University of Calgary


April 4, 2011

Lifting our best and brightest to new heights

By Casey Blais

Braden O'Neill, a student with the Faculty of Medicine is the 2011 Rhodes Scholar recipient, one of world’s most prestigious international postgraduate awards.Braden O'Neill, a student with the Faculty of Medicine is the 2011 Rhodes Scholar recipient, one of world’s most prestigious international postgraduate awards.A new program aimed at the University of Calgary’s brightest, most-driven and highest-achieving students is now accepting applications.

The Scholars Academy Program strives to enhance the academic and professional development of outstanding undergraduate students.

“This program is the first of its kind in Canada, and I’m excited to be a part of something that is going to increase the profile of our students and the university,” says Scholars Academy Program coordinator Veronique Ram. “This will give our top third and fourth-year undergraduate students access to guidance, mentoring and support in their pursuit of excellence.”

The coordinator’s role will be to support students with their scholarship applications, oversee the engagement of students in appropriate career-related volunteer opportunities, promote a return to community, and build a network of equally ambitious peers for high-achieving students who will become future leaders. The inspiration behind this unique and timely program is U of C Chancellor Emeritus, Joanne Cuthbertson.

“The Scholars Academy Program is the first program among Canadian universities to seek out and encourage extraordinarily hard-working, talented undergraduate students and to intentionally support these students in successfully pursuing internationally recognized awards and programs,” says Cuthbertson. “I am grateful for the support of friends in the community who have made it possible.”

Academically, students accepted into the program will be at or near the top of their class, but academics alone is not the only area these students excel in. Scholars Academy students are bright, dynamic individuals, and leaders in the community. They show enthusiasm toward learning, compassion and integrity toward others, and inspire those around them.

According to Cuthbertson, the Scholars Academy Program is one more way the U of C can help maximize the potential of all of its students.

“It is important that students who come to the University of Calgary experience optimal learning and growth while they are with us, and are well-positioned to achieve individual success and to contribute to society,” says Cuthbertson. “And, it is significant to all of us that the university is known widely for offering this excellence.”

The Scholars Academy Program accepts up to thirty students each year from all faculties. Half the participants will come from third year and half will come from fourth year.

First and second-year students interested in the program can make an appointment with the program coordinator to receive guidance on how to build a profile for future applications.

The Scholars Academy Program will have two intakes per year. The first intake deadline is May 16. For more detailed information about the program, please contact the Scholars Academy Program Coordinator, Veronique Ram at, or visit

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