Meet the McCall MacBain Scholars

Scholarships enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program

The McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill today announced its fourth cohort of recipients: 30 students who will pursue a funded master’s or professional degree combined with mentorship and leadership programming, as well as 117 who earned entrance awards ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 each.

The 30 scholars will enter 20 departments and schools across nine faculties at McGill. The Schulich School of Music, three departments – Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures – and three schools – Computer Science, Human Nutrition, Social Work – will welcome scholars for the first time.

“These students inspire us with their compassion and drive,” said Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain, Chair of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “Our shared mission is to provide them with an unparalleled graduate education, leadership development opportunities, mentors and lifelong connections. We hope to accelerate their ability to make an impact in communities across Quebec, Canada, and around the world.”

Meet five of the new scholars:

Maralmaa Batnasan; MMA, Analytics; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Maralmaa Batnasan works in the sustainable finance office of a national bank, where she co-led a project bringing together 60 delegates from 20 financial institutions and regulatory organizations. Selected as a One Million Leaders Asia Champion, she also leads a team organizing online courses on sustainability for students in rural areas of Mongolia. While studying accounting at the University of Finance and Economics, she helped run a youth education club. She will pursue a Master of Management in Analytics to advance her career in sustainable finance.

“Achieving sustainability largely depends on articulating its goals through the growth and evolution of various economic sectors. This calls for using the powerful and ever-evolving language of data. The invaluable support from the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill empowers me to pursue this field at a prestigious university, where I am surrounded by an enthusiastic and skilled community.”

“Visiting Montreal [for final interviews] provided insights that I had never considered before as we met representatives from both public and private sectors who are working towards the greater good, sustainable development, and we heard about their successes and failures, which made the finals much more meaningful than just an interview process. Even before the finals, I was amazed by how much the whole process has fueled me to bring out the best version of myself.”

Katherine Bazin; MSc, Chemistry; Winnipeg, Manitoba

Katherine Bazin is a chemistry student at the University of Manitoba. She co-leads communications for the Electrochemical Society student chapter, organizes educational and volunteering opportunities for her sorority, and sings alto in a community choir. Katherine also worked as a recreation support worker at a rehabilitation centre, supporting teens with disabilities. In addition, she is a workshop instructor for a science outreach program. She spent a summer assisting with research on electrochemical detection of chemoresistance in cancer. For her master’s degree in chemistry, Katherine plans to focus on electrochemistry for environmental and women’s health applications.

“I was getting ready to head to class when I received the news. I thought my heart would be racing but instead I felt overwhelming gratitude and peace. I think it’s still sinking in that I’ll be part of this community of incredibly dedicated and passionate individuals.”

Clarisse Iradukunda; MSc, Human Nutrition; Muhanga, Rwanda

Clarisse Iradukunda holds medical and public health degrees, and she works as a junior doctor. In addition to her clinical practice, she manages an initiative raising awareness of cervical cancer, has launched projects supporting young single mothers, and offers mentorship at health centres. While studying medicine at the University of Rwanda, Clarisse led the city chapter of the non-communicable diseases prevention program and increased awareness campaigns by recruiting nearly 40 more volunteers. She will pursue a master’s degree in nutrition at McGill, planning to work as a clinical specialist in that field.

“As someone who spent the majority of my schooling in Rwanda’s public schools, becoming a McCall MacBain Scholar through an international competitive process makes me very proud of not just myself, but also Rwanda’s educational system. I encourage young girls from village like myself to take advantage of the chances for girls’ education provided by the Rwandan government. This scholarship is not only life-changing but a dream coming true.”

Vincent Keenan; MSc, Earth & Planetary Sciences; Sainte-Barbe, Quebec

Vincent Keenan is a geological engineering student at Polytechnique Montréal. He coordinated athletic activities for students in his program and led a team of 10 to design a linear induction motor and levitation system for the SpaceX Hyperloop competition. Vincent also worked as a swimming instructor for four summers and conducted research on the effectiveness of handheld gamma spectrometers as a tool for mineral exploration. He will pursue a master’s degree in earth and planetary sciences at McGill.

“My favourite part of final interviews was meeting all of the amazing finalists hailing from all around the world. Hearing about their personal stories was truly inspiring. We are all passionate about making a difference in our respective fields and communities.”

“Upon receiving the call, I was ecstatic. I was studying in our geology room at Polytechnique and when the call was done I jumped out of my chair and was unable to wipe the smile off my face. This scholarship is in a way a recognition of all the work I did in the past years but it is also a reminder that I need to continue working hard and make positive impacts in the world.”

Emma Yee; MMus, Performance: Opera and Voice; Markham, Ontario

Emma Yee is a music student at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. During her time on the music society’s executive team, she expanded mental health initiatives, developed a peer buddy program, and introduced a student pantry initiative. Emma works four part-time jobs during the school year, including her role as co-editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She performs in the alto section of the chamber choir, and last summer played the lead role in the Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s production of Handel’s Serse. Emma has been admitted to the Master of Music Performance: Opera and Voice at McGill.

Hearing the news: “I was completely in shock! I was walking home from a rehearsal, trying not to trip on rocks as I passed the swan pond. My first call afterward was my voice teacher (who I had just been at rehearsal with!) to share the news.”

“This scholarship is the opportunity of a lifetime. It opens the doors for me to connect my work in music with young leaders across disciplines and industries.”

See the full list of scholars.


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