Carleton student Alysia Garmulewicz has won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. She is the fifth student from Carleton to win this award.
“Alysia is an “academic all-Canadian” at Carleton and a leader with a strong commitment to the environment, a winner with the ability to excel at all she undertakes and a fine and caring member of the Carleton community,” says Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and vice-chancellor. “All of her professors and fellow students join me in applauding her outstanding achievements and in congratulating her warmly today.”
Andrew Wilkinson, British Columbia secretary for the Rhodes Trust, says: “Alysia exemplifies what we are looking for in Rhodes Scholars. She is a remarkably intelligent athlete, fully engaged in important issues of public policy, and willing to listen and learn as she seeks to make Canada and the world a better place. We are delighted to have her as the 2009 Rhodes Scholar from British Columbia and Carleton should be proud to have her amongst its graduates.”
Garmulewicz plans on attending Oxford University in the fall of 2009 to pursue a Masters of Philosophy in geography and the environment with a concentration on environmental policy. Until then, she will finish her degree in Directed Interdisciplinary Studies (climate change and sustainability focus) at Carleton University.
Garmulewicz is dedicated to making a difference in the world on environmental issues. She is organizing the World Changing Careers symposium in July, 2009 (www.worldchangingcareers.com) on youth careers in sustainability. For her entry in the 2007 Next Great Prime Minister contest, she produced a video in which she outlined her vision for Canada, hoping to use the environment to galvanize Canadian politicians to reconsider our future. She beat out more than 300 people to become a finalist.
Former Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, who acted as a reference for Garmulewicz and was a panelist on the Next Great PM contest said: “Alysia showed great poise under fire….in addition to her evident strength of character, passion for public service, and outstanding depth and clarity under pressure, she is a national level cross country skier. She is outstanding in every respect and is likely to make a huge contribution to Canada.”
In 2006, she won the Canadian environment award sponsored by Canadian Geographic magazine. She was one of 10 Canadian students to receive Environment Canada’s Cambio Merit scholarship at the Montreal Conference on Climate Change in 2005. She won the $500 award for organizing and running the Canadian Youth Climate Conference in July, 2005 at the age of 17. “I first became passionate about climate change on an expedition to Antarctic in 2002, when I was 15,” said Garmulewicz. “Growing up with a very supportive environmental family was a catalyst that led me to organize the conference.”
Garmulewicz was a member of the 2007 OUA Bronze Medal Women’s Nordic Ski team, an OUA All-Star and a member of the 2007 3x2km Women’s Relay Team that earned a Bronze Medal at the 2007 OUA Championships.
Carleton’s previous Rhodes Scholarship recipients include Michael Urban, a Masters student with the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) in 2007; Shona Brown (BEng/87), current senior vice-president, Google Business Operations; Bernard Hibbitts (MA/1981, NPSIA) who is currently a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh; and Boudewyn van Oort, who won a Rhodes scholarship in 1961.
The Rhodes Scholarships, first awarded in Canada in 1904, are the best known of international scholarships. They are financed and administered by the Oxford-based Rhodes Trust established under the will of Cecil Rhodes. Up to 11 of these Scholarships are awarded annually in Canada. Garmulewicz was awarded a B.C. Rhodes Scholarship as she was raised in British Columbia. The Scholarships are tenable for studies at the University of Oxford in England for two or three years, beginning in October 2009.
Selection is made by committee after personal interviews and on the basis of a candidate’s record. Although scholastic ability is of importance, other factors such as character, qualities of leadership and physical vigour are carefully considered. Distinction, whether in intellect or character or a combination of these is the essential requirement.
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