Sean Hyun Lee of Port Alberni has been named a University of Victoria recipient of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship, awarded to outstanding students in sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Hyun Lee is a recipient of the $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship for science. A graduate of Alberni District Secondary School, Hyun Lee will pursue a degree in science with a focus on mathematics and biotechnology.
“This is a prestigious scholarship,” ADSS principal Rob Souther said. “It is the first time an ADSS student has been a recipient.”
With a 98.5 per cent average, Hyun Lee was one of his school’s top students and was top student in his school participating in the University of Waterloo’s mathematics contests. He is also deeply committed to improving his community, serving as a teacher assistant, mentoring and tutoring peers in Calculus 12 and developing communication, interpersonal and leadership skills.
For the past six years, Hyun Lee has volunteered at Camp Edaus on Vancouver Island as property manager. Hyun Lee is also an award-winning badminton player.
“For me, the Schulich award means that I am able to receive the recognition for my efforts throughout high school,” says Hyun Lee. “Indubitably, the award will help me focus on my studies during my post-secondary education.”
Hyun Lee’s interest in math has been lifelong.
“My interest in math budded when I was small and thought that, by knowing sufficient math, the way I look at the world would change. Now, I find it fascinating because it describes things that cannot be imagined visually or understood using the physical world, such as complex numbers or large dimensions.”
Hyun Lee appreciates attending his home university at UVic and, upon graduation, hopes to have a career as a researcher.
Out of a pool of more than 300,000 potential candidates across Canada, 1,500 students were nominated and 100 received this award.
A graduate from Ballenas Secondary in Parksville has also earned a large Schulich Leader Scholarship. Victor Kamel was named a University of Victoria recipient of a $100,000 scholarship for engineering.
Kamel’s interest in space science culminated in an exceptional contribution to an experiment designed for the International Space Station. Kamel led a team that wrote a software program to measure atmospheric drag on the ISS using accelerometers. In an earlier experiment, Kamel developed software for collecting experimental data for a CubeSat payload designed and launched in a rocket built by University of British Columbia students at the Spaceport America Cup in New Mexico in 2018.
Growing up on Vancouver Island, Kamel says UVic has always been a special place for him. He recalls his fifth-grade science project at the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair hosted by UVic, where he presented his ideas to mentors and learned about science from other students.
“This experience was very inspiring and I am very thankful to UVic for supporting my interest in STEM in my youth,” says Kamel. In 2018, he was invited by a professor to attend some lectures and seminars in computer science and found he really enjoyed the experience and atmosphere at UVic.
“UVic has excellent engineering, science and math programs, and I hope to continue finding learning opportunities such as these throughout the remainder of my journey at UVic,” adds Kamel.
“Schulich Leader Scholarships are the premiere STEM scholarship program in Canada and the world. With 100 outstanding students selected in Canada each year, it is all but guaranteed that this group will represent the best and brightest Canada has to offer. These future leaders will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of technology innovators,” says program founder Seymour Schulich.