Scholarships Benefit Students and Faculty

Veronica Griffin Luxiga Angela(Clockwise from top left): Veronica Wu, Griffin LaChapelle, Angela Liang, and Luxiga Thanabalachandran have been awarded Reactive Intermediates Student Exchange scholarships.

A quartet of Chemistry & Chemical Biology undergraduate students will spend their summer doing original research with chemistry professors at four universities across Canada.

The students were chosen in a national competition to receive Reactive Intermediates Student Exchange (RISE) scholarships. Griffin LaChapelle will do research at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dwight Seferos, Luxiga Thanabalachandran will be at the University of Ottawa with Tito Scaiano, Angela Liang will be at the University of Calgary with Belinda Heyne while Veronica Wu will be at the University of Montreal with Will Skene. Griffin, Luxiga, Angela, and Veronica will deliver talks about their research and lab experience at an end-of-summer RISE conference.

RISE was established in 1996 by chemistry faculty at McMaster and four other universities to provide summer employment to a select group of outstanding students in the chemical sciences. The scholarship program has grown to 23 faculty in chemistry departments at 20 institutions. Forty-nine students from across Canada were vying for summer research positions at nine universities this summer.

William LeighSince the program was introduced, 48 Chemistry and Chemical Biology undergraduate students from McMaster have received RISE scholarships. Professor Willie Leigh has supervised 21 RISE scholarship students from other Canadian universities who've spent their summers doing research in his lab. Willie says three of the all-time best graduate students to work in his lab were RISE alumni. Along with being a way to recruit outstanding graduate students, Willie says bringing students in from other universities adds to his research group's diversity and expands networks for McMaster students.

"For a second- or third-year undergrad student, the opportunity to spend a summer doing research offers immeasurable benefits to their academic, scientific and personal development. Doing research at another university brings a host of additional benefits. Students re-establish themselves in a different city for the summer, meet new friends and get to explore a different part of the country. On a scientific level, they meet and get to know a group of undergraduate and graduate students, professors and others they may never meet and do research in an area they may have never otherwise encountered. The opportunity for personal enrichment is enormous."

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