Student Success Centre

2014 Scholars Scholarship Winners

Vivian Tan

Vivian Tan

Year and Program

2nd year, Medical Sciences

Hometown

London, Ontario

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

The sense of accomplishment after overcoming challenges and surpassing expectations to achieve my goals motivates me to push myself beyond my limits. Setbacks also motivate me to learn from my mistakes and strive to do better. As they say, there's always room for improvement!


Weige (Charlie) Zhao

Weige (Charlie) Zhao

Year and Program

3rd, Honours Specialization in Bioinformatics

Hometown

Markham, Ontario

What is Western to you?

To put it most simply, Western is where I am receiving the most holistic education possible. I am taught by professors who are passionate about what they teach, exposed daily to a slew of talented individuals whom I have the honour to call my friends, and receive numerous opportunities to excel and learn outside class. There is no better place for an aspiring student.

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

My dad has always told me to focus on everything that I do, that commitment trumps talent. He told me that in order to create value, I do not have to be a know-it-all; just identify the few things that I value, do those few things, and do them well. That is a piece of advice I will always keep close to my heart.


Calvin Diep

Calvin Diep

Year and Program

3rd, Medical Sciences (BMSc)

Hometown

Mississauga, Ontario

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

"Whatever you do, do it well." These are the last words my grandfather gave my dad when he left home for Canada and the last words my dad gave me when I left home for university. Wherever we go or whatever we do, success and happiness will come with some hard work and passion.

What is Western to you?

Western is my catalyst for growth. At the beginning of my first year, I was hesitant to meet new people and try new things. Western quickly proved to me that the benefits of leaving my comfort zone tremendously outweigh the risks. Western offers an endless number of opportunities which provide the experience and confidence necessary to tackle new skills, meet new people, and explore new interests every day. Thanks to Western and all the experiences and challenges it throws my way, I can mature in ways that would otherwise be unimaginable.


Itai Malkin

Itai Malkin

Year and Program

4th, Concurrent Degree: Chemical Engineering and Double Major in Medical Sciences and Biology

Hometown

London, Ontario

What motivates you?              

After all my parents have done for me, wanting to make them proud is one of my biggest motivations

What is Western to you?

Western started as the nearby university where I am going to get my dual degree in science and business. Then it became a place that provides me with countless opportunities to explore, grow, and develop. I met some of the best people I know here. Although things change and I am doing engineering instead of business, one thing hasn't: Western is the place to be.


James Nugent

James Nugent

Year and Program

2nd, Medical Sciences

Hometown

Vancouver, British Columbia

What is Western to you?

Western has much more to offer than just a post-secondary education. When I came here for first year I did not know what to expect. What I found was a school with tremendous student spirit, engaging classes, and countless ways to enrich my experience. The university always has opportunities and programs to get involved in; last year I attended a lecture from a Nobel Prize recipient, travelled with peers to a foreign country, and found a genuine appreciation for classical literature. Although it took time to adjust to life in the snow globe of London, I am pleased to call Western home.

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

"Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you'd just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting." -Edward Whitacre Jr.


Johnny Zhang

Johnny Zhang

Year and Program

4th, Honors Specialization in Pathology/Toxicology

Hometown

Toronto, Ontario

What is Western to you?

Family. Although I live only 2 hours away from London, I often don't get to see my family enough. Friends, colleagues, professors, and coaches have become my support for my endeavors. People at Western push me to succeed and be the best i can be.

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

Be a yes person. When you are feeling indecisive about an opportunity, remember that you will regret it more if you don't pursue it than if you did.


Monique Tuin

Monique Tuin

Year and Program

2nd, Honors Specialization in Economics

Hometown

Georgetown, Ontario

What motivates you?

I am motivated by challenges, and a determination to understand and overcome them. I am inspired to learn how the world and its systems work and interact. My desire to find effective, innovative and sustainable solutions is what motivates me to strive for the best outcome in any work I do.

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

Focus on the future, and don't let past setbacks discourage you or slow you down.


Cynthia Yeung

Cynthia Yeung

Year and Program

2nd, Medical Sciences

Hometown

Richmond Hill, Ontario

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

An intrinsic curiosity to find where my limits lie, and a competitive streak to push those limits further, motivates me.

What is Western to you?

Western is: a home; a family; a safe haven in which to explore, discover, and create myself; a challenge; an opportunity; an invaluable support system of peers; and a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Work hard, play harder.


