Island students win Schulich scholarships, join UVic this fall

Engineering, Science

- University of Victoria

Kamel. Photo: Kamel

Two Vancouver Island high school graduates will start classes at UVic this fall as recipients of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship, awarded to outstanding students in sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Sean Hyun Lee is a recipient of the $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship for science. A graduate of Alberni District Secondary School in Port Alberni, Hyun Lee will pursue a degree in science with a focus on mathematics and biotechnology.

Victor Kamel is recipient of the $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship for engineering. A graduate of Ballenas Secondary School in Parksville, Kamel’s interest in space science culminated in an exceptional contribution to an experiment designed for the International Space Station (ISS).

Hyun Lee, mathematics and biotechnology

Hyun Lee
Lee. Photo: Lee.

With a 98.5 per cent average, Hyun Lee was one of his high school’s top students and was top student in his school participating in the University of Waterloo’s mathematics contests. He is also deeply committed to improving his community, serving as a teacher assistant, mentoring and tutoring peers in calculus, and developing communication, interpersonal and leadership skills. For the past six years, Hyun Lee has volunteered at Camp Edaus on Vancouver Island as property manager. Hyun Lee is also an award-winning badminton player.

“For me, the Schulich award means that I am able to receive the recognition for my efforts throughout high school,” says Hyun Lee. “Indubitably, the award will help me focus on my studies during my post-secondary education.”

Hyun Lee’s interest in math has been lifelong.

My interest in math budded when I was small and thought that, by knowing sufficient math, the way I look at the world would change. Now, I find it fascinating because it describes things that cannot be imagined visually or understood using the physical world, such as complex numbers or large dimensions.
Hyun Lee, Schulich Leader Scholarship recipient

Hyun Lee appreciates attending his home university at UVic and upon graduation, hopes to build a career as a researcher.

Victor Kamel, Engineering

Victor Kamel led a team that wrote a software program to measure atmospheric drag on the ISS using accelerometers. In an earlier experiment, Kamel developed software for collecting experimental data for a CubeSat payload designed and launched in a rocket built by University of British Columbia students at the Spaceport America Cup in New Mexico in 2018.

In high school, Kamel was deeply committed to improving communities being actively involved in organizing events and community initiatives such as Halloween for the Homeless. He was recognized with a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award for working with community groups such as the Royal Canadian Legion, retirement homes and the Parksville Heritage Museum.

Kamel is pursuing an engineering degree with a focus on computer science and computer engineering, aspiring to develop computer technologies that will improve lives and build a more sustainable world.

This scholarship means a great deal to me and my family, as it recognizes my efforts and passion for STEM and represents a huge financial relief for us all. I will continue working on my academic and personal growth, to create a solid foundation for my future success in university and live up to the high honour of being a Schulich leader.
Victor Kamel, Schulich Leader Scholarship recipient

Growing up on Vancouver Island, Kamel says UVic has always been a special place for him. He recalls his fifth-grade science project at the Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair hosted by UVic, presenting his ideas to mentor sand learning about science from other students.

“This experience was very inspiring and I am very thankful to UVic for supporting my interest in STEM in my youth,” says Kamel. In 2018, he was invited by a prof to attend some lectures and seminars in computer science, and found he really enjoyed the experience and atmosphere at UVic.

“The University of Victoria has excellent engineering, science and math programs and I hope to continue finding learning opportunities such as these throughout the remainder of my journey at UVic.”

About Schulich Leader Scholarships

Out of a pool of more than 300,000 potential candidates across Canada this year, 1,500 students were nominated and 100 received the celebrated Schulich award. 

Recognizing the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations, businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established this $200 million scholarship fund in 2012 to encourage the best and brightest students to become the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation.


In this story

Keywords: philanthropy, award, community, student life

People: Sean Hyun Lee, Victor Kamel

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