McGillians awarded Gates Foundation Scholarships

Three of five Canadians chosen have McGill ties

By McGill Reporter Staff

Three McGill students are part of a group of five Canadians who have been awarded prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation scholarships to study at the University of Cambridge.

Samuel Walker, Rachel Dokter and Yang Li are among 80 of the world’s leading graduate students from 26 countries that have been selected for Gates Cambridge Scholarships from a field of more than 7,250 applicants.

The scholarship program, set up in 2000 and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, enables postgraduates with a strong interest in social leadership and social transformation to study at the University of Cambridge. Thirty-seven of the new scholars are from the United States. Seven were selected from Australia, and three from Germany, China and the Russian Federation.

Walker, a Montrealer, has a BA in History from Yale and an LLB and BCL from McGill’s Faculty of Law. He will study international law as an LLM student at Cambridge. Walker has worked in the War Crimes Chamber of the State Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, represented refugee applicants at legal aid clinics in Kampala and Montreal, and studied on exchange in Jerusalem. In 2011, he will be a Law Clerk to the Honourable Justice Morris Fish of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Doktor, an Ontario native who is finishing her degree in Music History at McGill, will do an MPhil in Musicology at Cambridge. Her main interest is in the influence of Arabian culture on European musical thought and culture during the Golden Age of Islam.

Li, a native of China who has lived in Belgium and Canada, did his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at McGill and then his Masters at the University of Liverpool, working on the computational biology of aging.

The 80 new students will bring to more than 270 the number of Gates scholars who will be in residence at the University of Cambridge as of fall 2010.

“We are delighted to have selected 80 new Gates Scholars for entry in October 2010,” said Gordon Johnson, Provost (CEO) of the Gates Cambridge Trust. “It’s very thrilling that within 10 years we have awarded nearly 1000 scholarships to students from 92 countries to follow a graduate course in Cambridge.”