Sir William Stephenson Scholarship

In 1984 Sir William Stephenson made a significant gift to The University of Winnipeg to establish the Sir William Stephenson Scholarships. These scholarships, entrusted to and administered through The Winnipeg Foundation, are awarded annually to one or two students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, superior leadership qualities and the potential to make a valuable contribution to Canada.

The value of a scholarship is varied. In monetary terms, there were two scholarships of $6,500 awarded in 2014. Since the first awards in 1985, $295,050.00 has been paid out from the endowment (see the table below for a complete listing of recipients with values).

For the student recipient, it recognizes effort and achievement, provides financial support for further studies, contributes to status amongst their peers and lastly acknowledges winning an award that is preeminent amongst all awards of the institute.

For the granting institution it signifies the value they have placed on supporting and recognizing the mission and role of the University, which is delivering quality education and maintaining high standards.

Lastly, a sought-after scholarship is a credit to the donor. If the award contributes to the ongoing successes of the recipients, the value of the endowment is multiplied many fold. It is an excellent investment that gives satisfaction and encourages further financial support.

Scholarship Survey

In 2015, the Intrepid Society, in cooperation with The University of Winnipeg, surveyed all former recipients of the Stephenson scholarships to determine how they valued the award and how it impacted their lives and careers.

The survey response was amazingly positive. It reassured both the donor and the university their premier scholarship was indeed achieving the purpose of the award.

We have summarized the responses without editing as follows:

This was my first significant scholarship and it sent a signal that my achievements were unique amongst my peers, besides the financial award it was an important stepping stone to later academic awards that greatly helped in my leadership and extracurricular pursuits. The scholarship was a motivating factor to continue to aspire to excellence.

Helped one realize that they had a lot more potential and had a positive impact on their life, much more than a financial reward, the scholarship provided motivation, support, encouragement, faith in the recipient’s ability. Funding allowed me to focus on studies and research and grad school applications.

The award validated the hard work, dedication, perseverance, competence and the willingness to take risks and achievements.

The scholarship was extremely significant both in prestige and academically, I was honored and humbled, to receive an award named after the most illustrious Manitoban. It was significant in the development as a scholar, as a scientist, gave a great deal of confidence, provided financial freedom to pursue research.

The application process prepared me for the challenges of competitive grant applications, it was an honour to receive validation for the work of both academic and community efforts, it built my confidence and I graduated without debt.

The scholarship was an honour to receive a very substantial award, I was very proud of the achievement.

Helped to distinguish me as a candidate for subsequent awards supported education and career development, financial support for post grad studies, honour and pride for being selected, ongoing appreciation for the  U of W.

When I tell my children that a spy helped me go through medical school they are always duly impressed.

The majority of students continued on to achieve PhD’s or advanced degrees in medicine, biochemistry, medical genetics, clinical research, epidemiology, scientific research, chemotherapy, oncology, physics, mathematics, law, and specialized in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases research, autism spectrum disorder, pediatric nephrology, ethics, bioethics, health policy, performing arts, neurology, neuroscience and family medicine.

Most went on to attend institutes of note including; the University of Manitoba, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, McGill University, University of Toronto, Harvard Law School, Loyola University, University of Cambridge (UK), University of Waterloo, University of Washington, North Western and Cornell.

Many received awards and scholarships from agencies such as NSERC, the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the Banting Fellowships, The Canadian Medical Association, Journal Bruce Squires Award, Harvard Law School, The Canadian Institute of Health Research, various fellowships, The Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Rhoads scholarship, and a MITACS award.

They are employed in many fields such as pediatric child care, children’s hospital research institutes, as associate professors at universities. Most recipients are at the Masters, Doctoral or Post-Doctoral level.

Scholarship Recipients 1985-2014

2007BlairCardigan Smith$6,500
2010Yen MinhCung$6,500
Appendix 1: Listing of the Sir Will Stephenson Scholarship recipients from 1985-2014.

About the Scholarship Recipients

2017 – Alyssa Kidd and Jonathan Kornelsen

UWinnipeg students Alyssa Kidd and Jonathan Kornelsen have earned the prestigious Sir William Stephenson Scholarships (also known as the Intrepid) valued at $6,500 per scholar. Although these exceptional students share an interest in biology, academic success, travel and improving the lives of others, they are on very separate career paths.

