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Making the cut

Geography alumnus finalist for inaugural scholarships

Student Life

By Michelle Osmond

Memorial University graduate Miranda Monosky (MA’20) has been named a finalist for the inaugural McCall MacBain Scholarships.

The scholarship enables students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University in Montréal, Que., while connecting with mentors and participating in an intensive leadership development program.

It is Canada’s first comprehensive leadership-based scholarship for master’s and professional studies.

From March 11-13 Ms. Monosky will join 49 Canadian peers from 28 universities for virtual final interviews.

Uncommon research

While completing a master of arts degree in geography at Memorial, Ms. Monosky’s research focused on mine closure and remediation in northern Canada – specifically, how companies address the social, cultural and economic effects of such a closure.

She collaborated with a joint company-community committee made up of representatives of two Inuit communities in Nunavik and a mine company operating in the region.

“To be a part of this innovative team was incredibly exciting.” — Miranda Monosky

The committee created a space where both groups could come together and share knowledge and collaboratively create a closure plan that would address the environmental, technical and social elements of a mine closure.

“This is not a common method for mine closure planning,” said Ms. Monosky, who is from Chilliwack, B.C. “Not only are Indigenous communities often excluded from this process, but mine companies rarely engage in social closure planning. So, to be a part of this innovative team was incredibly exciting.”

Her results concluded that mine companies across the North aren’t doing enough to address the social, cultural and economic aspects of closure, and that they could be doing a better job involving affected communities in the closure planning process.

Grateful for opportunities

Ms. Monosky says she is grateful to Memorial’s Department of Geography, especially her supervisor, Dr. Arn Keeling, for their support.

“I was consistently given all of the tools and support I needed to succeed, but also was given the space to figure out exactly what I wanted from my education and what values were most important to me in pursuing the research that I did,” she said.

“Not only did I learn an incredible amount during my program, but I also gained so much self confidence. As a result, I feel much more capable of being a leader in my community at McGill.”

A portrait of a woman
McCall MacBain Scholarship finalist Miranda Monosky spent time in northern Canada researching mine closure and remediation.
Photo: Submitted

The new graduate is applying for a master’s degree in information studies at McGill with the goal of helping people conduct better, more ethical research.

She believes this scholarship is an opportunity to develop skills that aren’t usually the focus of graduate studies.

“We learn so much in our courses and we develop new knowledge through our research, but how can we use all that knowledge and data to improve the material conditions of the world around us? How can we be effective leaders and organize our networks and communities? Even just through this application process I’ve learned a lot and being surrounded by similarly passionate students from all kinds of disciplines has had a really positive impact on me.”

About the scholarship

Over 735 people applied for the McCall MacBain Scholarships; 132 participated in regional interviews with local leaders in November before the 50 finalists were selected.

Up to 20 McCall MacBain Scholars will be chosen after final interviews.

Finalists were chosen based on their character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength and intellectual curiosity.

Finalists who are not selected as McCall MacBain Scholars will be eligible for a $10,000 entrance award for their studies at McGill University.

The scholarships are the result of the 2019 landmark gift of $200 million, the single-largest gift in Canadian history at that time, by John and Marcy McCall MacBain. The McCall MacBain Scholarships will expand internationally over the next decade, with nearly 300 McCall MacBain Scholars selected by 2030.

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