Starting today, Canadian students and alumni with outstanding leadership potential can apply to join the first cohort of McCall MacBain Scholars.
Announced in 2019, the McCall MacBain Scholarship will enable students to broaden their perspective and develop leadership skills while pursuing a fully funded master’s degree or a professional degree in law, medicine, or dentistry at McGill University. Across Canada, up to 20 scholars will be selected for their “character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity.” Close to 60 other awards of $5,000 or $10,000 each will also be offered.
The scholarship application is available at mccallmacbainscholars.org/apply and due on Thursday, September 24. Applicants will be asked to submit several essays, two reference letters, a resume, transcripts, as well as information about campus, community, and work experiences. Current students and recent graduates will also need to earn the endorsement of their university.
“Think about the application as an opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go from here,” said Franca Gucciardi, Chief Executive Officer of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill and of the McCall MacBain Foundation. “What opportunities and challenges have you sought out? How are you spending your energy to improve the lives of other people?”
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a wide array of Canadian leaders. About 140 candidates will be invited to participate in a full day of regional interviews in November. Afterwards, 40-50 candidates will be invited to attend the final round of interviews in Montréal in January, following the guidelines of public health authorities at that time.
Applicant outreach began in February, with a cross-country university tour and over 45 information sessions held to date.
Alongside with the launch of applications, Natasha Sawh has been appointed Dean of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill starting July 1, 2020. She will provide strategic leadership for the scholarships, including the selection of McCall MacBain Scholars and the overall scholar experience.
“It has been such a joy to collaborate with members of the McGill community to launch this scholarship, and I’m excited to continue building on that work,” said Sawh. “Together, we’ll attract a diverse cohort of scholars from different disciplines, backgrounds, and parts of the country, and help them develop the skills they need to lead meaningful and lasting change.”
Sawh has worked in higher education, leadership development, and public policy for close to two decades. As the outgoing Director, Fellowships and Grants at the McCall MacBain Foundation, she helped create the vision for the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. Prior to joining the Foundation, Sawh ran a national information centre at the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. She has also held leadership roles at the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation and at the Loran Scholars Foundation, focusing on scholarship and leadership development programs to help undergraduate students to mid-career professionals deepen their impact.
Sawh has a BA from McGill and an MA from McMaster University. Her recent volunteer commitments have included serving on the UNESCO Drafting Committee on the Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications and the Advisory Board for the Max Bell School of Public Policy.
“This is a crucial appointment,” said Gucciardi. “Ms. Sawh has been instrumental from the early days in designing the bold vision for these scholarships. She is a thoughtful, experienced, and dynamic leader who is perfectly positioned to work alongside the McGill community to bring this vision to life.”
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