UVic Libraries Student Awards

The University of Victoria Libraries is proud to be an essential and integral part of the research life cycle at UVic. Our awards recognize and honor the contributions and achievements of all our students, enhancing the sense of personal growth and accomplishment in our academic community.

black and white photo of Gladys Nipp and Stephen Mah
Stephen Mah & Gladys Nipp


Established in 2019 and named in honor of Gladys Nipp and Stephen Mah, this $1000 award is given to one or more undergraduate or graduate UVic student(s) in any discipline who are utilizing and/or enhancing the UVic Libraries' Chinese-Canadian collections for the purposes of research, outreach initiatives (including both physical and/or digital exhibitions), or oral history projects. 

  • In addition to an application form, eligible students must submit a 500-word essay proposal demonstrating how UVic Libraries’ Chinese-Canadian collections will assist in their research.
  • The University Librarian’s Office will nominate the recipient(s).
  • Approval of the recipients will be made by either the Senate Committee on Awards for undergraduate students, or the Faculty of Graduate Studies Graduate Awards Committee for graduate students, upon the recommendation of the University Librarian.
  • Annual deadline is May 31.

Application information

For more information, please contact:

UVic Libraries' Chinese-Canadian collections

The University of Victoria Special Collections and University Archives preserves and provides access to UVic historical records; private archives of people and organizations relating to the UVic community; and primary sources on anarchist studies, arts and culture, environmental studies, literary history and criticism, political and historical affairs, transgender studies, and women's studies.

If you are considering doing research with the Chinese-Canadian collections at UVic Libraries, please see the list below. Please note this list is not comprehensive; if you would like more information about the collections, or to learn more about our hours or to arrange a visit, please email archives@uvic.ca

Donor biography

Gladys (NIPP Suey Fong) and Stephen (MAH Bing Hwon) welcomed each day with a sense of adventure.

Their life together was a composite of the early Chinese experience in Canada.

Gladys was the youngest of 10 children. Her father, Nip Dip Wai, arrived in 1881 when he was 17 to help build the CPR. Her mother, Nip Pau Tai (aka Eng Shee) arrived 10 years later and paid the head-tax. The family settled in Cumberland then moved to Victoria.

Her brothers and sisters often hosted gatherings at their home in Chinatown. Bachelor ‘uncles’, separated from their wives and families by Canadian legislation, always had a place to go. Later on, they pooled their resources for Gladys to take piano lessons and gain a good education. Fluent in Chinese and English, Gladys was one of the earlier Chinese women to attend Vic College. She graduated with the class of ’42.

Stephen was a graduate of Nanking University. He arrived in Victoria in July 1947, shortly after the Chinese Immigration Act, 1923 was repealed, to teach at the Chinese Public School on Fisgard Street. This is where Gladys’ sisters also taught. They thought the affable, soft-spoken gentleman would make a good match for their much loved baby sister who was outgoing and sparkled.

Gladys and Stephen were married in 1950s and for 58 years they were inseparable. They devote much of their time to the community. Gladys was involved with the Chinatown Girl’s Drum and Bugle troupe and Stephen served as secretary for the Chinese Nationalist League.

When Stephen left teaching, they became co-proprietors of Vancouver Island Produce on Yates Street before purchasing Super Save Market located at 1329 Esquimalt Road. Stephen kept the shelves stocked and made home deliveries while Gladys minded the front of the store. They are fondly remembered as the last generation of shop-keepers who knew their customers personally and served each with kindness and respect.

In their retirement Gladys and Stephen would stroll through UVic waving to the grounds-keepers and stopping to chat with international students many of whom were the early group from China. For many years, they stepped in as a surrogate family opening their home to students who would enjoy home-cooked meals or afternoon tea, or when they needed a place to stay. Of course, they housed many nieces and nephews who worked in Victoria for the summer or who were the second and third generation to attend UVic.

This award was established in 2019 by the Nipp family in memory of a beloved aunt and uncle who held family, friends and the community close to their hearts. Gladys and Stephen gently and steadfastly paved the way for future generations, and for this we are grateful.

Past winners

2020: Lynn (Yu Ling) Ng, Faculty of Social Sciences

Read Lynn's research proposal.

2020 (honourable mention): Olivia Hart, Faculty of Social Sciences

Read Olivia's research proposal.

Donor photo: David Flaherty
David Harris Flaherty


Established in 2014 and named for donor David Harris Flaherty, this $1000 scholarship is awarded to an in-course, academically outstanding undergraduate student in any discipline who can show how they have utilized library resources - be they print, archival, music, multimedia, digital, etc. - for a class project, assignment or research paper.

  • Eligible students must complete a 500-word essay explaining their use of library resources in an application.
  • The University Librarian's Office will nominate the recipient.
  • Annual deadline is May 31.

Application information

  • Annual deadline: May 31
  • Eligibility: Returning UVic undergraduate students
  • Submit entries to: Complete the in-course scholarship application, available through My page. The online application for students currently attending is open April 1-May 31

For more information, please contact:

Donor biography


David Harris Flaherty served a six-year, non-renewable term as the first Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Province of British Columbia (1993-99).

Flaherty began his involvement with privacy issues as an assistant to Alan F. Westin at Columbia University in 1964. His first book was Privacy in Colonial New England (1972). In 1974, he started comparative public policy work in Europe and North America that led to a series of books, including Protecting Privacy in Surveillance Societies: The Federal Republic of Germany, Sweden, France, Canada, and the United States (1989). Flaherty has written or edited fourteen books.

