Wolfville, NS, July 19, 2018 – The 2018 recipients of the prestigious Arthur Irving Scholarships in Environmental Studies are drawn from two of Canada’ three seacoasts. Sarah Lavallée from West Vancouver, BC and Alex Hart from St. Stephen, NB will enter Acadia in September 2018 to pursue their interests in environmental preservation thanks to academic awards that are among the most significant in Canada and reward students who have exceptional academic credentials, a commitment to volunteerism and community service, and who intend to pursue environmental research.
“I want to congratulate Sarah and Alex and welcome them to Acadia,” said Dr. Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor of Acadia. “We are so extraordinarily fortunate to have the support of Arthur and Sandra Irving who have established a scholarship program that is unlike any other offered elsewhere in Canada. Through these scholarships we are able to attract exceptional young people to Acadia, and give young scholars the opportunity to pursue their interests in solving some of our most perplexing environmental issues, surrounded and supported by faculty and facilities that that will challenge their intellectual curiosity.”
Established by Arthur Irving, Chancellor Emeritus of Acadia University, and the Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation, these scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated academic and leadership skills and who have a commitment to making a difference in how society views and manages our natural environment and its resources. Scholarship recipients will benefit from the world-class facilities available to them in the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens that will enrich their learning experience. The selected students receive $15,000 annually for four years while they pursue their undergraduate degrees.
"Congratulations to Sarah Lavallée and Alex Hart," says Arthur Irving. "Both students bring with them outstanding accomplishments in academics and sports, and a strong commitment to helping others.
"It is important to see students realize their dreams and these scholarships are built for that purpose,” added Irving. “Acadia University's Environmental Science Program provides students like Sarah and Alex important research opportunities at the undergraduate level and an important mentorship program at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens. They will join other Arthur Irving scholars who help define the spirit of mentorship and scholarship at Acadia. I am very proud of Sarah and Alex and all past recipients."
“The Acadia education model that directly integrates undergraduate research and teaching is rare,” said Ricketts. “The K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens create an environment where students engage in laboratory and field work from the very beginning of their undergraduate studies, and they learn the skills and discipline required to become leading scholars. The generosity of Arthur and Sandra Irving through creating these magnificent facilities on our campus and their annual scholarship support of students has benefits that extend far beyond Acadia and deep into environmental research and discovery in our country. Previous recipients of these awards are now practicing in disciplines that touch every aspect of environmental science and policy and they are our future environmental leaders and champions of change.”
This year’s Arthur Irving Scholars are:
Sarah Lavallée is a 2018 graduate of West Vancouver’s Sentinel Secondary School’s French Immersion Program, with a passion for leading change in how society’s consumer-driven culture accounts for the resources it uses and rewards companies and individuals for reducing their environmental impact. Sarah is an award-winning competitive cross-country runner who helped her school team win back-to-back Provincial championships in 2016 and 2017, a member of her Student Council Executive Team, and played the lead role in Sentinel’s production of Pride & Prejudice. Among her many volunteer and extra-curricular activities, her intense interest in the outdoors led her to co-found the Sentinel Outdoors Club, and she completed a 28-day YMCA remote wilderness course in Banff National Park. Sarah will be pursuing her B.Sc. in Environmental Science at Acadia beginning in September 2018
Alex Hart, from St. Stephen New Brunswick, is a 2018 graduate of St. Stephen High School. Captain of his school’s hockey, volleyball and soccer teams in his senior year, Alex also co-founded his school’s G.R.E.E.N Group which has given him a platform to inform others about his passion for banning practices that harm our environment such as the use of disposable plastic water bottles. In addition to sports and part-time work, Alex is also a committed volunteer with organizations that include his local foodbank and Big Brother Program. Alex will be pursuing his B.Sc. in Environmental Science at Acadia beginning in September of 2018, where it is his intention to explore ways that humans can live without destroying valuable ecosystems, and to use science to test the many ideas he has for waste reduction and elimination of practices harmful to the environment.
More information about the Arthur Irving Family Foundation Scholarships in Environmental Studies can be found here. More information about the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens can be found here.