Awards and recognition

SFU's 2021 Schulich Leaders embrace new beginnings this fall

August 17, 2021
Tyler McClellan (L) and Sierra Carmichael (R), recipients of the 2021 Schulich Leader Scholarship.

After a rather untraditional final year of high school, new students Tyler McClellan and Sierra Carmichael are ready to take on everything that SFU has to offer—from seeing new faces (in person!) to advancing their knowledge in STEM.

McClellan and Carmichael are SFU's 2021 Schulich Leader Scholarship recipients, which recognizes young minds pursuing science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). McClellan received an $80,000 mathematics scholarship and hopes to explore actuarial science, while Carmichael received a $100,000 engineering scholarship and looks toward engineering science.

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

McClellan, a graduate of Regina's Balfour Collegiate, is known to his classmates as an avid photographer and student council member. But in the eyes of his teachers, McClellan has always been a budding math whiz.

When asked what sparked his interest in STEM, McClellan shared, "When I was really young, I took an after-school program to excel further in math." He says with a laugh, "In Grade 3, when my teacher found out I was good at math because of this program, she got me a Grade 8 math textbook and said, 'Here, have fun!'."

Looking back, McClellan cites support from his school community for enabling the math abilities he has today: "Since I have had teachers all the way through school who have been supportive, it's allowed me to grow and advance my skills," he says.

For Carmichael, a graduate of Surrey's Clayton Heights, being drawn to STEM by influential figures is a familiar tune. Carmichael's role model—her mother—is a mechanical engineer.

"I wouldn't have known anything about engineering if it wasn't for her," Carmichael beams. "She's always been there to support me and help with my classes."

Inspired by her mother and fuelled by her high school's leadership program, Carmichael hopes a career in engineering will help pave the way for more women in STEM.

"There are so many girls that excel in STEM, but they don't have any role models like I did. There's so much wasted potential," Carmichael explains. "Through leadership, I've learned how much I enjoy helping and seeing others make their way up. Just like I had mentors—I want to be a mentor to others."

Gearing up for September, Carmichael is eager to get involved in the SFU community by joining various clubs, rolling up her sleeves in the lab and connecting with fellow students with a passion for STEM. "I'm really excited to meet new people who love engineering and math the same way that I do—I've never really had a friend group like that," says Carmichael.

As for McClellan, he's ready to explore not just SFU—but British Columbia. "This is a completely new adventure," he says. "I've only been as far west as Banff, so this is a whole new experience."

"This opportunity changed my life," says McClellan. "It will allow me to shoot for the stars."

About Schulich Leader Scholarships Canada

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 Schulich Leader Scholars: the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded, technology innovators.

Through The Schulich Foundation, these prestigious entrance scholarships are awarded to 100 high school graduates this year, enrolling in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at 20 partner universities in Canada. Every high school in Canada can submit one Schulich Leader Nominee per academic year based on academic excellence in STEM, entrepreneurial leadership and financial need.