Word and Pen, a BC-wide non-profit writing collective that was founded by two fellow UBC students. The collective provides free content creation to charities and low-cost content creation for local businesses, with the profits going to select charities. The aim of this initiative is to provide free mentorship and exposure to budding writers, while investing back on a local level.

Cecily plans to continue her post graduate education by pursuing her PhD in English; her end goal is to become a professor and researcher with a focus on activism and social justice. Aside from her love of the written word, Cecily enjoys thrift shopping, picnicking, wine tasting and watching old Hollywood films.

Iyioluwa Olu Asaolu

Iyioluwa Olu Asaolu - It was just two years ago that Iyioluwa immigrated to Manitoba from Nigeria; today this graduate of Fort Richmond Collegiate in Winnipeg is pursuing his Bachelor of Engineering degree at The University of Toronto.

It was Iyioluwa’s high school years that helped shape his interests which, while diverse, also showcase his self-professed enthusiastic focus on STEM. He was an active participant in his school’s High Altitude Balloon Club, an engineering-oriented team that built and assembled high-altitude balloons to conduct experiments in near-space conditions. His involvement with The Scribbler, a student run creative arts anthology publication, nurtured his love of collaboration and his passion for Literature and Cinema. As a peer tutor for the Introduction to Calculus, Chemistry and Physics course, he was able to tap into his key strengths. While these interests may seem varied at first glance, for Iyioluwa, the connective thread between all of these is the process of refining raw ideas and working to evolve them from the conceptual stage to physical reality – be it a rocket or a movie script.

While completing his Bachelor of Engineering degree, Iyioluwa continually looks for opportunities to engage in engineering research on personal projects of his own. He would love to one day, add to the body of knowledge that has changed our global society for the better and helped us look to the future. He would also wish to teach others and pass on his passion for all things STEM.

Komal Hanif

Komal Hanif - Komal is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at McMaster University. Before university, she graduated from St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School in Barrie, with the distinction of being named one of Barrie’s top 15 high school students.

While academics likely helped contribute to the win, Komal’s various involvements in school activities likely also played a role. She was the president of the Characters Through Actions Club where she organized fundraisers in support of local organizations; vice president of the Social Justice Club where she helped spread awareness about issues including gun violence and women and children in need; she was an active member of Best Buddies, where she interacted with special needs students. Komal also served as a senior knight mentor by helping Grade 9 students with their transition to high school.

When Komal began to recognize her passion for pursuing a career in healthcare, she became involved in related initiatives outside of school. She volunteered in the emergency department of Royal Victoria Hospital and completed co-op placements at both the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Care Centre and at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie.

While Komal is currently focusing on Kinesiology, she aspires to eventually become a medical doctor and work towards ensuring healthcare access to all. One of her main goals is to provide healthcare to Indigenous Canadians living in remote areas; she also talks about her desire to educate Canada’s seniors on how to enjoy healthy living in their old age. Komal looks forward to being able to use abilities as a doctor to service humanity during a situation like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pierre Dushime

Pierre Dushime - Born in Kigali, Rwanda, and raised in Kampala, Uganda, Dushime is currently a BCL/JD candidate at the McGill University Faculty of Law. Before Law school, he pursued a B.A. Honours in Political Science at Concordia University. While at Concordia, Dushime was highly engaged in the student community—holding positions of VP Academics of the Political Science Student Association, Chief of External Affairs of the Concordia Model United Nations and Sports team Captain of the Concordia team to the Political Science Games 2019.

Academically, Dushime is the recipient of the Concordia O’Brien Medal 2020, is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, is on the Dean’s list, is the recipient of over 12 academic scholarships and bursaries and was named one of the 7 Concordia’s Great Graduates Class of 2020.

Off campus, Dushime has engaged with the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) since 2016. He served as a youth project leader and financial coordinator of the CCR Youth Network before serving as the current co-chairperson of the CCR Youth Network. Given his engagement at the CCR, Dushime was nominated by the CCR and selected by the government to serve as one of the 18 youth advisors to the Minister and Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Rebecca Lumsden

Rebecca Lumsden - Rebecca is a Licensed Practical Nurse who has gone back to school to complete her degree. She will be graduating this April with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. After having graduated with distinction while completing her Practical Nursing Diploma, Rebecca spent the last seven years practicing as a Licenced Practical Nurse at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH).

Rebecca is passionate about facilitating holistic health and improving the Canadian healthcare system. Throughout her career, she has studied an array of complementary healing modalities; these studies and her experiences inspired her to build a team and launch a pilot program called Mindfulness in Medicine. The goal of the Mindfulness in Medicine program is to reduce the stress, anxiety and pain of patients, family members and staff members in the hospital. Rebecca and her team of energy healers received such overwhelmingly positive results from the energy healing and meditation sessions they offered that KGH granted the pilot program permission to expand and launch hospital wide.

Rebecca’s extensive volunteer experience demonstrates her love of giving back: she volunteers with Elevation Outdoors where she teaches underprivileged children how to snowboard; she also serves as a volunteer with Canadian Blood Services, Red Cross, VANOC and the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.

When not working, studying, or volunteering Rebecca can be found on the ski hill or the ball diamond. In both her personal and professional life Rebecca strives to help people around her live happy and healthy lives.

Tyson Theaker

Tyson Theaker - Tyson grew up in Eatonia, Saskatchewan, a rural grain farming community with a population of around 500. Today, Tyson is working towards his Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering at UBCO. Upon completion of his degree, Tyson hopes to pursue a career with an engineering consulting firm specializing in municipal engineering and land development.

As a high school student, Tyson was an active student leader, sitting on the student council in grade 10 and holding the position of yearbook editor in grade 12. Tyson graduated Eaton High School, receiving the Governor General’s Medal for the highest academic average. He then went on to pursue a diploma in Civil Engineering Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, from which he graduated with honours. He received an advanced diploma in Civil Engineering Technology from Camosun College.

Tyson has always showed a strong enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, developing a mock business plan to win the Eatonia Small Business Associations scholarship in 2012. He later started his own small business “Prairie Sky Drones”, an aerial photography and videography business targeting agricultural, real estate, tourism and industrial markets. He currently uses this business as a source of income to help fund his education.

In his free time, Tyson enjoys golfing, snowboarding at Big White, and most importantly, spending time with friends and family. He recently founded and sits as president of the University golf club, a social student club associated with the University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus (UBCO).