Sarah Rourke (BSc'23) is named a McCall MacBain Scholarship finalist

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Sarah Rourke
University of Waterloo student Sarah Rourke (BSc’23) is a finalist for the first global cohort of McCall MacBain Scholars at McGill University.

The scholarships are the result of a landmark $200 million gift in 2019 by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, the second-largest single donation in Canadian history. Designed to encourage purposeful leadership, the scholarships enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program.

Sarah is among 88 finalists chosen from across Canada and around the world after a first round of regional interviews. She will attend the final round of interviews in Montréal from March 8 to 12, meeting with leaders from academia, business, government, and the social sector.

Students and graduates from more than 1,200 universities applied for the McCall MacBain Scholarships in this first year of global admissions, and 242 participated in regional interviews with local leaders in October and November before the 88 finalists were selected. Up to 30 McCall MacBain Scholars will be selected after final interviews.

Sarah is studying Physics and Astronomy. She revived and leads FemPhys, a feminist physics club. One of the club’s recent initiatives was to host a mentoring night to connect over 100 students to diverse mentors. Sarah has also led a science orientation week, placed first in an international student research competition, and contributed to five public art projects. As a summer intern at SNOLAB, an underground science laboratory in northern Ontario, she served on the equity, diversity, and inclusion task force and volunteered at outreach events. Sarah plans to pursue a master’s degree in physics.

“It still feels surreal. I am proud of how far I have come throughout my undergraduate career, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be recognized for my accomplishments,” said Sarah. “I would not be where I am today without my community. FemPhys has empowered me to assume my place in the field of physics, and it truly fulfills me to give back to that community.”

“McGill, Montréal, Québec, and Canada attract talented students from all over the world,” said John McCall MacBain, Chair of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “Our aim is to provide a life-changing opportunity for students who have a track record of contributing to their communities and a genuine desire to make a positive impact.”

“Our committees were delighted to receive great interest from all corners of the world,” said Natasha Sawh, Dean of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “More than 280 volunteers were involved in assessing candidates. They looked not only for academic strength, but for qualities like integrity, kindness, curiosity, and courage.”

If not selected as a McCall MacBain Scholar, Sarah is eligible to receive a $10,000 Canadian Finalist Award for studies at McGill.

The McCall MacBain Scholarships program also offered Regional Awards of $5,000 each to 38 more Canadian candidates who were among the top in their region. University of Waterloo graduates Snit Abrha (Dipl’22) and Benjamin Easton (BA’22) earned Regional Awards, which are tenable at any public university in Canada.

Applications will open in June 2023 for September 2024 admission.