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University of New Brunswick announces Currie Scholars for 2019-20

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on May 24, 2019

Category: UNB Saint John , myUNB , UNB Fredericton

Five high school students are winners of the prestigious Currie Scholarships at the University of New Brunswick.

The scholarships, valued at $65,000 each, were established in 2004 by one of Canada’s most accomplished business leaders and philanthropists, UNB Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Richard J. Currie. Each year, the Currie Scholarships recognize and pay tribute to Atlantic Canadian high school students for their leadership skills, community involvement, and academic success.

This year’s recipients – Barakat Alabbas, Joshua Kammermann, Julia MacPherson, Dustin McKee and Sarah Ross – are outstanding examples of the values Dr. Currie outlined when the scholarship was established.

Barakat Alabbas is a Grade 12 student at Leo Hayes High School, where he plays soccer for the Lions recreation team. Born in Syria, he arrived in Canada in 2016 and has served as a volunteer for many community groups, including a campaign for the Mercy Corps. Additionally, he has volunteered with the humanitarian agency CARE and the Multicultural Association of Fredericton Summer Camp.

Joshua Kammermann will graduate from Riverview High School, where he is a competitor on the senior Cyber Titan team, an active member of the astronomy collective, and a participant in numerous math competitions. Over the years, Joshua has taken part in a variety of sports including cross country running and dragon boat racing. He is also engaged in Youth in Action and has volunteered to distribute meals for the needy in his community.

Julia MacPherson will graduate from Kennebecasis Valley High School, where she is active in student government and leadership groups, and has participated in soccer, track and field, field hockey, and band. She is a competitive Highland dancer as well as a level 8 Royal Conservatory of Music pianist. A SHAD Fellow and Vimy Foundation Alumna, she also volunteers as a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation team leader, Sweet Caroline Foundation advocate, and Relay for Life organizer.

Dustin McKee is a senior at St. Malachy's Memorial High School, where he serves on student council, has participated in oratorical competitions, the school’s musical production and Envirothon teams and has edited the school’s video announcements. He has volunteered at the Saint John Regional Hospital, the Canadian Red Cross, Best Buddies, and Junior Achievement and has attended Encounters with Canada in Ottawa and Passion to Purpose in Regina.

Sarah Ross is a Grade 12 student at Sussex Regional High school where she has actively been involved in different levels of school activities. Sarah has played basketball and volleyball and performed in the school musical. She also serves in student leadership groups and is the president of the Key Club at her school. Sarah has volunteered within her school and local community organizations such as nursing homes and the Kiwanis club.

Barakat, Joshua and Julia will enroll in UNB’s engineering program, while Dustin will study in UNB’s science program and Sarah will begin her studies in business administration.

The Currie Scholarships are awarded to students beginning a degree program at UNB upon graduation from a high school in any of the four Atlantic provinces. These scholarships, which essentially pay all costs associated with any four-year undergraduate program, are intended to support the education of future leaders.

Dr. Currie started university at UNB as a Beaverbrook Scholar and ended with an MBA from Harvard. He served as UNB Chancellor from 2003 to 2013 and became Chancellor Emeritus in May 2014. Dr. Currie played a fundamental role in the development, design and financing of the state-of-the-art Richard J. CURRIE CENTER on UNB’s Fredericton campus. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of New Brunswick and a Companion of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Media contact: Kelsey Pye

Photo credit: UNB