Dec. 1, 2014

Star swimmer, neuroscience student now a Rhodes Scholar

University of Calgary student Bogdan Knezevic one of Canada’s 11 winners of prestigious scholarships

Author

Stephane Massinon

Bogdan Knezevic, a neuroscience student at the University of Calgary, plans to continue competitive swimming during his studies as a Rhodes Scholar.

Bogdan Knezevic, a neuroscience student, plans to continue competitive swimming during his studies.

David Moll

When he isn’t in the pool competing for the University of Calgary varsity swim team, Bogdan Knezevic immerses himself in his studies in the neuroscience program within the Faculty of Science. Knezevic says his parents are his inspiration to work hard. 

In the early 1990s, his family left their home in Serbia to re-create a life in Canada. While this road wasn’t always easy for the family, Knezevic says his parents’ perseverance inspired him every day. And that’s the work ethic he’ll take with him to Oxford, England as a Rhodes Scholar.

“This is an exciting piece of news. I’m thrilled to be able to pursue my dream of studying medical sciences — in a global context — at Oxford. I’m very thankful for my supportive family and faculty who encouraged me to apply,” says Knezevic.

The Rhodes Scholarships are among the world’s most prestigious student awards and are given annually to students of outstanding intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service. There are only three winners from the Prairie provinces — and 11 across Canada — who win scholarships to the University of Oxford, which cover university and college fees, a stipend and airfare.

“This is a phenomenal accomplishment and I would like to personally congratulate Bogdan for this outstanding recognition of all his hard work, dedication and perseverance,” said President Elizabeth Cannon.

“We are very proud he chose the University of Calgary for his undergraduate studies and we look forward to hearing about his accomplishments at Oxford and beyond,” she said. 

Through his five years at the University of Calgary, Bogdan Knezevic has excelled in athletics and academics, consistently maintaining a 4.0 GPA, earning him a place on the Dean’s List.

In five years, Bogdan Knezevic has excelled in athletics and academics, maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Through his five years at the University of Calgary, he has excelled in athletics and academics, consistently maintaining a 4.0 GPA, earning him a place on the Dean’s List.

Knezevic has worked closely with researcher Ken Lukowiak in his lab, examining the relationship between dark chocolate and memory.

“Bogdan is a real treat to have in the lab. He has an open, inquisitive mind that he uses to come up with experiments. He also has wonderful ‘scientific hands’ so that his experimental procedures flow smoothly — pair that with an outstanding knowledge base and you have a wonderful person to work with. All of these traits, along with his competitive abilities in the pool, will augur well for his time at Oxford,” says Lukowiak.

Recently, Knezevic was also named the Academic All-America of the Year by Capital One. His is also an Academic All-Canadian Scholar athlete for his accomplishments in the pool — where he has won a number of varsity, national and international medals.

“My swimming is very important to me and I plan to continue my swimming while at Oxford. I understand there’s a great coach there who can work with me as I train for the 2016 Olympics,” says Knezevic.

Students and faculty interested in learning about the Rhodes Scholarship process can contact the Scholars Academy at sap@ucalgary.ca.