Nine Stfx Graduate Students Receive Applied Research Graduate Scholarships
March 01st, 2016
Nine St. Francis Xavier University graduate students were awarded provincially funded scholarships for 2015-16 to conduct research in areas like crop fertilization, soil stability, agricultural practices and Lyme disease.
The graduate students were awarded Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships to help them stay in the province to do research that could lead to new products and more opportunities.
“These scholarships support graduate students who are committed to continuing their education and research here in Nova Scotia,” said Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan during an announcement at StFX on March 1. Local MLA, Finance Minister and Minister of Gaelic Affairs, Randy Delorey was also in attendance.
“Not only do these scholarships help graduate students directly, they will also benefit our citizens and help boost our economy as that research turns into more opportunities,” Minister Regan said.
Michelle McPherson is an earth sciences master’s student from Dartmouth, NS and one of this year’s recipients.
“The work I’m doing will help predict the current and future occurrence of Lyme disease, which means more awareness, and more timely diagnosis and treatment,” said Ms. McPherson. “These scholarships let students focus on school and research. A lot of great research is happening at StFX, and it’s really nice to be recognized for the work that’s being done here.”
StFX VP Research & Graduate Studies Dr. Richard Isnor brought greetings on behalf of himself and StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald. He emphasized the importance and value of the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships in directly helping graduate students continue their education in Nova Scotia, and in helping benefit Nova Scotia as a province.
Universities administer the graduate scholarship program using existing Canada Graduate Scholarship application processes and selection committees. Universities are encouraged to maximize funds by leveraging other available research funding to ensure as many students as possible benefit.
Recipients were selected based on their research potential, academic standing, and the link between their research and Nova Scotia’s priority areas like health and wellness, oceans and marine technology, information and communications technology, and life sciences.
Government is phasing in the graduate scholarship program over four years, at which time it will invest $3.7 million annually.
This program is part of government’s Make it Here initiative to connect young Nova Scotians with government programs for education and training, and entering the workforce.
During the announcement, Minister Regan also noted the hard work Students Nova Scotia has done with the government to ensure these scholarships were initiated. The StFX Students’ Union is a member of Students Nova Scotia and on March 1 also hosted Minister Regan for the Student/Government Roundtable.
Following is more information on this year’s scholarship recipients at St. Francis Xavier University:
— Michelle McPherson, a master’s student from Dartmouth, NS, is working to visually demonstrate the estimates of current and future distribution of the Lyme disease vector to help increase awareness and enable timely diagnosis and treatment
— Emmaline Atherton, a master’s student from Rockwood, ON, is working on a project that could help locate greenhouse gas leakage sources to reduce unnecessary emissions from the fossil fuel industry
— Stephanie MacIntyre, a master’s student from Antigonish, NS is researching the implications of forest harvesting on soil stability
— Amanda Vosman, a master’s student from Halifax, NS is studying the environmental impact of agriculture on natural resources, such as water supplies
— Danny Pink, a master’s student from Ramea, NL, is studying the greenhouse gas emitted from streams in agricultural areas as a byproduct of crop fertilization
— Kieran Murphy, a master’s student from Ireland, is working to predict where, and how much, invasive marine species will grow, particularly in relation to mussel farming
— Pritam Saha, a master’s student from Bangladesh, is studying oxide mineral solubility, which will contribute to a conceptual design of an energy-efficient advanced nuclear reactor, expected to come on-line by 2025
— Warren Laybolt, a master’s student from Dartmouth, NS is working to evaluate the coupling between soil gas emissions and concentrations of gases in the lower atmosphere to help detect leaks in coal bearing and carbon capture storage areas
— Michael Reid, a master’s student from Oxford, NS, is researching lithium ore minerals and how they grow to better understand the formation of pegmatites, a common host of lithium deposits