Kaiz Alarakyia

Kaiz Alarakyia

Year and Program

5th year, Dual Degree: Chemical Engineering and Business Administration

Hometown

Calgary, Alberta

What motivates you?              

My main motivator is the opportunity to make a positive impact in the world. I believe that I can make a huge difference in the lives of many people over the course of my university and work career, and aim to do the best I can with the resources and skills that I have. I am motivated by the possibility of positive change, and the incredible people I am lucky enough to be surrounded by.

What is Western to you?

Western to me represents endless possibilities. No matter what you're interested in or passionate about, Western has an opportunity to develop that interest. This has made my university experience so unique and fulfilling because I was able to discover, understand, and develop my passions in a safe environment.


Vedant Suri

Vedant Suri

Year and Program

2nd, Honors Specialization in Psychology

Hometown

Mississauga, Ontario

What motivates you?

My parents are the biggest sources of inspiration, motivation and support in my life. The sacrifices that immigrant parents make for the livelihood of their children are immeasurable and the person I am today is but a measure of their hard work and sacrifice.

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

"Aspire to be the most passionate person in the room. Every day. Every room."

I truly believe that working on anything that you're not immensely passionate about is a complete waste of our finite time on Earth. As Tom Hiddleston once said: We all have two lives. The second one begins when we realize that we only have one.


Nicola Paviglianit

Nicola Paviglianit

Year and Program

3rd, Health Studies

Hometown

Calgary, Alberta

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

I have been fortunate to have travelled to over 40 different countries around the world, and I am continuously motivated by the people I meet every single day and their unique stories and journeys.

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

Before I could even read his books on my own, Dr Seuss has been giving me great advice. "Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!" is one that has always stuck with me, reminding me to always be myself and that I can never go wrong if I stick to my values and what I stand for. 


Mannat Sharma

Mannat Sharma

Year and Program

4th, Honors Specialization, Health Sciences

Hometown

Troy, Michigan

What motivates you?              

Working hard at a goal that I am passionate about and creating a positive impact as a result of my effort.

What do you plan on doing with your scholarship?

With my scholarship, I plan on attending academic conferences where I can connect with other students and leaders in the business and health field.

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

Everything is a learning opportunity. Treat every failure, achievement and experience as an opportunity to learn and grow.


Ruilin Guo

Ruilin Guo

Year and Program

3rd, Environmental Science and Business Administration

Hometown

Barrie, Ontario

What motivates you?

I am motivated by curiosity, passion for learning, and sheer determination. I've always held a sense of wonder and have so many questions about the world. I also look up to those movers and shakers who stretch our understanding and create innovation. Finally, I love learning new things and so I push myself to discover the world, improve my knowledge, and help others.

What is Western to you?

Western is a community, with diverse students, staff, and faculty to meet. Western is also full of opportunity to learn, improve, and prepare for the future. Finally, Western is an incredible experience that has shaped my mind, attitude, and actions for the better.


Janis Chang

Janis Chang

Year and Program

2nd, Medical Sciences

Hometown

Toronto, Ontario

What motivates you?

What drives me is my my love for everything I do, my love for this community and for the global community. I am motivated by my passions, by hobbies, ideas, causes that I believe in, and by my desire to share this love with everyone around me.

What is the greatest advice you've ever received?

The truest advice I've ever received is so deceptively simple: "Be yourself". If I remain faithful to who I am--to my quirks, my roots, my beliefs--then I have done my best and, no matter the outcome, there is nothing to be regretful of.


Gurleen Chahal

Gurleen Chahal

Year and Program

3rd, Honors Specialization in Physiology and Pharmacology

Hometown

Thunder Bay, Ontario

What motivates you?

People.

People have the capacity to dream, the potential to achieve those dreams, and the resilience that it takes to reach them. People are diverse not only in their interests, but in their thoughts; seeing ideas come to fruition through dedication is inspirational. From the hardworking student to the selfless international relief worker, people persevering towards their ambitions motivate me. Moreover, when people cannot access resources to pursue their passions, I instinctively feel an urge to help them. My volunteer efforts revolve around helping people (especially vulnerable populations) gain access to resources that stabilize their circumstances, strengthen their skill set, and enable them to pursue their passions. Academically, the potential of knowledge (especially in the context of collaborating with others) and an inherent curiosity push me to learn as much about the world and its inhabitants as I possibly can!