A Sir Wilfred Grenfell College student has been shortlisted for the Rhodes Scholarship.
Dan Monafu, a fourth-year historical studies student at the Corner Brook campus of Memorial University, said he is honoured to have been considered by the review committee. While he did not actually win the scholarship, Mr. Monafu said this is a great step ahead with respect to recognition for the institution.
“It’s a testament to the high academic standards exhibited at Grenfell College,” he said. “Hopefully other students will take this as an indicator of what is possible with determination and hard work.”
The Rhodes Scholarship, offered in countries around the globe, is considered the most prestigious award of its kind. Eleven are awarded in Canada each year; Newfoundland and Labrador awards one. Rhodes Scholarships provide two or three years of study at Oxford. They were created in 1902 by the Will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and colonial pioneer. Applicants are chosen on the basis of the criteria set down in the Will of Cecil Rhodes. These criteria are high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor. These basic characteristics are directed at fulfilling Rhodes' hopes that the Rhodes Scholars would make an effective and positive contribution throughout the world.
Mr. Monafu is no stranger to success in student life and academics. Last year he was awarded a second-level Excellence Award from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, a value of $4,000 annually for two years. He is also the current holder of the Sullivan Cup, which is awarded annually to a student who is strong academically and is involved in student life and student government. In addition, Mr. Monafu has received several academic prizes and awards such as the Joanne Swan Greenlee Prize in Historical Studies and the Historical Studies Merit Award.
Over the course of his time at Grenfell, Mr. Monafu has worked and volunteered on and off campus with Off-Campus Housing initiatives, the Ferriss Hodgett Library and as a tour guide – all while studying full-time and being involved in the Grenfell College Student Union. He was a councilor-at-large with the Grenfell College Student Union in 2006-07 and VP Academic for 2007-08. At the same time, he was president of the Grenfell College Historical Society and still found time to play intramural soccer. Mr. Monafu also received the Principal’s Student Governance Award this year.
Mr. Monafu founded the Grenfell College Criterion Collection Club, which provides students with an opportunity to view influential works of cinema by world-renowned directors. He also founded the Grenfell Christian Fellowship. The group has become a place that welcomes all denominations and religions, and has fostered diversity as well as unity.
In the larger arena of Corner Brook, Mr. Monafu has volunteered for Operation Christmas Child, the Corner Brook Food Drive and was involved as an actor for a Theatre Newfoundland Labrador Youth Theatre Fundraiser. His involvement with the international artisans and crafts initiative Ten Thousand Villages meant he was able to bolster the group’s volunteer force during its annual sale in Corner Brook.
“We’re extremely pleased that Dan was recognized as a candidate by the Rhodes Scholarship Trust,” said Dr. Holly Pike, acting principal of Grenfell College. “This clearly demonstrates that Grenfell College prepares students who are capable, competitive and academically proficient.”
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