Chloe Ma and Tejash Poddar, recipients of the Schulich Leader Scholarships.

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SFU students awarded prestigious Schulich Scholarships to pursue their passion in STEM

August 21, 2020
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By Kevin Chiang

New students Chloe Ma and Tejash Poddar have received the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarships this year.

Selected from a pool of 300,000 students, they are among only 100 winners in Canada.

Poddar, a graduate of Enver Creek Secondary in Surrey B.C., received a $100,000 engineering scholarship, while Ma, a graduate of Surrey Christian School, has received an $80,000 science scholarship.

Poddar, 18, enters SFU's computer engineering program to continue developing his passion for web development and e-commerce. A budding entrepreneur, Poddar founded FinTech Creative, which has helped small businesses in his community bolster their digital presence to compete with larger companies. Poddar also left his mark at high school, developing a four-player, stand-up, arcade cabinet for an engineering project, and serving as a technical advisor on the student council.

"I have always felt that it is important to diversify your experiences so you can grow in different areas and see things from different perspectives," says Poddar. "The extra-curricular activities I have been a part of have given me exposure to several different fields, and I feel these have made me a more open-minded and free-thinking individual."

Ma, 17, enters SFU's actuarial science program to pursue a career as an actuary. From a young age, Ma has enjoyed STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, and math), which was reflected in her grades. Outside of school, Ma was involved with several non-profits and helped the City of Surrey with sustainability-related projects.

"The extra-curricular activities I participated in provided opportunities for me to give back to the community in areas I was passionate in and helped me grow as a leader with strong communication and time management skills," says Ma. "During my time at SFU, I hope to be involved with other students in the Actuarial Science Program as there is a growing demand for actuaries around the world."

The $200-million Schulich Leader Scholarship Fund, which grants Canada’s largest STEM scholarships, allows students to pursue their dreams and passions in the STEM fields without any financial burdens.

"With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures,” says Seymour Schulich, founder of the Schulich Leader Fund. “They are the next generation of technology innovators.”