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Marine interest leads to free tuition

By Kelly Foss

Andrew Sullivan, a graduate of St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s, has been chosen as the first place winner of the 2010 Atlantic Canada Marine Biodiversity essay contest.

Participants must write an original essay that highlights recent Canadian marine biodiversity research and the contest is open to any student enrolled in Grade 12 at a high school in the Atlantic region. As the winner, Mr. Sullivan will receive free tuition for one year of a science degree at Memorial University, which provides the best scholarship of all the participating universities.

Mr. Sullivan graduated from St. Bonaventure’s College with a 96 average. While only four science and math credits are required for high school graduation, he completed 16 and 8 credits respectively. He is currently doing a post-graduate year at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.

As involved in extracurricular activities as he is in his studies, Mr. Sullivan has completed the Duke of Edinburgh gold medallion and is an accomplished clarinet player. He was president of the Student Union at St. Bon's and assistant captain of the St. John's Fog Devils. He was recognized with an ESSO scholarship for being the player who best combined hockey, academics and leadership. A volunteer at the McMorran Centre, he also reads to Kindergarten students and regularly helps teammates with their math and chemistry studies.

His winning essay, Cold Water Deep Sea Corals: A New Frontier of Discovery, was motivated by a poster by Alexander Konstantinov on underwater life and media reports on environmental issues.

“I traveled a lot with my hockey team last year – I actually missed 28 school days – and I did quite a lot of Internet research for the essay while on the bus,” explained Mr. Sullivan. “We played hockey in Halifax, Ottawa and Quebec City and even bussed as far away as Moncton.”

He continues to play hockey in New England during his gap year and this fall intends to attend Memorial University to begin a biochemistry degree. He is hoping to enter medical school at Memorial in the future.

The Centre for Marine Biodiversity is a largely virtual institute established in 2000 to provide a focus for the broad array of marine biodiversity research being conducted in Atlantic Canada. Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world bordering three oceans, and has long been a leader in marine biological research.