Sept. 17, 2021

Introducing UCalgary’s 2021 Schulich Leaders

Six students receive prestigious STEM scholarship
From left: Malana Loxam, Gabriel Rodriguez, Finn Vamosi, Lujaina Eldelebshany, Aarsh Shah, Michael Tan
From left: Malana Loxam, Gabriel Rodriguez, Finn Vamosi, Lujaina Eldelebshany, Aarsh Shah, and Michael Tan.

The University of Calgary is pleased to introduce the Schulich Leaders joining our community this fall. Three outstanding students are enrolled in the Faculty of Science and three are enrolled in the Schulich School of Engineering.

Created in 2012 by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, the Schulich Leader Scholarship encourages promising high school graduates to embrace STEM in their future careers. Fifty students in 20 partner universities across Canada receive the scholarship every year. These undergraduate scholarships of $100,000 or $80,000 each encourage high-achieving students to pursue a future in STEM.

Faculty of Science leaders

Malana Loxam, Grande Prairie, Alta., Grande Prairie Composite High School

Loxam earned the Lord Strathcona Medal through the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program for exemplary physical and military training performance. She was awarded a STEM Internship through the Alberta Innovates Heritage Youth Summer Researcher Program in Grade 11, which introduced her to potential research careers and fueled her passion for STEM. She collaborated with professionals and like-minded individuals to learn about research, inclusivity, professionalism, and creative problem-solving.

As a volunteer summer camp counsellor at Camp St. Martin, she focused on helping everyone in her group learn something new and leave with a smile on their face. She found that getting to know individuals through conversations and games can create a stronger team dynamic and morale.

In the future, Loxam sees herself working to solve pressing world problems such as access to clean water. She also aspires to continually encourage inclusivity as a woman in science.

Gabriel Rodriguez, Humboldt, Sask., Humboldt Collegiate Institute

Rodriguez’s development as a leader has coincided with great technical accomplishments throughout his high school years. In his country of origin, he was elected as representative chair, a position of leadership within his school. From that experience, he honed leadership skills, built social connections, engaged in public speaking, and learned to work with others and look for common ground.

In the summer after Grade 11, he was hired by an independent game development studio, Polychroma Games, as the environment and background artist. There, he acquired numerous skills related to game development. Rodriguez also won a St. Peter’s College Accelerated Scholarship where he was able to finish a university course during Grade 12.

Rodriguez aspires to develop and market new technologies to make change and improve the standard of living for all.

Finn Vamosi, Calgary, Alta., William Aberhart High School

Vamosi created a virtual reality game over two summers at UCalgary’s Bioinformatics Lab. He spent his first year learning Unreal Engine 4, and then his second year creating a polished educational experience that gamified immunology. He also participated in his high school’s robotics team and led it in Grade 12. The team won the Collins Aerospace Innovate Award for their unique take on object manipulation.

Vamosi is also a two-time recipient of the Computer Science Award at his high school, exemplifying his passion for computer science and its potential for good.

Vamosi is most excited about making connections in university and exploring the potential of machine learning to help solve the world’s problems.

Schulich School of Engineering leaders

Lujaina Eldelebshany, Calgary, Alta., Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School

For Eldelebshany, curiosity is the basis of innovation. It’s an outlook that’s led her to many notable achievements in her young career and one she hopes to impart on others.

Eldelebshany’s accomplishments include leading a small team of editors and illustrators to write and publish a children’s book on COVID-19. Why do We Wear Masks encourages curiosity and learning in children by responding to an important topic in an approachable and gentle manner. Fascinated by neuroscience and its similarity to computer algorithm design, Eldelebshany also coded a sensor to predict seizures. The system works by detecting the rate of electric signals sent out by the brain and can then alert health professionals. Eldelebshany was also recognized regionally for her impact on her school badminton team as a leader through her dedication and hard work.

In the future, Eldelebshany sees herself working to redefine the role computers play in society by designing computer systems that translate abstract neurobiological processes such as emotions into information that computers understand.

Aarsh Shah, Regina, Sask., Campbell Collegiate

In high school, Shah donated his time and business savvy in support of the YWCA’s Coldest Night of the Year (he helped raised $25,000), Habitat for Humanity and the 100 Acts of Kindness program. Additionally, he produced a podcast series aimed at youth to inspire the pursuit of STEM subjects and out-of-the-box thinking.

Throughout his high school years, and while giving so much to the community, he was very proud of earning the highest average in his high school at 98 per cent. Shah was the recipient of the Saskatchewan Junior Citizen of the Year Award in 2020.

In the future, Shah is driven to answer the question, does life exist outside of Earth. He wants to drive innovation in space exploration through AI, robotics and engineering, fields he is passionate about. 

Michael Tan, Winnipeg, Man., St. Paul's High School

Through diligence and tenacity, Tan worked hard to achieve academic excellence. He earned the President’s Gold Medal with the highest academic average in Grades 11 and 12 and Silver Medal in Grades 9 and 10. Further, he was awarded the Governor General’s Award for academic excellence in Grade 12. Believing strongly in exploring interests outside of academics, Michael won the level seven piano gold medal by the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2019.

He volunteered in an English as an additional language (EAL) program which assisted new immigrants in achieving a higher level of English proficiency, and thereby secure employment, enter post-secondary education, and start new businesses. Additionally, he volunteered at senior care homes throughout his high school years. 

Tan has keen interests in artificial intelligence, robotics, and the development of drone technology. In the future, he aspires to work in the field of drone development that will enable heavy payloads to currently inaccessible places.