WINNIPEG, MB – Recent UWinnipeg students Allyson Menzies (MSc in BioScience), and Alannah Hallas (MSc in Chemistry) have been awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships to complete their PhDs. This sought after scholarship is valued at $150,000 and is given to the very best of the best entering PhD students in Canada and from abroad. Menzies is starting her thesis work at McGill University and Hallas has already begun her research at McMaster University.
Menzies has been working with UWinnipeg’s biologist Dr. Craig Willis and recently completed her master’s thesis Intra-specific Variation in Hibernation Energetics of Big Brown Bats (Eptesicus fuscus).
“Allyson has been simply an outstanding member of my research group, the Bioscience graduate program and the University as a whole,” says Willis. “She has somehow managed to achieve near perfect grades, publish her research in top journals, contribute to a huge number of committees and volunteer widely in the community helping youth learn science and athletics. Allyson is precisely the kind of extraordinary student the Vanier Scholarship is designed to retain in Canada”.
Hallas recently completed her MSc thesis at the University of Manitoba with UWinnipeg’s Canada Research Chair Dr. Chris Wiebe. Her thesis, entitled A tale of two spin ices: Ho2Ge2O7 and Pr2Zr2O7, recently resulted in a first-author publication in Physical Review B, and the research won a poster prize at the International Conference on Neutron Scattering last year in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is now being co-supervised by Wiebe through his adjunct appointment at McMaster University (with Dr. Graeme Luke). This is the second Vanier scholar from Wiebe’s group – the first being Harlyn Silverstein, another UWinnipeg alumnus.
“Alannah is one of the very best graduate students that I have had the pleasure of working with,” says Wiebe. “I am very pleased that she is continuing her work at McMaster with me and this scholarship is a testament to her drive, intelligence and abilities.”
“On behalf of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, I am delighted to congratulate our graduates on this achievement,” commented Dr. Mavis Reimer, Dean of Graduate Studies. “Allyson is the first outgoing Vanier Scholar from our Master’s program in BioScience, Technology and Public Policy and was highly ranked in the national competition. This achievement is even more noteworthy in that Allyson has been an active member of the Graduate Studies community on campus – taking on roles in the Students’ Association and on several committees, as well as assisting with events and colloquia – all while holding NSERC and Manitoba Graduate Scholarships. We wish her continued success in her academic endeavours at McGill in the coming years.”
Menzies and Hallas are among the many University of Winnipeg alumni working with UWinnipeg faculty members who have moved on to doctoral programs at institutions including Western University, the University of British Columbia and Harvard University. To learn more about UWinnipeg’s graduate programs please visit UWinnipeg.
The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program allows highly motivated and competitive students to realize their full potential and develop their careers. Upon completion of their award, Vanier Scholars will be well positioned to contribute to the continued growth of Canada’s research capacity and the country’s economic and social prosperity.