Bell Scholars | Mount Allison

The Marjorie Young Bell Scholarships and Bell Family Achievement Awards are among Mount Allison's most prestigious undergraduate awards.

They celebrate students who have demonstrated strong academic ability, leadership potential, volunteerism, extracurricular involvement, work experience, and good citizenship.

They are awarded to outstanding high school graduates from across the country and around the world.

To learn more about how to apply for Bell Scholarships and Bell Achievement Awards, visit scholarships and awards for first-year students.


Meet the 2021-22 Bell Scholars

Mohammad Ammori
Bell Scholarship
Palestine/Syria

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For first-year international relations student Mohammad Ammori, the journey to Mount Allison has been long and filled with adversity. A third-generation Palestinian refugee, he and his family had to escape chaos twice — also fleeing from war-torn Syria to Lebanon — and were forced to leave his father, an air traffic controller, behind. It has now been five years since Ammori saw his mother and brother.

When in Lebanon, Ammori was awarded a United World College Scholarship to attend Pearson College, an international school in Victoria, BC, and Canada’s only United World College. After graduation, while his asylum was in process, he joined the Katimavik national experience, volunteering in Calgary with resettlement and domestic violence, and then with MAGMA in Moncton, NB.

“I heard from my Pearson friends that Mount A is very similar to Pearson with its international spirit,” he says. “Having lived in so many countries, I like having an international family, and the biggest factor for me was my scholarship.”

Ammori was awarded one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious scholarships — the Bell Scholarship — valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

He says this scholarship means that even though he has passed through many adversities, he is still a human being, and there are always chances in life.

“The Bell Scholarship meant that my efforts and the hard work wasn’t wasted and I’m being rewarded for my previous achievements,” he says. “At the same time, I am making the commitment to continue my work and give back to the world. I am here to prove my existence, to spread information, to raise the voices of refugees, and to share my culture with others. Mount A is very diverse and I’m here to represent my people and my country.”

During his time at Pearson, Ammori was a leader in refugee support, fund raising to help NGOs to assist refugees in Lebanon, and raising awareness about better integration for refugees in Canada. He brought together 80 nationalities through a religious and interfaith group to have discussions and work through conflict. He participated virtually in a United Nations Association of Canada Global Refugee Forum, which was intended to be held in Geneva and Ecuador. He also enjoyed playing soccer. After Pearson, he spent six months of intensive volunteering with Katimavik, then travelled to visit his uncle in Germany, where he volunteered with translation and interviewing in refugee reception campus.

He then came to Mount Allison, where he has been involved with WUSC, ATLIS, and the Model UN. He also participates in intramurals through his residence.

Ammori has enjoyed life on campus so far and the small, close-knit, supportive community.

“I love interacting with people from different cultures and love to help people in any way I can,” he says. “I like to learn about religion, teach others about my religion, and have a very big interest in international politics and advocating for human rights.”

He has also found support and a piece of home away from home at Fener’s Place, Sackville’s new Kurdish restaurant, owned by the Hussein family, who resettled in Sackville from Syria six years ago.

Ammori plans to pursue a career with a humanitarian impact for refugees.

Jigmet Angmo
Bell Scholarship
Leh Ladakh, India

Read more about  Jigmet

When Jigmet Angmo described the type of post-secondary institution she was looking for, her college counsellor, who is Canadian, suggested she look at Mount Allison.

“I really liked it,” says Angmo, who is from Leh Ladakh, India. “I attended one of the virtual open houses and the fact it was so close-knit, had a beautiful campus, and a focus on academics — it checked all my boxes.”

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning and gathering, Angmo says being on campus this year has been great.

“After two years of online school, going from that to doing university in person, it was a big privilege,” she says. “It’s really nice to be part of a community again, to be back on campus. I’m really grateful that I still got that sense of community here.”

Angmo is a recipient of a Bell Scholarship, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a minor in sociology.

“My interest is more in social entrepreneurship — using business as a way to solve problems and to give back to the community,” she says.

In high school, Angmo was heavily involved in community engagement development work.

“I really believe in development work,” she says. “It is different from charity because it is actively engaging with the community and trying to address the problem itself.” 

She worked on projects in both education and health.  

“There were parts of India where there weren’t schools. We did some research and there was a village where children had to walk five or six hours to get to school, so we helped found a small school there,” she says. “And I worked on directly educating women on things like hygiene, menstruation, and child safety.” 

She also served as president of her school’s 30-member student council, helping to implement programs for students that offered services like mentorship, advocacy, and tutoring. At Mount Allison she is the first-year representative on the Commerce Society and a member of MOSAIC, the multicultural association.

“What I’ve learned about myself over the past two years is that life never goes by plan, so I try to give my best at the moment,” she says.

Oliver Batchilder
Bell Scholarship
Cornwall, PEI

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Oliver Batchilder plans to pursue a legal career in the Canadian military. He’s beginning his studies in Mount Allison’s Frank McKenna School of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), majoring in PPE and seeking degree minors in commerce and community engaged learning.

“Being from PEI, I wanted a small university where I could connect with people,” says Batchilder. “Mount Allison says this about themselves and it’s true. In my first term one of my professors reached out to me with a documentary series they thought I would like for my studies. That’s not going to happen at larger schools.”

Batchilder is a recipient of a Bell Scholarship, one of the University's top entrance awards, valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“I’m very honoured to receive this scholarship; it’s a huge help in my studies and I’m proud to have my efforts both in academics and community activities seen,” he says. “I believe in helping where I can in communities and this scholarship makes that easier.”

