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Awards and Funding Make a Critical Difference

The 10 years of the Catalyst campaign were transformative for student support and faculty funding at Laurier. Donors at all levels showed their passion for education by funding general bursaries, naming scholarships, and establishing fellowships, professorships and chairs to empower teaching and research. In the last decade, we added four donor-funded chairs, six professorships and eight fellowships. With donor dollars, we renewed or added more than 300 student awards, making life and the pursuit of higher learning more accessible for so many grateful students. We are also now better set up for long-term sustainability in this area, as Catalyst campaign supporters also helped us grow Laurier’s endowment from $36 to $87 million. Read on to meet some of the Laurier people who have benefited from this critical donor support.

William Nikolaus Martin Science Scholarship

To Aseel Al Nimer, a PhD student in chemistry, being awarded a scholarship was both a financial boost and validation that hard work pays off. “I encourage other students to apply for scholarships because they ease your financial burden and allow you to focus on your studies,” she said. “I’m very thankful for it.” Fellow recipient of the William Nikolaus Martin Science Scholarship, Alena Pratasouskaya, said the funds acted as a catalyst for growing her research on periodontal disease. “I was able to start a collaboration with the University of Guelph and I am able to drive to Guelph on a regular basis to do analysis of my samples using mass spectrometry.” Alena said it’s important for donors to know that they really are helping students advance their research and in some cases, changing lives.

Jarislowsky Chair in Water Futures

Water is recognized as Canada’s most important natural resource, with a direct impact on nearly 60 per cent of our country’s GDP. Its management is essential to support our natural ecosystems. Through a transformational $2 million gift, The Jarislowsky Foundation is enabling the creation of a prestigious endowed Chair at Laurier: The Jarislowsky Chair in Sustainable Water Futures.

Ken Maly, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science, said Laurier is the right institution to host the position. “We have quite a bit of established strength in this field, including research conducted at Laurier’s Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science,” Maly said. “The Jarislowsky Chair will allow us to take our research to the next level.”

He said the position will be filled by a renowned researcher and academic with globally relevant expertise in critical sustainability issues. The work will influence Canada’s agriculture, manufacturing, energy, tourism and other sectors, while helping shape government policy. For Laurier, The Jarislowsky Chair in Sustainable Water Futures is an opportunity to provide global leadership around increasingly at-risk natural resources.

William Birchall Fellowship

Darren Henderson is an Assistant Professor in accounting at the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics. “I’m greatly appreciative of the William Birchall Fellowship,” he said. “It has allowed me to accelerate some projects and share results with academics and colleagues around the world.” Henderson is researching how financial information is used. Some financial managers appear to have become more focused on street earnings, as opposed to long-standing, generally accepted accounting principles. “This can cause some frictions,” Henderson said. The fellowship has also allowed him to hire a research assistant who’s helping him collect data. Findings will be presented at the Canadian Academic Accounting Association Conference later this year in Ottawa.

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