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Heaslip pride

Prestigious awards for Humanities and Social Sciences students

Student Life

By Janet Harron

When the news seems all bad and winter is closing in, it helps to know there are students like Lacy Custance and Rebecca Ford at Memorial.

Recipients of the 2017 Heaslip Award — at $15,000 a piece, the Heaslip is the largest scholarship available to undergraduate students at Memorial — these two humanities and social sciences students are conscientious hard workers who appear truly humbled to receive the prestigious award.

From left, Lacy Custance and Rebecca Ford are the 2017 Heaslip scholars.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsop

Ms. Custance, originally from Truro, N.S., is in her second year of an ambitious degree program consisting of an English honours, a French major and a Spanish minor.

“The easiest way to know someone is through their language,” said Ms. Custance, who was an international ambassador at her high school, which further sparked her interest in language and teaching.

“I loved French from the beginning – I felt so accomplished every time I got a sentence correct!”

Living in residence at Burke House, Ms. Custance made it a priority to get involved on campus as soon as she arrived at Memorial last year, which she did by volunteering at the campus food bank and the Student Volunteer Bureau.

“If I wasn’t involved, I wouldn’t have met all the people that I did.”

‘So much more to history’

The key for Ms. Ford, who is enrolled in a double major in history and classics, is studying what she enjoys.

“I have always had an interest in ancient history, which of course wasn’t taught in high school. That’s what I would like to do in the future: introduce kids to the discipline,” she said.

“It’s so cool — there’s so much more to history than the two world wars.”

Ms. Ford has been active in the Girl Guides of Canada for 15 years and has recently started a history curriculum for the Sparks troupe that she leads.

She hopes to go into museum studies, specifically to do exhibit design and is currently a volunteer cultural ambassador with The Rooms in St. John’s.

“I am working really hard to keep my grades up — and now that hard work has gotten me the Heaslip.” — Lacy Custance

Both students acknowledge they have experienced push back from peers and others about studying humanities and social sciences.

“Having people say my degree is easy really stings sometimes. Studying in this faculty is definitely not a breeze. I am working really hard to keep my grades up — and now that hard work has gotten me the Heaslip,” said Ms. Custance with pride.

Heaslip scholarships are awarded to two students annually who are registered for full-time studies, have scholarship standing, are in financial need and have demonstrated outstanding involvement in university and/or community affairs.

They are renewable for an additional two years provided the above noted requirements continue to be demonstrated; preference is given to students in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

In addition to this year’s winners, Heaslip renewals were given to students Aaron Pearce, Danielle Day Laura Fernz and Mira Raatifainen.


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