A long-time member of the Canadian Air Cadets, Batchilder was a cadet commander by the time he graduated from Bluefield High School. He also led his high school’s debate team, attending a national competition in their first year, and worked at a restaurant in Charlottetown’s downtown core for four years.

Choosing to study PPE, Batchilder also has had a long-time interest in politics. He served as CEO of a local Electoral District Association and on his high school student council. At Mount Allison he’s become involved with both the Mount Allison Students' Union and the New Brunswick Student Alliance.

One project of which he is particularly proud falls outside council chambers or political offices though.

“I am part of a group that is working with the Moncton YMCA’s YCAN program. We are developing a community-focused service project to help respond to a local need, while building connections and making a difference in Sackville,” he says. “We’ve had delays with the pandemic, but I’m really excited to work on future plans. I’m also working with the local Rotaract Club here in Sackville as their secretary-treasurer.”

Lucy Berg
Bell Achievement Award
North Vancouver, BC

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When Lucy Berg began looking at universities, she was looking for a small-town environment. Having grown up in North Vancouver, she learned about Mount Allison through her high school’s University Fair and then made her inaugural trek to Atlantic Canada.

The first-year Arts student is the recipient of a Bell Achievement Award, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $44,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“A scholarship like this is a huge help, it allows me to focus on school. I’m thankful to have received it,” says Berg, who plans to study political science and geography. “I have a learning disability, so having a resource like the Meighen Centre on campus was also a big plus for me. I was able to meet with their staff as well as admissions before I even arrived on campus. It was so helpful in my transition to university.”

While studying at West Vancouver’s Rockridge Secondary, Berg was involved in a number of school groups and activities including 2SLGBTQ inclusion, environmental initiatives including a sustainable garden on school grounds, and musical theatre.

“I love theatre. My dad works in theatre so it’s always been a part of my life. It’s my primary passion outside of my academics,” she says. “While I don’t plan to study it formally, I was involved in community theatre projects in Vancouver and have joined Mount Allison’s Garnet and Gold society for this year’s production of High School Musical.”

In addition to her studies and volunteering with Garnet and Gold, Berg is also a member of the local Rotaract Club, helping to organize a community food drive this fall.

Along with Mount Allison’s Bell Achievement Award, Berg is also the recipient of a LOUD Scholarship from the GLBA Foundation of British Columbia. Throughout high school, she was a member of BC’s Youth Council and plans to continue work with community organizations to build resources for 2SLGBTQ inclusion, particularly for youth.

“I would like to see more 2SLGBTQ resources in place and inclusion in sex education for youth,” says Berg. “It’s important to have this input and supports and I’m looking forwarding to working on these types of projects, both in Vancouver and at Mount Allison.”

Ben Broadbent
Bell Scholarship
Lynden, ON

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First-year Arts student Ben Broadbent is passionate about learning languages. He is currently working on German and Spanish and is planning on majoring in French studies and minoring in history.

“I love making connections between the languages, even if it is simply identifying two similar words from two different languages,” he says. “Above all, though, there is a certain beauty in being able to communicate back and forth between multiple languages.”

Born in Bermuda, he grew up just outside Toronto in Lynden, ON. With his parents originally from out East, he chose to attend Mount Allison without even visiting the University in person based on reputation, the virtual tour, and conversations with an admissions counsellor.

Broadbent was awarded one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious scholarships — the Bell Scholarship — valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“It really meant so much,” he says. “I worked really hard in high school and studied so much. It made me feel like it was all worth it.”

In high school at Dundas Valley Secondary School, Broadbent was on Student Council and Student Senate, where he liaised with school board representatives. He participated in a Food Drop program in Hamilton, providing lunches for the homeless population, and volunteered with Best Buddies, pairing with students from special education classes — something he says was his favourite part of high school. He was also named co-valedictorian for his graduating class.

He worked steadily throughout his high school years in many different jobs, including at a greenhouse and at an African Lion Safari, and refereed minor hockey, which he says taught him a lot of different valuable skills such as quick decision-making.

Growing up a multi-sport athlete in hockey and baseball, Broadbent began playing badminton this past year and worked hard all summer to join Mount Allison’s varsity badminton team. He is also a member of the Modern Languages Society.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, he says his favourite part of his time at Mount Allison so far has been residence life and the friends he has made. 

“If classes were online and badminton wasn’t happening, I wouldn’t sacrifice the friends I have made for any of it,” he says.

Broadbent’s plans are to become a high school teacher, working in an inner-city school. He was inspired a few years ago to follow this path by the movie Coach Carter with Samuel L. Jackson. He hopes to do his Bell internship in a school or YMCA, where he could work with kids who learn differently in a team environment.

“If someone has been given up on, I want to give them a second chance,” he says. “I want to give them opportunities and let them know that the world is theirs if they want to go get it.”

Chloe Duguay
Bell Achievement Award
Truro, NS

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First-year geography student Chloe Duguay had many reasons for choosing Mount Allison. She was drawn to the geography program, liked the small-town feeling, and felt like she would be able to cater her degree to her specific interests.

“My mom likes to say it’s because of my family connection,” says Duguay. “Many of my family members have degrees from Mount A, including my mom and her five siblings, and my grandparents met at Mount A.”

Duguay was also awarded one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious scholarships — a Bell Achievement Award — valued at $44,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“This scholarship means a lot to me,” she says. “I usually shy away from acknowledgement, but it was nice to be recognized for being a good student and a student leader and to take a moment to reflect on my accomplishments.”

