University of Calgary graduates Tracy Derynck and Sarah van Mastrigt are two recipients of the 2003 J. Armand Bombardier Internationalist Fellowships. Valued at $10,000 each, these scholarships are awarded to Canadians to fund study and research abroad.
The J. Armand Bombardier Foundation reported 712 appli- cants for this year's competition, and 25 were awarded scholarships.
"I didn't realize when I applied for it that the competition would be that stiff," said van Mastrigt, who completed a BA in Psychology last year. "I was really surprised when I was awarded, and of course very honoured."
van Mastrigt will pursue a master's degree in Criminological Research at the University of Cambridge this October.
"The program runs through the Faculty of Law, but it's very multidisciplinary," explained van Mastrigt. "I'm hoping it will give me a good foundation over the whole of criminology before I go on to focus on a specific area in my doctoral work. I'm hoping to specialize in investigation and violent sexual crime."
Derynck, who finished her BA in Religious Studies and Applied Ethics at the U of C in 2001, will enter a master's program in Religion, Culture and Society at the University of Lancaster.
"The University of Lancaster is internationally renowned for its Religious Studies program," said Derynck, who hopes that completing a master's degree there will help her network amongst the academics in her field. "I'll be doing a degree that's inter- disciplinary, containing the hum- anities and social science aspects, as well as some of the other related areas that I have wanted to do more research in, but haven't been able to."
A main objective behind awarding these fellowships is the hope recipients will be able to enhance their "international competence," and further the participation of Canada's intellectual class on the global scene. Successful applicants alluded to academic work that would benefit the international community.
"When applying, I stated my research interests with apocalypticism in the media and popular culture," said Derynck. "Especially since September 11 there is more opportunity for analysis of this, and to bring a different perspective to some of the current political issues".
The J. Armand Bombardier Foundation made the commitment to fund the Internationalist Fellowships program throughout 2002 to 2006. The fellowship program is managed by the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
"This kind of scholarship is so important," stated van Mastrigt. "It opens doors and allows stud- ents to not only further their studies internationally, but to make the contributions to society that they might not have been able to make otherwise."