McGill’s Schulich Leader Scholars poised to make a difference

Universities announce their 2019 Schulich Leaders, winning $100,000 or $80,000 scholarships for undergraduate study
Cyril Mani (left) and Marin Schultz, McGill’s 2019 Schulich Leader Scholars. Owen Egan

Look ahead five or ten years and you can begin to envision the positive impact McGill’s 2019 Schulich Leader Scholars may have on the world around them.

“I would like to be part of the movement to harness technology to support social enterprise,” says Cyril Mani, recipient of a $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship. Inspiring Mani’s future plans are companies like Zipline, a U.S. based company that builds and deploys drone aircraft to deliver urgent medicines in Rwanda.

Meanwhile, Marin Schultz, who received an $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship, has already spent six years doing cutting-edge research in the area of low cost, 3D printed prostheses and robotic control systems design, and is now turning his focus to the study of theoretical physics and nanoscience at McGill.

“Through my passion for physics and nanoscience, I hope to play a role in pushing the boundaries of knowledge and find ways to help people through advancements in these areas of discovery,” says Schultz.

Supporting tomorrow’s trail blazers

If those goals seem a little ambitious, consider the impact that Schulich Leader Scholars are already making – like 2018 Schulich Leader and second-year student Raphael Hotter. As a member of a team of McGill students, Hotter contributed his software design skills to an innovative brain-controlled wheelchair which elicited interest from tech giant Google and won first place – and a $1,000 prize – at the NeuroTechX Student Clubs Competition, beating teams from the University of Toronto, UCLA, and Polytechnique Montréal, among others.

Nurturing this generation of promising students is exactly what Seymour Schulich, BSc’61, MBA’65, DLitt’04, had in mind when he created the Schulich Leader Scholarships. A business leader, philanthropist and McGill graduate, Schulich set up the $100 million program to encourage Canada’s best and brightest students to become the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation.

Mani, 19, and Schultz, 18, are the newest McGill Schulich Leader Scholars, just two of 50 students from across Canada to receive the country’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) scholarships this year

Mani, a graduate of Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montreal, will be entering the department of Mechanical Engineering in McGill’s Faculty of Engineering this fall while Schultz, a graduate of School of Hope in Vermilion, Alberta, will be entering the Physical, Earth, Math & Computer Science group in McGill’s Faculty of Science.

While excelling in his studies, Mani was also one of the founders of Micreau, an organization of student ambassadors leading interactive workshops at elementary and high schools, aimed at educating students about global issues and fostering practical skills such as autonomy, self-management and critical thinking.

Schultz, also an outstanding student, has earned numerous awards and honours for his research into prostheses and robotic control system designs, including the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar award – one of the oldest and most prestigious science and math competitions in North America.

Embracing new ways of thinking, diverse points of view

The selection of Mani and Schultz brings to 16 the number of Schulich Leader Scholarships awarded to incoming McGill students since the program’s inception in 2012.

“I am very excited to be attending McGill, both for all of the incredible people I will meet and learn from, and for the opportunities that come with being a Schulich Leader,” says Schultz.

“Attending McGill for me is all about the people that make it unique,” agrees Mani. “Being in a university that encourages its faculties to interact as McGill does is very important since I want to experience different ways of thinking and diverse points of view.”