Faustina Hwang, a master's student in electrical engineering, has been awarded a full scholarship to undertake doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The award, funded by the Canadian Cambridge Trust, is designed “to enable some of Canada's most promising students to pursue graduate studies at Cambridge University,” one of the world's great centres of learning. Ms. Hwang, who completed her undergraduate program in electrical engineering at Memorial with a 93 per cent average, is conducted her research at C-CORE, an applied research and development corporation affiliated with Memorial.
Winner of the Memorial University Medal for Academic Excellence, as well as national awards such as PRECARN's Gordon MacNabb Scholarship and an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship, Ms. Hwang will be one of the first graduates of the faculty's fast track program. Under which exceptional students are registered simultaneously for an undergraduate and graduate degree.
Andy Fisher, Dr. Theo Norvell, Dr. Siu O'Young, and Dr. Ray Gosine (who also obtained his doctorate from Cambridge in 1989) supervised Ms. Hwang's thesis research in intelligent systems.
“Working with specific applications in mind, and in a team environment like C-CORE, helps to keep things in focus,” Ms. Hwang explained. She is enthusiastic about the move to Cambridge.
“I'm excited and looking forward to the challenge. In addition to the strong academics and the reputation of the university, this will give me the chance to see another part of the world. I think Cambridge offers a richness in terms of the cultural side to education that is probably unique.”
Dr. Gosine elaborated: “The college system creates an interdisciplinary academic environment, giving students exposure to a whole range of very bright people. The students challenge one another, in a very healthy way.”
Ms. Hwang described the selection process for the scholarship, explaining that two separate panels on academic and extracurricular issues questioned the candidates.
“I was asked how important teaching is to me, and I said it was very important. I've had a chance to do a little bit of teaching as part of the graduate program in teaching under Dr. John Quaicoe.”
Pressed to offer advice, Ms. Hwang was reluctant.
“I don't see myself as having done anything spectacular, but I feel I've been very fortunate and I'd encourage others to take advantage of opportunities like this one. Until you're challenged, you don't know whether you can succeed.”
Dr. Gosine was less hesitant.
“I'm very proud that she's going there. She's an incredible student, and she'll get a lot from there and give a lot as well.”