He is an honors History graduate of McGill University (1962) and has an MA and Ph.D. from Columbia University. His teaching career, from 1965 to 1993, included Princeton University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Western Ontario, where he was Professor of History and Law from 1972 to 1999 and is now Professor Emeritus. He was the first director (1984-89) of its Centre for American Studies. He has held fellowships and scholarships at Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and Georgetown Universities. In 1992-93 David Harris Flaherty was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC and a Canada-US Fulbright Scholar in Law. Flaherty was an Adjunct Professor in Political Science at the University of Victoria from 1999 to 2006.

Flaherty was President of Pacific Opera Victoria for four years from 2010-2014. He is also an Honorary Life Member of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Past winners

2020: Jessica Zaza, Faculty of Humanities

Read Jessica's winning essay.

2020: Caitlin J. Wareing-Oksanen, Faculty of Fine Arts

Read Caitlin's winning essay.

2019: Megan Ingram, Faculty of Social Sciences

Read Megan's winning essay.

2019: Jamie Oosterhuis, Faculty of Fine Arts

Read Jamie's winning essay.

2018: Paige Gelfer, Faculty of Humanities

Read Paige's winning essay.

2018: Emma Gillespie, Faculty of Fine Arts

Read Emma's winning essay.

2017: Rebecca Steel, Faculty of Human and Social Development

Read Rebecca's winning essay.

2016: Lorinda Fraser, Faculty of Fine Arts

Read Lorinda's winning essay.

2015: Elizabeth Gerow, School of Music

Read Elizabeth's winning essay.

Donor photo: William Petrie.
William Petrie


Established in 2014 and named for bequest donor William Petrie, this $1000 scholarship is awarded to an academically outstanding graduate student in any discipline who can show how they have utilized library resources - be they print, archival, music, multimedia, digital, etc. - for a class project, assignment or research paper.

  • Eligible students must complete a 500-word essay explaining their use of library resources in an application.
  • The University Librarian's Office will nominate the recipient.
  • Annual deadline is May 31.

Application information

Annual deadline: May 31
Eligibility: Returning UVic graduate students, at the Masters or Doctoral level
Submit entries to: submit the graduate application directly to

For more information, please contact:

Donor biography


When Bill Petrie wasn't studying the aurora borealis, he was writing books on orchids. When he wasn't contributing his talents to the Defence Research Board of Canada, he was investigating global warming and alternative energy. A 20th century Renaissance man!

Bill was born in 1912 Victoria and his first great love was music. His father was an accomplished bass vocalist and his high school principal, Ira Dilworth, a concert pianist, further cultivated Bill’s deep appreciation for the classics; a joy that stayed with him for the rest of his life.

At Victoria College Bill was President of the Student's Council. He left Victoria to attend the University of British Columbia for his BA in math and physics. Then he moved his genius on to Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he completed his PhD.

Bill swapped coasts again to begin his climb up the ladder of a teaching career; starting at UBC, then after WWII, moving on to the University of Manitoba and the University of Saskatchewan. His teaching success was matched by a research career with the Defence Research Board where he moved through several senior positions before occupying the roles of Deputy Chairman and Chief of the Canadian Defence Research Staff in London, England. In the 1950s, he served as Canadian Chairman of the Canada-US Scientific Advisory Team on air defence.

In 1971 Bill retired, but that doesn’t mean he slowed down. He brought his wife of then-nearly thirty years back to Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula where they worked together on the mysteries of the aurora borealis: he using his expertise in spectroscopy, she illustrating his publications. He explored alternative energy sources, military technology, constitutional and environmental issues and combined his love of photography with orchids to produce the Guide to Orchids of North America. He was also active on many boards and committees including with the NATO laboratory in La Spetzia, Italy.

Many honours were bestowed on Bill for his work, including election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Centennial Medal. But his long life of 100 years wasn't fuelled by accolades; it was fuelled by a deep curiosity for the spectacular world around him and the joy it gave him. He took pleasure in both his internationally influential work and in simple hobbies such as gardening.

It was with this appreciation that he left a bequest gift to the University of Victoria's Libraries. “UVic Libraries would not be the vibrant heart of the campus without the vision and support of individuals like Dr. Petrie,” Jonathan Bengtson, University Librarian, says gratefully, “His gift will provide a legacy that successive generations of students at UVic will benefit from.”

Past winners

2020: Katrina Good, Faculty of Science

Read Katrina's winning essay.

2020: Janice Niemann, Faculty of Humanities

Read Janice's winning essay.

2019: Parisa Sabokrooh, School of Public Administration
Read Parisa's winning essay.

2019: Genevieve von Petzinger, Faculty of Social Sciences
Read Genevieve's winning essay.

2018: Kailey Fukushima, Faculty of Humanities
Read Kailey's winning essay.

2018: Jodi Litvin, Faculty of Humanities
Read Jodi's winning essay.

2017: Rachel Lallouz, Faculty of Humanities
Read Rachel's winning essay.

2016: Colton Vogelaar, Faculty of Social Sciences
Read Colton's winning essay.

2015: Jonathan Minnes, Faculty of Law

Read Jonathan's winning essay.