In Truro, Duguay grew up in the dance community. She created accessible dance classes to remove the physical barriers and make dance and movement more widely available to youth. She was also in the high school band, playing trumpet, and was a peer mentor in the life skills class.

“My family really instilled a love of arts in me,” she says. “It has helped me grow so much as a person and develop so many soft skills. I will always be an advocate for arts programming.”

At Mount Allison she has carried on her passion for academics, music, and dance. She is in the symphonic band, on the dance team (ballet and jazz), performed in the pit band for the Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and is a member of the Geography and Environment Society. She hopes to have the chance to travel for international experiences during her time at Mount Allison.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic during her first year, Duguay is really enjoying the experience of being at university.

“In my first term I had classes in person, meal hall, and the whole university experience I had in my mind. The whole of university has been my favourite part so far.”

Duguay is looking ahead to pursuing urban planning or potentially law school after graduation.

“I want a job that is everchanging, with problem solving, and where I can actively make change,” she says.

Zohal Haidari
Bell Scholarship
Bamyan, Afghanistan

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By her high school graduation, Zohal Haidari had more experience in community engagement and development work than most people will get in a lifetime.

Haidari is a graduate of Woodstock School. Located in a rural area of India, it created programs that connected students with local villages. One project assisted low-income women in developing job skills and improving their financial situation, another helped raise awareness about menstrual health.

Haidari was also part of a project that worked with refugees.

“We first went and talked to them about what kind of help they wanted,” she says. “There was an immediate need for building washrooms as well as working with the women on education on nutrition and family planning and children’s safety and education.”

Haidari can sympathize more than most: originally from Afghanistan, she came to India as a refugee when she was 15. She has continued to pursue her interests at Mount Allison, studying international relations and getting involved in both the Model UN and the WUSC (World University Service of Canada) Student Refugee Program, which supports a student with refugee status to attend Mount Allison.

Haidari’s family was planning to move to Canada while she was attending school in India, so when it came to post-secondary, she looked to Canadian schools. Receiving a Bell Scholarship, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities, was the icing on the cake.

“For me it was a big thing. It meant I can control my own life and be independent,” she says. “My life has been so uncertain. I never thought I would be a refugee in India, I never thought I would get a scholarship to study at such a good school, Woodstock School, and then to come to Mount A. Now I want to plan things and use all the opportunities I can to prepare myself for the future.”

Haidari is looking at two potential paths after Mount Allison.

“If I get a good scholarship for my master’s degree, I would like to further study international relations or international law and learn more about my country’s situation and developing communities,” she says. “Or if that doesn’t work out, I would work in Canada and other developing countries with NGOs and development organizations that focus on women empowerment and refugee children’s education.”

Another long-held dream — returning to Afghanistan after completing her education — is currently on hold.

“That was my whole thing, that I’m going to go study and then I will go back home, but I don’t know at the moment,” she says.

And so, she is looking into the possibility of starting a club that could fund raise for humanitarian support in Afghanistan and other developing countries or explore ways to provide education for girls who are not allowed or unable to attend school. She’s also looking at academic research opportunities to study war and conflict zones and their outcomes, and ways she might use her Bell internship funding to work with a development organization.

In the meantime, she is enjoying her studies and working at the University’s R. P. Bell Library.

“There are a lot of academic resources and supports and the classes are so different,” she says. “I like all the classes I am going to and am learning a lot of new stuff and I found a job in the library because I loved it so much!”

Nevis Hunt
Bell Scholarship
King City, ON

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First-year Commerce and Aviation student Nevis Hunt says it was his degree combination and the experiences he heard about from his older brother, who attended Mount Allison, that cemented his decision to come to Mount A.

“I visited my brother on campus a few years ago and loved the atmosphere. With the small community, I felt a personal and genuine connection right away,” he says. “When the school introduced the BComm in Aviation, I knew that Mount A was where and what I wanted to study.”

Hunt is a recipient of a Bell Scholarship, one of the University’s top entrance awards. Valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities. 

Hunt feels that it is an honour to represent Mount Allison as a scholarship recipient. He acknowledges the importance of academics in conjunction with athletics, music, and community involvement and is working hard to continue and even expand upon his initiatives at Mount A.

Along with his studies, Hunt has joined Mount Allison’s cross-country and varsity badminton teams.

“I’ve never played on a badminton team before, so it is fun to try something new in such a supportive environment,” he says.

He has also had the opportunity to get involved as a floor representative for his residence.

Outside of school, Hunt has tried to explore new opportunities. He says that during the pandemic he had more time with online classes and the cancellation of in-person activities, so he tried to create opportunities and to remain optimistic. Despite the challenges, the pandemic afforded him the opportunity to have difficult conversations and an appreciation that the unknown was difficult on everyone and certainly an eye opener for society in general.

A graduate of King City’s Country Day School (CDS), Hunt has been a multi-sport athlete and musician throughout his schooling. He played the trumpet in both the Concert and Jazz Bands. At CDS, he was also a member of the school’s Student Council and the Athletic Leadership Team, which involved mentoring younger athletes.

His athleticism earned him international recognition as a qualifier for the World Duathlon Age group Championships, which were unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic.

Hunt is also a recipient of both the silver and bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards, an international program for youth which recognizes individual achievements and community involvement.

Earning a combination of business education and flight training in his degree, Hunt plans to combine aviation and entrepreneurship in his future career endeavours.

Clare Lowe
Mary Emerancy Pickard Bell Music Scholarship
Toronto, ON

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First-year Music student Clare Lowe grew up in a music and dance family and, along with her sisters, she was homeschooled. She chose Mount Allison because of the small Music program with individual attention.

