Killam Fellowship program provides international exchange

May 16th, 2016

Kelly Foss

Killam Fellowship program provides international exchange

Joshua Lehr and Alicia Morry are Memorial’s 2016 Killam Fellows.

Mr. Lehr, a third-year science student majoring in behavioural neuroscience and mathematics, has spent the winter semester at the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Morry, a fourth-year student currently working on two degrees, a bachelor of science in earth sciences and a bachelor of arts (hons.) in archaeology, has just begun a semester at the University of Washington.

The Killam Fellowships program provides an opportunity for exceptional undergraduate students from universities in Canada to spend either one semester or a full academic year as an exchange student in the United States. In addition to a health insurance allowance and the ability to apply for an in-country travel grant towards the costs of an educational field trip, students receive a cash award of USD$5,000 per semester or $10,000 for the full academic year, a three-day orientation in Ottawa, and a three-day seminar in Washington.

At Memorial Mr. Lehr has worked in the Department of Chemistry’s green chemistry lab and co-authored a published paper. As a recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada University Student Summer Internship Program grant, he has conducted human genetic research at the Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre and presented the findings of his research into ankylosing spondylitis at the Canadian Rheumatology Association Conference this past February.

While in Austin he continued studies in his major and took advantage of every opportunity to meet and learn people from all over the world. He attended a number of guest lectures, played on the club tennis team and participated in tournaments at various universities including Texas A&M and the University of Arizona.

“I was also a member of Planet Longhorn, an international student organization in which I met lifelong friends from America, Europe and Asia,” he said. “The major highlights of my exchange besides the obvious lifelong friendships was the 11-day mid-term cultural exchange trip to Dallas, Los Angles, San Francisco, and Seattle, and attending the NCAA basketball Final Four in Houston. One thing that sticks with me most is that the Texans are just like Newfoundlanders: very proud of their roots.”

Mr. Lehr has received a number of academic and athletic awards including the Memorial Alumni Entrance Scholarship. He was captain of his high school hockey team, ranked as high as No. 12 in Canada during his junior tennis career, and is the current provincial open tennis champion. He also volunteers with the Special Olympics, St. John Ambulance, teaches tennis and enjoys playing music and attending concerts. He is planning on a career in medicine or medical research, focusing on the brain.

Ms. Morry is the president of the Memorial Archaeology Society and has spent two field seasons working at the historic site of Ferryland. During the school year she works as an archaeological research assistant and as a writing tutor at the Writing Centre. She participated in Memorial’s English Cultural Landscape Program last year in Harlow, England, and in a ceramics restoration field school in Italy in 2014.

“While in Seattle, I will be participating in a museum curation practicum course at the Burke Museum, the Washington State Museum of Natural History and Culture,” she said. “It will involve training in museum curation, conservation and cataloging as well as working independently on projects and assignments.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for me as I am very interested in public science communication and museum studies. I also plan on taking a mix of archaeology, geology and geography courses.”

Ms. Morry graduated from Prince of Wales Collegiate as class valedictorian with honours and a French immersion diploma. In university she has consistently made the Dean’s List and received many generous scholarships. She recently presented a research poster as a member of the Canadian Archaeological Association and is also a member of the Geological Association of Canada. She hopes to pursue studies at the graduate level with a focus on geoarchaeology.

This year, Memorial University also played host to two American Killam Fellows, Bailey Anderson of the University of Texas, Austin, and Ivan Carlson from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh. Clare Churchill-Seder, a graduate student in anthropology and studio art from Brandeis University, was awarded a Fulbright Canada student grant to study and conduct research on Innu art at Memorial.