News at the University of New Brunswick

UNBers named McCall MacBain Scholarship finalists

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Feb 12, 2021

Category: UNB Fredericton , myUNB

University of New Brunswick students Jillian Lamb (BSc’19) and Jackson Weir (BSc'21) have been named finalists for the inaugural McCall MacBain Scholarships, Canada’s first comprehensive leadership-based scholarship for master’s and professional studies.

The scholarship enables students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University while connecting with mentors and participating in an intensive leadership development program.

Ms. Lamb and Mr. Weir will join 48 Canadian peers from 28 universities at virtual final interviews from March 11 to 13, 2021. They will participate in interviews with Canadian leaders from academia, business, government and the social sector.

More than 730 people applied for the McCall MacBain Scholarships, and 132 participated in regional interviews with local leaders in November before the 50 finalists were selected. Up to 20 McCall MacBain Scholars will be chosen after final interviews.

Finalists were chosen based on their character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength and intellectual curiosity.

In 2016, Ms. Lamb started UNB SPRING, a weekly two-hour recreational program for children with complex care needs at the local YMCA. The program connects more than 50 children with 100 student volunteers. Jillian also founded the Girls STEM Up conference, now in its third year, to encourage younger women to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She facilitated a group for students with disabilities and volunteered at the campus peer support centre. Ms. Lamb recently completed her bachelor’s degree in biology (co-op) as a Loran Scholar at UNB and hopes to study family medicine or public health at McGill.

“My time at UNB was truly unforgettable,” said Ms. Lamb. “Completing the co-op program with my biology degree allowed me to gain transferable skills that have helped me excel in my educational career thus far.”

Ms. Lamb was also an athlete on the UNB cross-country and track and field teams, and she further developed her leadership skills as an assistant coach last year.

“Success does not follow a linear path and making mistakes or trying new experiences allows you to develop as a person,” she explained. “Being at such a supportive undergraduate school like UNB, I was able to explore opportunities that challenged me and allowed me to grow inside as well as outside the classroom.”

Mr. Weir has been contributing to a regional undergraduate research journal for three years, most recently as editor-in-chief. He co-chairs the TEDxUNB conference and supports students in residence as an educational proctor. Mr. Weir also volunteered at a local hospital and with the Canada Wide Science Fair. He aims to pursue a master’s degree in biochemistry or experimental medicine. As a student researcher in the Reiman Lab, he recently co-authored a review paper on novel immunotherapy targets.

Mr. Weir feels fortunate to be a finalist and thinks it’s important to recognize how much his family, friends, professors and co-workers have helped him along the way.

“My professors and supervisors at UNB introduced me to the field of biomedical research and helped me develop a strong intellectual framework to approach difficulty biological problems,” he said. “But, perhaps more importantly, UNB provided me countless extracurricular opportunities to grow as a leader and make a difference in my community.”

“We recognize and appreciate the amount of work and dedication required to be a McCall MacBain Scholar,” says Dr. Kathy Wilson, acting vice-president academic at UNB. “At UNB, we are committed to supporting the transformational development of our students while preparing them to thrive in a world full of challenges and opportunities. Jillian and Jackson are true examples of this commitment. Congratulations to them both on this impressive achivement.”

“There is no typical McCall MacBain Scholar,” said Natasha Sawh, dean of the McCall MacBain Scholarships. “We look for potential in students from all walks of life, with different academic and volunteer interests. What unites them is the inner drive to learn, lead, and make a positive impact in other people’s lives.”

Finalists who are not selected as McCall MacBain Scholars will be eligible for a $10,000 entrance award for their studies at McGill University.

The scholarships are the result of the 2019 landmark gift of $200 million, the single-largest gift in Canadian history at that time, by John and Marcy McCall MacBain. The McCall MacBain Scholarships will expand internationally over the next decade, with nearly 300 McCall MacBain Scholars selected by 2030.

See the full list of candidates.

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Rob Blanchard/UNB Photo