“The smaller university and Music program really appealed to me coming from being homeschooled,” says Lowe.

Lowe was awarded one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious music scholarships — the Mary Emerancy Pickard Bell Music Scholarship — valued at $24,000 over four years.

“It was a very special moment and I felt really honoured to get a scholarship like this,” she says. “I think in many ways it validated my homeschool learning. As the grading system is different, it was nice to see that I was at the same level as others.”

A classical soprano, Lowe sang in a children’s choir for six years and joined her church choir in Grade 12. She took private voice lessons for nine years, along with piano and theory. She also spent 13 years studying ballet and volunteered in the dance studio. Along with her mother and sisters, she sang once a month at a nursing home church service. She was also involved in acting and musical theatre.

At Mount Allison, Lowe is part of the Swing Dance Society and the Garnet and Gold Society.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, she says her favourite part of her time at Mount Allison so far has been the people she has met, especially those in the Music program.

“It’s such a small group and everyone knows everyone and understands what you’re going through,” she says.

Lowe’s goal after graduation is to be a performer and also teach singing.

Jacob MacPhee
Bell Achievement Award
Saint Andrews, NB

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Jacob MacPhee’s high school interests ranged from student council and yearbook to track and field and speedskating. But one of his activities stands out above the rest: MacPhee is an accomplished wood carver.

“I’ve always been interested in the outdoors and the carving I do is called bush craft — I do detailed wood carvings of birds, carving each feather,” says MacPhee, who is from Saint Andrews, NB. “One of my mother’s friends was into it and got me interested. I’ve been doing it since 2016.”

Each carving takes about three months to complete, from carving to painting.

“The painting in the hardest part,” he says. “I can’t paint on a canvas. With a 3D object, the shape is already there, but it requires a lot of shading and blending.”

Although he has had offers of up to $1,000 for a carving, so far, his family members have been the sole beneficiaries of his work, as he presents them as gifts.

A graduate of Sir James Dunn Academy, MacPhee is the recipient of a Bell Achievement Award, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $44,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

Mount Allison has become something of a tradition in the MacPhee family — MacPhee’s older brother and sister also graduated from Mount A, something that influenced his choice to attend.

“I knew the campus well and I like Sackville too,” he says.

MacPhee is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, with the intention to attend dental school after Mount Allison. He was a member of the Cross-Country Club this fall, as well as the Tennis Club, the Creative Writing Society, and the Dental Society.

Although the pandemic has created challenges, MacPhee says it has also helped him develop skills he will need in his future career.

“I worked really hard in Grade 10 to gain a work ethic, but then in Grade 11 COVID happened and it is a lot harder to maintain that work ethic when no one is pushing you to do anything,” he says. “But having to do that did help me because if I am a dentist in future, working for myself, I won’t have deadlines and someone telling me what to do. I actually like online school because you can organize your own time.”

Rajan Minocha-McKenney
Bell Scholarship
Amherst, NS

Read more about Rajan

For first-year Science student Rajan Minocha-McKenney, Mount Allison has always felt like a home away from home. From nearby Amherst, NS, he grew up attending summer camps at Mount Allison with his brother Rohin, who is a third-year student, and his sister Risha (‘20) who is an alumna. His mom Rachna (‘86) is an alumna and dad Rick also took classes at Mount Allison before both entered dental school.

“I always had a love for Mount A, the close-knit community, and the ability to get involved easily in clubs and societies,” he says. “The Bell Scholarship just really solidified my decision and I’m excited to get that extra mentorship from my peer Bell Scholars.”

Minocha-McKenney was awarded one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious scholarships — the Bell Scholarship — valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“It was a surreal moment when I found out,” he says. “It is nice to be recognized for the work I’ve done. I love being involved and it’s heartwarming to be honoured in that way for my academic and volunteer work.”

He was highly involved at his high school and within his community — becoming the youngest Student Council President, serving for two years, and also Junior Mayor with the Amherst Youth Town Council. He captained the basketball and cross-country teams; played alto saxophone in the stage and senior concert bands; and was the head of his Athletic, Gender Sexual Alliance, and Yearbook Committees.

He strives to help people across Canada by volunteering with the RCMP; with PREVNet, creating resources for teen dating violence; and co-founded a non-profit organization called Race to a Cure, which empowers youth interested in STEM and provides reliable information during the pandemic. He also attended the prestigious summer enrichment SHAD program virtually and was named SHAD of the Year.

At Mount Allison he is on the cross-country team, is a first-year councillor-at-large for the Mount Allison Students’ Union, worked with the Get Out The Vote campaign during the past federal election, and is the volunteer and fund raising co-ordinator for the Pre-Dental Society.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Minocha-McKenney has remained motivated with the help of his support system.

“I am very fortunate to have a lot of incredible role models in my life,” he says. “I have maintained close connections with my family, past teachers, SHAD participants, and Bell mentors. These people are the ones who will lift you up when you’re not feeling your best and support you no matter what. They have impacted me in becoming very passionate about helping others.”

He plans to follow in the footsteps of his parents and pursue dentistry, more specifically orthodontics.

Sophie Tsaltas
Bell Scholarship
Halifax, NS

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Despite the limitations of the pandemic, Sophie Tsaltas of Halifax, NS, has found a number of ways to get involved at Mount Allison over her first term.

Tsaltas was the assistant stage manager for the Motyer-Fancy Theatre’s fall production of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and helped hang lights for the theatre’s second production of the year, Henry’s Law. She also is a floor rep in her residence and has been exploring potential summer research opportunities.

