ANTIGONISH: StFX University is pleased to announce three students have been awarded the prestigious 3M National Student Fellowship Award.
This honour acknowledges full-time students at Canadian post-secondary institutions who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their lives, and at their post-secondary institution. These students embrace a vision of education that enhances their academic experience and beyond.
Only 10 students from across Canada were awarded the 3M National Student Fellowship Award. Three are StFX students.
“This speaks volumes to the calibre of students we attract and to the quality of education we offer,” said StFX President Dr. Kevin Wamsley. “A StFX education is known for instilling leadership skills in its students. Addy, Claire, and Emma are shining examples of leaders on campus and I congratulate them for their hard work in and out of the classroom. These are students who make a difference in the classroom and beyond – a glimpse at a very bright future.”
The 3M award was introduced in 2012 to honour undergraduate students in Canada who have demonstrated qualities of outstanding leadership and who embrace a vision where the quality of their educational experience can be enhanced in academia and beyond.
3M Award winners are Adelaide Strickland, who is pursuing an honors degree in Development Studies. Emma Kuzmyk is studying English and Political Science and Claire MacDougall, is a physics and mathematics student. All students are going into their fourth year at StFX this fall.
“I am incredibly honored to have been selected as a 3M student fellow,” said Claire MacDougall Physics and Mathematics student at StFX. “I am very proud of Emma and Addy for their accomplishments as well, they are both inspiring leaders who do incredible work at StFX.
I am so grateful for all of the incredible opportunities I have received as a StFX student and to have so much support from my community.”
MacDougall hopes to pursue a career in the field of atmospheric physics or sustainable energy engineering postgraduate. As a woman in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), she works to break down barriers for underrepresented groups through outreach and advocacy both locally, at StFX and nationally, as Chair of the Canadian Association of Physicists Student Advisory Council. In her community, she strives to create equal access to education while reducing waste through a project launched in August 2019 with aims to provide donated school supplies leftover from her university to school aged children experiencing poverty. From a young age, she has always been involved in sports. She competed in varsity soccer at StFX. Claire hopes to inspire the same joy in others by coaching local youth and special needs persons in soccer and baseball.
“I’m beyond proud of the accomplishments of myself and of my friends, Addy and Claire,” said Emma Kuzmyk. “The fact that the three of us have been selected for this award reflects the community of StFX, and how we often raise each other up to accomplish great things.”
Kuzmyk is studying English. She is the vice-president of the Students’ Union, a varsity athlete on the soccer team, and is known on campus for her sexualized violence prevention work. Since beginning university, she has co-founded a sexualized violence awareness campaign, worked for the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre, been an assistant project coordinator and facilitator for Waves of Change training, sat on over 30 university committees, developed and co-founded a peer support program on campus, given a TedX Talk at a Maple League retreat, and has been helping to drive a cultural shift at her institution. Emma considers herself to be an activist and channels her artistic abilities to fulfill that role — she has done illustrations for prevention programs and has shared her spoken word poetry in coffee houses, Take Back the Night marches, theatres, and more.
Her activism began in her first year when she shared a poem on YouTube which was then discussed in news outlets nationwide. She is hoping to continue advocating against sexualized violence in the future and is currently planning on going to Law School, where she would like to learn to advocate for survivors of sexual assault navigating the legal system.
“I am so honoured to have been selected for this fellowship, and excited that I get to experience it alongside two other amazing women from StFX,” said Adelaide Strickland. “I’m also looking forward to seeing what we’re able to achieve this year in partnership with the rest of the fellows.”
Strickland is pursuing an Honours degree in Development Studies with an English Subsidiary, concentrating her studies on artistic methods and storytelling in social change and community development. Outside of the classroom, Strickland aims to use her passion for stories as a tool for leadership—elevating and amplifying the stories of others, and working to change problematic narratives, particularly surrounding sexualized violence on university campuses.
Strickland has been deeply involved in sexualized violence protests on the StFX campus and is one of the founders of the StFX Peer Support Program, a mental health and sexualized violence resource navigation and listening service run by students, for students. She also sits on the organizing committee for the Antigonish Youth Activism Conference and edits the StFX student newspaper—The Xaverian Weekly.
Following her undergraduate studies, she plans on pursuing a master’s degree in either forced migration or border studies, with the goal of contributing to scholarly interact with and facilitate change in contested spaces.