UBC recognizes student leadership in academics and sustainability
Three students from the Vancouver School of Economics have been granted the university’s 2018/2019 Premier Undergraduate Awards. Isabelle Rabideau, George Radner and Tudor Schlanger received the HSBC Emerging Leader Scholarship ($5000) and the Wesbrook Scholar designation ($1000), some of the highest undergraduate scholarships offered at UBC.
Rabideau is in her third year of the Bachelor of International Economics (BIE) program, and is current president of the UBC Environmental Policy Association, a campus group that aims to bridge the gap between environmentalism and economics.
“From a young age, I saw how policy could impact people’s access to the environment, clean air and water, and other things that are essential for health and happiness. I’ve always had that focus,” she explains.
Rabideau cites working at WattTime, a nonprofit renewable energy tech startup where she spent two co-op terms, as one of the most rewarding experiences she has had during university so far. The position allows her to use data to solve environmental problems, combining her economics education with her passion for environmental policy and activism.
Like Rabideau, Radner, a fourth-year Honours economics student, has been involved in sustainability work since his first year at UBC and was recognized for his environmental advocacy on campus. Last year while serving as director of Common Energy, Radner advocated for climate change to be included as a priority in UBC’s Strategic Plan, along with a group of other students.
“We were able to use that momentum to secure Strategic Plan funding to start a Climate Hub at UBC, which is this new entity that is helping connect and magnify voices on climate and action on climate across campus,” Radner explains.
“I view my economics degree and my math degree as technical training so I can be a more effective activist,” he said. “That technical training is needed in a world driven by data, driven by outcomes and results, but I want to use them to further community-driven causes like climate change, gender equality, and poverty.”
Schlanger, a fourth-year BIE student, has volunteered his time in a variety of ways at UBC, from a role as an academic peer advisor to the executive of the VSE Undergraduate Society. He says one of his most rewarding experiences at UBC has been travelling to Ottawa to represent the school at the Governor’s Challenge, a national student competition run by the Bank of Canada.
Schlanger was part of the first team of UBC students to make it to the finals of the challenge, then tasked with presenting analysis and recommendations on the Bank’s key interest rate to a panel of judges.
All three recipients are grateful for the support the awards bring.
“I think that really supporting young talent in sustainable initiatives is an important way that the university can actualize their purported goal of sustainability,” said Rabideau.
Radner said he sees the symbolic value attached to receiving these undergraduate awards and appreciates UBC for valuing students who dedicate their time to community service.
“I’m also aware that I’m very lucky to have had free time to volunteer,” he said.
Schlanger encourages students to apply for scholarships even if they feel underqualified, and to not devalue their accomplishments.
“I was never one of those people who believed I could get a scholarship,” he said. “You should still apply for these things and you should consider everything that you’ve done valuable.”
For more information about the scholarships, click here.