“Even with COVID, there has been lots of stuff going on — I didn’t think I would be able to get so involved,” she says. “I chose Mount A because it was a small school and I like having smaller classes, but also every time you go anywhere, you know someone. When I have a class, I always know someone in it, and there is always a table where I can sit at Jennings, always that sense of community.”

Tsaltas was in the middle of a practice exam when she received a phone call from Mount Allison telling her she was being awarded a Bell Scholarship, one of the University’s top entrance awards, valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities. A graduate of Citadel High School in Halifax, NS, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in chemistry and minors in physics and math, with the aim of becoming a teacher. Her interest in teaching was sparked by her long-term involvement in Scouts.

“I was in it from age 10 to 17,” she says. “It taught me a lot about leadership and about being independent. Being trusted with responsibility taught me a lot.”

Tsaltas served as a patrol leader and says taking on that leadership role from an early age has been valuable in the rest of her life.

“That is one of the biggest reasons I want to be a teacher, because I really learned in Scouts how to teach people, and different ways to teach them,” she says. “If you are out in the woods and someone doesn’t know how to use a compass, you have to teach them on the fly. Or if they don’t know how to do a lashing, they need to learn because you need a structure for shelter.”

Scouting also gave Tsaltas opportunites to travel, including a trip to England where she met other Scouts from across Europe and beyond.

In addition to Scouts, Tsaltas was a head delegate for her school’s Model UN club and assistant stage manager for a 100-cast-member production of Beauty and the Beast, which unfortunately had to be cancelled shortly before the performance due to the pandemic. She also worked at Citadel Hill as an interpreter, an experience that gave her an opportunity to meet visitors from around the world, hone her French, and learn in-depth history of the site.

Claire Wilbur
Bell Achievement Award
Saint John, NB

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Claire Wilbur lives for the outdoors. The Rothesay Netherwood alumna has made the most of her home province of New Brunswick has to offer, including hiking and sailing, as well as embarking on adventures across Canada.

The first-year Science student is also the recipient of a Bell Achievement Award, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $44,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

Wilbur is now working to ensure other students have ample opportunity to learn more about and enjoy time in the great outdoors. Working with local New Brunswick companies in her senior year of high school, she has established the Outdoor Adventure Scholarship Fund, aimed to help introduce high school students to outdoor activities.

“Before the pandemic, I was fortunate to travel to Alberta and camp in the Rockies for two weeks with Outward Bound Canada,” says Wilbur. “It was an amazing experience and I realized how lucky I was to have this opportunity. I wanted to find ways other students could have this opportunity as well, which led to the idea around the scholarship project.”

Outward Bound Canada is a national non-profit organization that offers social-emotional education through experiential adventures in the outdoors. 

When not on the water or hiking trail, Wilbur spent several hours a week volunteering at the Saint John Regional Hospital throughout high school and also conducted research for the hospital’s NB Heart Centre. She says this experience has been rewarding and eye-opening.

“My volunteering experience at the hospital has obviously changed in the pandemic but previously I volunteered in both the gift shop and the oncology units,” says Wilbur. “I think it’s important to give back when you can but I also learned so much from this experience. You see people with so many health and physical challenges ahead of them in these settings. Yet their mindsets and attitudes are really incredible. I hope to work in health care someday.”

Wilbur has continued her love for all things outdoors and health at Mount Allison as an active member of the cross-country team.


Past Bell Scholars

 2020-21 Bell Scholars

Kenzie Auger
Bell Scholarship
Woodstock, NB

Woodstock, NB’s Kenzie Auger chose to Mount Allison for a number of reasons: its small size, personal connections, and its ‘feel like home’ advantage. But Auger has embarked on many regional and international experiences during her high school career, including a humanitarian trip to the Dominican Republic as a Duke of Edinburgh Award recipient and being chosen for the prestigious Students on Ice program, conducting research in the Arctic.

“Both of these opportunities were wonderful and obviously very different from each other. I learned a lot about research and working in different communities and cultures,” says Auger.

These experiences, along with a stellar academic record, earned her a Bell Scholarship, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities. She is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program with plans to major in psychology.

“Even though it’s been a different first-year experience, I’m happy for the sense of community at Mount A. I moved to Sackville and am taking some of my classes online, along with in-person ones,” says Auger. “The Bell Scholarship has certainly helped to support my education and allowed me to focus on my studies.”

Auger is using her first year to focus on her transition to university. A life-long member of the Girl Guides, she plans to get involved with the organization locally in the future.

“I completed all levels of the Girl Guides program. I got so much out of the program, through camping and volunteer opportunities in the community. I look forward to being able to be involved in it again,” says Auger.

In her hometown, Auger also volunteered at the local soup kitchen and helped assemble care baskets for cancer patients in the hospital. 


Shannon Bowes
Bell Achievement Award
Miramichi, NB

Shannon Bowes remembers the moment her decision to attend Mount Allison was confirmed. It came with a phone call during the pandemic lockdown in March 2020.

“I got a call from one of the admissions staff members. New Brunswick had been in lockdown for a few weeks so my whole family was home,” she says. “I couldn’t believe I had been selected for a Bell Award.”

Bowes, who is from Miramichi, NB, is studying in the Bachelor of Science program and plans to major in physics. She’s also the recipient of a Bell Achievement Award, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $44,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

Taking classes both online and in-person, Bowes says she has a particular interest in STEM and seeing more females enter the field.

“I hope to pursue graduate studies someday and I want to encourage more girls to look at this field,” she says. “I am volunteering with the local Women in STEM club and we hope to work with the schools in Sackville when we’re able.”

