SFU Schulich scholars to become next pioneers in scientific research and innovation
By Kevin Cherney
Two of Simon Fraser University’s newest students are winners of $180,000 in scholarships.
Erin Flood and Philip Stachura are SFU’s 2019 recipients of the Schulich Leader Scholarship, which recognizes 50 outstanding high school students across Canada enrolling this year in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“Schulich Leader Scholarships are the largest STEM scholarships in Canada. These students will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars and entrepreneurial ventures,” says program founder Seymour Schulich.
Flood, a graduate of Burnaby Central Secondary, received an $80,000 science scholarship, which she attributes to her academic excellence and extracurricular involvement with Beyond STEM, a news club, student government and the soccer team.
“These clubs and groups provided me with a variety of unique experiences and leadership opportunities that allowed me to grow into a well-rounded student,” says Flood. “I plan to continue this involvement at SFU while maintaining a balance between academics and community participation.”
Flood co-founded Beyond STEM after being unable to find information about STEM opportunities at her school. The program raised awareness about STEM among hundreds of her peers through conferences, career fairs and events.
“Beyond STEM helped me develop my problem-solving and teamwork skills,” says Flood. “I discovered that I was very capable of finding solutions and adapting to new circumstances.”
Stachura, a graduate of St. Thomas More Collegiate, took home a $100,000 engineering scholarship and is now enrolled in SFU’s computer engineering program.
“Through my research I found that SFU has an outstanding computer engineering program,” says Stachura. “I’m excited to learn about computer electronics, software development and the latest and most advanced engineering technologies and approaches.”
Stachura spent the last three summers working as a junior developer with start-up Go99, where he helped create a freight-matching platform to improve transparency and efficiency in logistics.
“I learned a lot of software development techniques and processes, as well as how to function in a fast-paced start-up environment. I believe my experience will help me meet and exceed the challenges ahead.”
When asked about possible dream jobs after finishing school, neither student had a clear career direction.
“I would like to work on significant and technically challenging projects and products that will make a significant and defining difference in the industry and in people’s lives,” says Stachura.
Flood says: “My dream job would be something I am excited to do every day and I hope that my future at SFU leads me to that passion.”
About Schulich Leader Scholarships Canada
Schulich Leader Scholarships are prestigious entrance scholarships awarded to 50 high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at 20 partner universities in Canada. Each year, every high school in Canada can submit one Schulich Leader Nominee based on academic excellence in STEM, entrepreneurial leadership and financial need.
Recognizing the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations, businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established this $100-million scholarship fund in 2012 to encourage our best and brightest students to become the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation.