As Memorial University’s latest Killam fellow, Lauren Winsor will begin a cross-border adventure at Wellesley College in Massachusetts in January.
The Killam Fellowship is a scholarship program which allows exceptional undergraduate students to participate in a bi-national academic exchange between Canada and the United States.
The Mount Pearl resident, who is currently in her fourth year of a psychology (hons.) degree with a minor in biology, will receive a cash award of USD$5,000 and a $750 allowance to offset health insurance costs, and can apply for a USD$800 mobility grant that will allow her to take an educational field trip in her host country.
Ms. Winsor attended a fall orientation session in Ottawa last month, where she met all the other Canadian and American Killam fellows, along with the American Fulbright students and scholars who are studying and conducting research in Canada this year. In addition, she will join up with the 2017-18 Killam fellow cohort again at a spring seminar in Washington, D.C.
“In Ottawa, we did tours of historic sites and museums and at the end of the weekend, we played a game of ice hockey at Carleton University between all the Killam fellows and Fulbright students and scholars,” she said. “The fall orientation was a great opportunity to network with the other fellows and make friends who share similar values and interests.”
Although she hasn’t chosen her courses yet for her term at Wellesley, Ms. Winsor hopes to take advantage of the unique women’s and gender studies courses available at the private women’s college.
“I will be spending the last semester of my undergraduate degree at Wellesley,” said Ms. Winsor. “I knew that I was going to apply for the Killam Fellowship, so I started my honours project early, and when I got nominated for the award by the university, I knew that I had made a good decision.”
Since her future hopefully includes medical school, Ms. Winsor is interested in getting a chance to experience the American medical system up close and would like to take some of the college’s courses that focus on health and public policy.
“I have come to appreciate that there are no borders when it comes to medicine.”
She has been volunteering at the Health Sciences Centre since she was 15, and says she is going to try to volunteer at a hospital in the town of Wellesley or one of the neighbouring communities.
“I want to be a doctor, and I have come to appreciate that there are no borders when it comes to medicine. There is a large exchange of knowledge across the Canada-U.S. border, so doctors must be able to understand how both health-care systems operate in order to work well with their American colleagues and patients.”
Her plans aren’t all about work, however.
Ms. Winsor also hopes to add a little fun to her experience by joining one of the many a capella groups at Wellesley. She has been involved in the Festival Choir at Memorial University’s School of Music every semester since her second year, and says that music is “a big part” of her life.
“I want to take full advantage of this mission by taking courses in subjects that are not offered at Memorial.”
In her spare time, she is also involved in several clubs and societies on campus, including a mental health advocacy group called Memorial Minds. With Memorial Minds, Ms. Winsor founded a scholarship fund for students struggling with mental health issues and has been involved in the creation and management of a peer support program on campus.
She is also a part of a number of societies that focus on tutoring students at Memorial, providing international volunteer opportunities to students, promoting positive body image to students on campus and offering resources to students interested in professional schools.
“I have considered joining several clubs and societies at Wellesley and I noted in my application to the Killam Fellowships program that I wanted to be involved in student life,” said Ms. Winsor.
“The purpose of the Killam Fellowship is academic and cultural immersion, and I want to take full advantage of this mission by taking courses in subjects that are not offered at Memorial and getting involved with a diverse range of extracurricular activities at Wellesley. I want to have the full Wellesley student experience, and I’m really looking forward to my semester there.”
The Killam Fellowship program is administered by the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America/Fulbright Canada, a bi-national, treaty-based, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with a mandate to identify the best and brightest minds in both countries and engage them in residential academic exchange. Fulbright Canada, which has just celebrated its 25th anniversary, provides support to students, scholars, teachers, and independent researchers through a variety of programs, which are open to individuals in all academic fields with the exception of medical training.
Fulbright Canada believes educational exchange allows for the development of our future leaders, encourages a more nuanced appreciation of each other and contributes to a more thoughtful and more reasoned public policy debate in both countries.