Bowes is also a volunteer with MtA Healthcare Outreach, a member of the Parks Canada Club, and part of a committee working on a new house constitution for her residence.

In Miramichi she was an active volunteer and community member, playing piano for residents at the Miramichi Nursing Home, playing soccer and track, and participating in student council at her high school.

Bowes also worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor, teaching lessons to individuals of all ages. As part of this work, she helped lead a program called Autism Swims, run through Autism Resources Miramichi.

Having two older siblings who attended Mount Allison, Bowes said she had always considered the University. But it was participating in a Royal Canadian Legion Youth Leadership Camp held on campus that also helped guide her decision.

“I attended the camp in Grade 10 and it was great to spend that much time on campus. I was always leaning towards Mount Allison but this experience, as well as the scholarship helped solidify my decision.”


Maggie Kerr
Bell Achievement Award
Fredericton, NB 

First-year Science student Maggie Kerr, from Fredericton, NB, has been an accomplished musician since she was young, playing both the piano and the cello. When it came time to choose a university and her academic focus, she decided to pursue physics and math at Mount Allison, while also having the opportunity to minor in classics and play the cello with the University’s Chamber Orchestra.

“One of the main reasons I chose Mount A was because I was excited about the research opportunities for undergraduate students,” says Kerr. “There are so many opportunities at Mount Allison to work alongside the professors in so many different areas of physics, it’s incredible.”

Kerr was awarded one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious scholarships — a Bell Achievement Award — valued at $44,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities. She says one of the best parts of the award has been the network she has established at the University.

She says it was music that taught her so much of the skills and competencies that led to her receiving this award.

“Music has taught me so much, including resilience, persistence, and with practice anything is possible,” she says.

Kerr spent two summers in high school attending a music program in Quebec aimed at university students, with instructors from all over the world.

“It was an amazing experience and helped me also get involved at FHS in the string orchestra, band, as well as some community orchestras," she says.

During her first year at Mount Allison she has been involved with the programming competition, solving computer science programs, and is a member of the Classics Society. This term she will be a teaching assistant for math and physics.

“Mount A encourages you to be well-rounded and to pursue interests that might not be explicitly linked to your main subject,” she says.

Kerr has enjoyed her experience living in residence so far and is looking forward to getting more involved as pandemic restrictions change.

“I really like being able to live independently; I think it is an important skill,” she says. “Residence is a nice stepping stone from home to having my own apartment.”

During the pandemic, Kerr says what has kept her motivated is keeping her end goal in mind. She plans to pursue graduate studies and a PhD with an eye on a career in research.

“I have always been a curious person and I like having the answers to things,” she says. “I am interested in working to get a deeper understanding of how the universe works and how everything interacts together.”


Aakanksha Khandwaha
Bell Scholarship
Truro, NS

Aakanksha Khandwaha says it was in part because of her teachers at Cobequid Education Centre in Truro, NS that she first applied to Mount Allison.

“I applied on a whim, I didn’t know much about the school but had visited campus in Grade 11 as part of my high school’s Relay for Life team. Several of my teachers at CEC recommended Mount A and I learned more about the school’s programs, and the Bell Scholarship in particular. Mount A was the perfect match for me, I just didn’t realize it was at the time,” she says.

Khandwaha applied and as the saying goes, the rest is history. She is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program with plans to study biochemistry, math, and computer science, and minor in the arts. She is also the recipient of the Bell Scholarship, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“I’ve always been interested in STEM and research but also social justice and the intersection between the two. I think it’s really important to look at how these connect,” she says. “The Bell Scholarship is a great fit for me because I’m involved in a wide range of subjects/activities and it gives me the opportunity to combine my varying interests!”

Khandwaha has already started this exploration. In Grade 11 she launched a period access equity group at her high school, working to ensure menstrual products were freely available in all women’s and non-gender-specific washrooms. This group has grown into the Truro Period Collective and continues to improve education and accessibility around periods in schools. Through this work, she also got involved with Code Red Co. an international cooperative that’s also working towards increasing period equity.

She plans to start a similar group at Mount Allison.

At CEC, Khandwaha was also co-president of the Symphonic Band, the Social Justice Committee, and Environmental Club in Grade 12 as well as organized a teen tutoring mentorship program.

An IB (International Baccalaureate) graduate, Khandwaha volunteers with Mount Allison’s Rose Campaign, Because I am a Girl society, EnactusMtA, and is the computer science rep for Mount Allison’s Women in Science Club. She is also a member of the University’s Anti-Racism Judicial Panel.

Through EnactusMtA’s enviroot program and Mount Allison’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Khandwaha is part of a team of students working on a research project exploring how orange peels could be upscaled to be used as particle boards.

“I’m not sure what my career path will be yet, but having the opportunity to do STEM research like this as part of my university experience is amazing,” she says.

She also works for Girl Up Canada on its national team. Girl Up was established by the United Nations Foundation and aims to advance the skills, rights, and opportunities for girls everywhere.

“With Girl Up, it’s exciting to work with individuals across the country,” says Khandwaha. “I’ve been fascinated to hear about the some of the projects happening in other places like Ontario and Alberta.”

Having lived in India, Toronto, and the Maritimes, Khandwaha says she’s thankful for her family’s support and glad she decided to stay in the Atlantic region and attend a small university.

“My mom, along with all the other women in my family, have really allowed me to be able to grow and develop and achieve things,” she says. “She’s genuinely done so much for me, and I’m here where I am because of her.”


