Meet Waterloo Science’s 2020 Schulich Leader

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

A group of exceptionally talented incoming students are making their way to Waterloo with a prestigious scholarship in tow.

Thanks to a $100+ million investment by businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, Waterloo has more than doubled its recipient pool from previous years allowing selected students pursuing STEM to begin their post-secondary careers with an extra $80,000 or $100,000.

Out of a selection of more than 300,000 potential candidates across Canada, 1,500 high school students are nominated annually, of which 100 received this celebrated award.

Tara FergusonThe Faculty of Science is pleased to welcome Tara Ferguson, who has been awarded one of the $80,000 scholarships, to the Environmental Science program this fall.

Tara Ferguson was drawn to the Environmental Science program at the University of Waterloo because of the opportunity to gain field experience while pursuing her studies. Ferguson also found the Waterloo campus to be an ideal distance as she gets to experience the student independence and still be able to visit her hometown of Guelph.

“I fully realized the career pathway I wanted to take after conducting an investigation into algae as a protein source,” Ferguson says. “Through my field of study, I’m hoping to play a role in discovering those innovations and solutions that are crucial to making an impact.”

Throughout high school, Ferguson ensured to participate in many leadership positions that would lead up to her role as a Schulich Leader recipient. It’s a list of accomplishments that Ferguson juggled from being the Skip (team captain) of her curling team, to being part of the planning committee for her school’s annual charity fair, to getting involved in Model UN and running for her school’s cross country team. Ferguson also served as an executive member for the Ambassadors club — a club which paired new international students with Canadian students to help them acclimate to the school.

“I really enjoyed all those opportunities because they allowed me to participate in activities that I am passionate about,” Ferguson says. “It also gave me the chance to form meaningful friendships with people I wouldn’t otherwise have met.”

Now heading into her first-year of university, Ferguson is looking forward to the new challenges post-secondary education will bring, while also embracing some of the opportunities remote learning provides.

“To stay focused, I’m planning on removing as many distractions as possible from my desk area, as well as creating and following a schedule similar to what it would be like if I were learning in-person,” Ferguson says. “One thing that I’m looking forward to is cooking a good breakfast for myself in the mornings, since I haven’t had time in the past few years due to the long commute from my house to school.”

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