Acadia’s 2017 Arthur Irving Family Foundation Scholarship recipients announced

Students pursuing environmental research recognized for academic excellence, community involvement and scientific curiosity

Two students, one from Saskatchewan and one from nearby Port Williams, are this year’s recipients of the Arthur Irving Scholarships in Environmental Science for undergraduate students at Acadia University; academic awards that are among the most prestigious in Canada and offer students unique research and mentorship opportunities. Successful applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the environment and an understanding of the importance of scientific research combined with exceptional academic credentials, leadership skills, community volunteerism, and participation in extracurricular activities. 

“I want to congratulate Emma Rand and Karmen Simonson for their exceptional achievements,“ said Dr. Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia.  “Being selected as this year’s Arthur Irving Scholars provides each of them with access to learning opportunities that are available to only a very small number of undergraduate students anywhere in Canada. At the same time, I want to thank Arthur and Sandra Irving for establishing an unequalled scholarship program that attracts young scholars to Acadia who have a genuine interest in environmental research. Once again, Arthur and Sandra have created exciting new opportunities for our students and we are deeply grateful for their continued support and leadership.”

Established by Arthur Irving, Chancellor Emeritus of Acadia University, and the Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation, these scholarships open the door to unique learning experiences at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, world-class facilities that are integral to each student’s education. Selected students pursuing their undergraduate studies at Acadia receive $15,000 annually for four years to support their academic careers.

"Congratulations to Emma and Karmen,” said Chancellor Emeritus Arthur Irving. “I enjoyed talking to them about how much they look forward to Acadia University. Karmen, who lives in Saskatchewan, said she visited Acadia for a leadership program a few years ago and always wanted to come back as an undergraduate student.  I am happy that this scholarship helps her in some way realize this dream. Emma told us about her love of farming and the awards she has received for her sheep and vegetables and her entomology collection.  Emma and Karmen will join other Arthur Irving Scholars in important research projects at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. Their strength in academics, leadership, sports, music, and their dedication to community service complement the incoming class.  I am glad they chose Acadia and I wish them the very best.”

“Acadia is one of the jewels in Canada’s university sector and our teaching model emphasizes full participation by undergraduates in faculty research,” noted Ricketts. “The K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens are, together, facilities that are not found on any other university campus. Through Arthur Irving’s generosity and foresight, young people with a passion for research will work alongside our most active and engaged faculty and will be inspired to launch their own careers aimed at solving some of society’s most challenging problems.”

This year’s Arthur Irving Scholars are:

Emma Rand

Emma Rand is from Port Williams, Nova Scotia and has a strong background in farming and the 4-H movement. In 2017, she served as President of two 4-H clubs, the Kings County 4-H Council and the Cornwallis Project and since 2013 has collected numerous awards and prizes for her entomology collection as well as her sheep and vegetables. Emma’s goal is to further her studies in entomology specifically as it relates to researching environmental solutions to local and global issues. She has already gained considerable experience through her independent work in organic farming and performing shadow research on fruit flies in local berry crops at the Kentville Research Station. A musician who performed in two high school bands and served on her grad committee, Emma’s commitment to academics included mentoring students and co-founding a peer-tutoring club. At Acadia, in addition to expanding her entomological research, Emma is looking forward to continuing her leadership work in 4-H and giving back to her on-and-off-campus communities.


Karmen Simonson

Karen Simonson is from Dinsmore, Saskatchewan and was drawn to Acadia because of her fascination with the ocean and its biodiversity. Growing up on a cattle ranch, Karmen has a deep understanding of the challenges facing agriculture and the practices developed by farmers to balance the demands of ever higher crop production with long-term environmental sustainability. A committed community volunteer, Karmen lends her energy and enthusiasm to a number of programs such as Meals on Wheels and Physical Activity for Active Living – a week-long sports camp for children with mental and physical disabilities. Karmen also served as President of her Student Representative Council in her senior year of high school and was co-editor of her school/community newspaper for three years. She plays several sports including hockey and volleyball and coaches younger children. Her goal is to become a doctor with a specific focus on obstetrics and gynecology so she can focus on the challenges faced by women before, during, and following pregnancy.


More information about the Arthur Irving Family Foundation Scholarships in Environmental Science can be found here. More information about the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens can be found here.


Dr. David Kristie
Director of Research
K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre
Phone: 902-585-1573

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