Grace MacIntosh
Bell Achievement Award
Valley, NS

First-year Science student Grace MacIntosh, from Valley, NS, knew she wanted to study at Mount Allison University as soon as she set foot on campus for her first visit.

“I felt at home as soon as I got here,” she says.

MacIntosh was awarded one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious scholarships — a Bell Achievement Award — valued at $44,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities. She says one of the best parts of the award has been the network she has established at the University.

“I really like the interconnectedness of the Bell network already,” says MacIntosh. “Even though things are a lot different this year, we still have that sense of community through Facebook and e-mail. It feels nice to part of a community of like-minded people that I can interact with.”

An IB graduate of Cobequid Educational Centre in Truro, NS, MacIntosh was highly involved at school and in the community. She was President of the Junior Rotarian Interact program, starting a volunteer initiative that assisted a different community group each week. She was the head of communications for the Student Council Executive and took part in the Social Justice Club, Knitting Club, and Posters with a Purpose. She volunteered with the Christmas Index Program, the food bank, Challenger Baseball, and as a junior high tutor with Teen Tutors.

“I’m very passionate about volunteering and helping others,” says MacIntosh.

So far at Mount Allison, she is involved with Rotaract, Make a Wish, Biology Society, and is the SHARE and health and wellness rep for Harper Hall.

Although starting her first year during a pandemic has posed some challenges, MacIntosh says making so many new friends has been the best part of her first year.

“It seems like it would be hard to make friends during this time, but the whole experience has brought us all closer together,” she says. “In residence it has been a weird year with all the restrictions, but we still have that family feeling.”

MacIntosh intends to major in biology and double minor in women’s and gender studies and psychology with the plan to attend medical school and become an OB-GYN.

“I absolutely love biology and I have always been interested in medicine, but I am also interested in obstetrics and gynaecology for the social justice aspects of it,” says MacIntosh. "Understanding the racialized and gendered nature of this field of medicine has made me really hopeful to be able to work against these oppressions.”


Isaac McCardle
Bell Scholarship
Charlottetown, PE

First-year Science student Isaac McCardle, from Charlottetown, PE, says being named a Bell Scholar was a big part of him choosing to come to Mount Allison.

“It was a big part of me choosing to come to Mount A financially, but also it was really meaningful to be recognized for my past involvement and volunteering as well as my academics,” he says. “I also really enjoyed the application process and meeting with interesting people.”

He was also looking for a strong academic reputation and to experience someplace new, close to home. When he visited campus for Open House, Mount Allison moved to the top of his list.

McCardle was awarded one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious scholarships — the Bell Scholarship — valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

McCardle joined a junior sailing camp at the Charlottetown Yacht Club in Grade 5 and has been sailing ever since. He began coaching at the camp three years ago and has sailed throughout the Maritimes and in Bermuda and Turks and Caicos.

“I have had many memorable experiences, especially from coaching, but my time sailing in Bermuda was one that really stands out for me. Exploring a new place by sailing along the coast was incredible and I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to do it," he says.

McCardle is also a pianist, playing in Colonel Gray High School’s concert band and in the school’s musical. He was captain of the cross-country team and competed regularly throughout high school. He was a member of the student council executive, Key Club (a partnership with Kiwanis Club), and completed the three levels of the international Duke of Edinburgh Award Program by volunteering in his community and developing new skills.

At Mount Allison so far, he is a co-floor rep at Harper Hall and has been involved with HealthCare Outreach MtA. He also began running with the cross country club team.

Despite the pandemic, McCardle is really enjoying his first-year at Mount Allison.

“I would say my favourite part is getting to know people in a new environment,” he says. “I haven’t had a university experience before, so there were no preconceptions or expectations. The community in residence really sold it for me. I enjoy learning, so that’s my academic motivation and being around my peers who are also studying motivates me. I really want to get the most out of my university experience socially and academically.”

McCardle plans to major in biochemistry and minor in political science, but he is open to the possibilities.

“I could see medical science, healthcare policy, or epidemiology in my future, but so far I’m really enjoying my classes and the distribution credit system that is allowing me to take courses I never really thought about taking before,” he says.


Olivia Nowe
Bell Achievement Award
Liverpool, NS

They say it takes a village and Olivia Nowe, who grew up in Liverpool, NS, is grateful for hers.

“I come from a town of giving people,” she says.

When Nowe was looking into attending Mount Allison, her ride to Open House unexpectedly fell through. By chance she ran into her third-grade music teacher, someone she hadn’t seen in eight years, and mentioned her dilemma.

“She said, ‘I will take you to Mount A,’” Nowe says. “Both her sons went to Mount Allison and months later I was able to call her about the scholarship I got. I love how full circle it came — she was from that community that supported me.”

The scholarship is one of Mount Allison’s most prestigious — the Bell Achievement Award — valued at $44,000 over four years, including internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“I’m the first one from my family to go to university, so when I first got the e-mail that they wanted to interview me, I thought I didn’t want to mess this up,” she says, with a laugh.

The community may have put opportunities in Nowe’s way, but Nowe has made the most of each one.

A summer theatre camp scholarship from the town led to a lifelong love of theatre — a great passion to have in the town that hosts the annual Liverpool International Theatre Festival.

“I went back to the camp every summer, it was a big part of my life,” she says. “That all contributed to my own resilience and really did help me grow.”

In Grade 6, Nowe and fellow students helped launch a drama program at their middle school that eventually led to the creation of A Breath of Fresh Air, a community youth theatre group. Nowe was involved from the beginning and throughout high school.

