Scholarship sends Reynolds student off the deep end

Rebecca Hansen will use $60,000 Schulich Leaders scholarship to study marine biology at UVic

Reynolds senior Rebecca Hansen is one of 50 recipients from across Canada of the Schulich Leaders Scholarship

Ask Rebecca Hansen about her interest in marine life and you’ll realize it’s more of a lifelong passion than anything.

The Reynolds senior volunteered with the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre when she was 11, worked with Ocean Networks Canada and the Seaquaria in Schools project, and took a two-and-a-half-week trip to see sealife in Antarctica with 75 other students in Grade 10.

It’s no wonder she’s heading to the University of Victoria this fall to take marine biology, on a full ride from the Schulich Leader Scholarships. Hansen was selected as one of 50 recipients of the prestigious $60,000 Schulich scholarships – named after Canadian businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich – for high school seniors looking to go into STEM fields.

“Marine biology has been something I’ve always loved,” said Hansen. “I think I was seven when I first thought, ‘This is what I’m going into,’ and I’ve been really fortunate to have tons of opportunities of working in the field I want to go into.”

Hansen was one of nearly 1,500 nominees for the Schulich scholarships – 25 for engineering and 25 for science, technology and mathematics – which are offered at 21 universities across Canada. The submission process required a 600-word essay on why she should make a great Schulich Leader.

“Writing that essay came really naturally because I had all of these really amazing experiences in environmental sciences and biology,” said Hansen. “I wrote about my background in science, my background in leadership and community work, my passion for science and where that passion has led me.”

Hansen received the good news on April 1, and once she confirmed it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke, the shock really set in.

“I had just gotten home from rowing and I saw the email – I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It felt like everything was coming together, but I couldn’t really process it for awhile.

“In the back of my mind, it had always been the perfect scenario, getting to go to UVic. I’ve grown up seeing all of the amazing work they do here and it’s well known for having strong marine biology programs.”

Patricia Daniells, the scholarship support teacher at Reynolds, said Hansen’s involvement in environmental volunteerism and activism made marine biology an easy career choice, but noted she can pursue and excel at anything.

“Rebecca is a scientist at heart, but she’s in band, she’s in French immersion – I call her the left brain/right brain student,” said Daniells.

In addition to the scholarship money, Daniells said being a Schulich Leader will open Hansen up to a mentoring network of professors and research specialists who can help her in her studies at UVic.


“It’s a tremendous honour for a school to have a Schulich leader,” said Daniells. “It’s very challenging to be selected. We’re very proud of her.”



Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read