Alyssa Kidd, UWinnipeg
Alyssa Kidd, © UWinnipeg.

Kidd is a former Wesmen volleyball player and is currently in the last year of her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at UWinnipeg. Inspired by her professor, Dr. Danielle Defries (Kinesiology and Applied Health), Kidd has a particular interest in research in fetal programing pertaining to obesity and diabetes in children. As a summer student, she worked in a lab devoted to diabetes research at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and is currently continuing that work in the lab with Dr. Defries as a directed course.

“I began my time at The University of Winnipeg in the role of a student-athlete,” said Kidd. “It was during this experience that I not only learned while in the classroom, of the mechanistic and physiological benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but was also able to personally experience it while on the court.”

As a youth volleyball coach, Kidd uses her personal experience to inspire young women to maintain healthy lifestyles including physical activity. Earlier this month, she returned from Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, where she represented UWinnipeg as an exchange student, studying in their school of Health and Life Sciences. While in Scotland, she had the opportunity to travel and discover several countries in Europe.

Kidd plans to pursue a Master of Science in the field of physiology, specifically as it relates to fetal programming, the phenomenon whereby the in-utero environment influences the health outcomes of children, and can predispose them to developing such things as obesity and diabetes later in life. She then plans to attend medical school with the intent of specializing in pediatrics.

Jonathan Kornelsen, UWinnipeg
Jonathan Kornelsen, © UWinnipeg.

Kornelsen has explored much of Canada and has worked in Manitoba’s North. He is a returning UWinnipeg student with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, and is currently working on a second degree in education. Kornelsen recently coached theatrical improv to a group of high school students at Vincent Massey, his alma mater, over a three-year period. His coaching earned the team first place in the national competitive Canadian Improv Games in Ottawa.

“I believe that the best way to have an impact on one’s community is to start with what you know,” shared Kornelsen. “For me, I have had a long interest in theatre, environmental sciences and youth education.”

Committed to sharing what he knows, Kornelsen applied and received funding from the Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference for workshops he designed and delivered many times to youth on plant identification at Birds Hill Park. He finds pleasure in sharing new ideas and concepts with his students and enjoys watching them transform and grow as individuals in the process.

2009 – Andrea Globa

Dr. William Norrie, Andrea Globa, Col. Gary Solar
Dr. William Norrie, Andrea Globa, Col. Gary Solar.

Andrea is completing her 4th year at the University with a Biopsychology Honours and a Biochemistry major. Throughout her time here, Andrea has done exceptionally well in all her classes by accumulating a grade point average of 4.3.

Professors in the Psychology department describe Andrea as someone who cares deeply about her community and the environment and someone that is not only able to analyze difficult concepts but confident enough to explain them to others in a straight forward yet intelligent manner.

Andrea played a major role in the “Let’s talk Science” project. She also volunteered for the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge, the University of Winnipeg Peer Support’s Shinerama campaign, the Misericordia Health Centre, The University of Winnipeg’s Psychology Student’s Association and the Seven Oaks General Hospital.

Andrea is planning to pursue her graduate studies in the field of either Cognitive or Behavioral Neuroscience.

2008 – Rebecca Vanderhooft

Dr. William Norrie, Rebecca Vanderhooft, Col. Gary Solar
Dr. William Norrie, Rebecca Vanderhooft, Col. Gary Solar

Rebecca Vanderhooft is completing her degree at The University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Science Honours. In 2008,

Rebecca was chosen as the best among the best for a very prestigious NSERC funded research program. She has won numerous awards and scholarships such as the Chancellor John A. Bulman Scholarship and the President’s Award of Merit.

Rebecca’s interests extend beyond the field of research. She is a volleyball coach and a very skilled pianist. Her tutors describe her as someone who is highly organized, very motivated, independent and extremely devoted to research.

One of her professors states, “In my 30 plus years of teaching my 4000 level course, I have never had a student who has obtained a perfect grade on a mid-term or final examination, until Rebecca accomplished it.”

Rebecca is currently conducting research at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and has been selected to present her research at a conference at the University of British Columbia. In April 2010, she is planning to pursue her postgraduate studies– most probably– in the field of genetics.