Nowe was also a member of the Queen’s County Girls’ Choir for six years, participated in the province-wide Catapult Leadership Camp, and — a highlight — got to see Barack Obama speak in Halifax in 2019.

Although her high school was small, there was lots to do.

Nowe was co-President of the Student Council and was involved in the Yearbook Club, Kiwanis Key Club, Safe Grad, the Tutoring Program Co-op, and the Scholarship Auction Committee, which organizes an auction each year to fund scholarships for graduating students. She played on the basketball team throughout high school and was co-captain in her final year.

She was also a member of the REP (Respect, Empathy, Positivity) Committee, which focused on mental health advocacy, as well as organized food bank donations and volunteered in the community in other capacities.

Nowe is planning to pursue a degree in modern languages, literatures, and cultures with the long-term goal of teaching English as a second language.

“I’ll be able to speak three languages at the end of it,” she says. “The main language is French, but I will also be fluent in German and have conversational Spanish.”

She’s also looking forward to getting more involved at Mount Allison. So far, she’s participating in the Mounties in the Making blog and is part of the Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) communications board, but she definitely plans to get involved in theatre on campus once those activities are able to resume.

“I’m really excited to see what Mount A has to offer in a non-pandemic world,” she says. “But there is a lot that I’ve enjoyed so far. The friends I have made are astounding — it feels like I have known them for years. We’ve made the best of it — Sackville has so many opportunities to have fun, even if you have to follow guidelines.

“Every day I am grateful I get to go to university because not everybody does.”


Sailee Shringarpure
Bell Scholarship
Mumbai, India

Sailee Shringarpure can’t wait to see snow. Shringarpure, who is from Mumbai, India, was very much looking forward to attending Mount A this past fall, but the pandemic disrupted those plans. Instead, she is part of a unique Mount Allison first: one of a small group of students completing their entire first year of studies without ever setting foot on campus — something that has never occurred in Mount Allison’s 180-year history.

Despite the difficulties of a nine-and-a-half-hour time difference, “all of my classes are in the evening and late at night, which was a little challenging at first,” she says, Shringarpure has dived into her first-year classes as she works toward a Bachelor of Science, majoring in psychology.

“To be honest, I don’t feel that distance between my classes and teachers and friends — they try to connect and I think that really helped,” she says. “The teachers have kept it very flexible and the University has offered me wonderful support. And there are peer sessions so I don’t feel left out. They are doing a good job to bring us together, even though we are apart.”

Still, connecting and making friends from half a world away hasn’t been easy. Shringarpure has used social media a lot to get to know her fellow students and engage with them. She is also a member of MOSAIC, Mount Allison’s multicultural association.

When she finally is able to get to campus, she is looking forward to getting involved in drama as theatre was a key part of her high school experience. She starred as Princess Fiona in a production of Shrek, among many other roles, and also worked in stage management. She was also a member of the National Honour Society, helped put together a weekly newscast for her fellow students, and was President of her school’s Psychology Forum, which raised awareness about psychology and mental health.

Shringarpure was awarded a Bell Scholarship, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“I was so grateful to receive this scholarship and honoured to be considered an eligible candidate,” she says. “It made me believe in myself more — that I have potential and capabilities and can achieve what I want to.”

She chose Mount Allison for its small community and its sense of family after admissions counsellor Saniya Korhalkar made a presentation at her school.

“I had never heard about Mount A from anyone,” she says, “but it was so interesting how she presented Mount Allison: a small community, a small family, so united. And there was so much warmth in her presentation, it was so happy and so joyful.”

She says she can’t wait to get to campus to experience that first-hand.

“I’m looking forward to just being in Sackville itself and exploring the small town and small community, being part of a lot of societies and clubs, volunteering, and learning more about myself and what I can do there,” she says.

And, of course, the snow.

“Something I’m really looking forward to is snow and winter in Sackville,” she says. “I’ve never seen snow before.”


Emma Yee
Bell Achievement Award
Toronto, ON

It was music that brought Emma Yee to Mount Allison University.

“I was singing in the Ontario Youth Choir. Each year the provincial honours choir has a different conductor. That year, Dr. Vicki St. Pierre [Mount Allison Music professor and interim dean of arts] was conducting,” says Yee. “We talked after the rehearsal and I learned that she taught at Mount Allison. I hadn’t heard of the university before Grade 12.”

Yee is now pursuing two degrees, a Bachelor of Music in voice and a Bachelor of Arts with plans to major in history. She is also a recipient of the Bell Scholarship, one of Mount Allison’s top entrance awards, valued at $56,000 over four years, including an internship and peer mentorship opportunities.

“I had a chance to visit Mount Allison pre-pandemic and I knew it would be a good fit for me,” she says.

While classes and rehearsals look different than in previous years, Yee, who is from Toronto, ON, says she is enjoying the campus community, both virtually and in person. Along with her studies, she is a member of the Choral Society, and an arts and culture reporter for The Argosy, Mount Allison’s independent student newspaper.

An IB (International Baccalaureate) graduate from Bayview Secondary School, Lee also turned her love of reading into a wider hobby.

“In high school I became involved with Inspire Teen Reads, a non-profit organization that aims to encourage youth’s love of reading. I’m currently part of their leadership team,“ she says. “I noticed a lot of my peers either weren’t reading for pleasure or not talking about it if they did. We wanted to encourage the conversation around reading for fun.”

Yee also found creative ways to connect with other students to practise her love of theatre during the pandemic lockdown in the spring of 2020.

“I worked with students across Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. on online play readings and productions. It was a lot of fun. I was so happy to be able to participate in Mount Allison’s Drama program’s online productions this fall,” she says.