Vincent and Sabina Tassone, with students Rebecca Hazan (seated right) and Tina Hsieh (seated left), who have both benefited from the Tassones’ leadership.

Feeding the need to achieve

They’re smart, exude confidence and competence, and are destined for great things – but many students at McGill’s Faculty of Education need a financial helping hand to reach their career objectives and better serve our communities. Fortunately, thanks to the generosity of donors to Campaign McGill, the Faculty has established a number of awards to ensure that more students have the funding to achieve their full potential.

One such prize is the Jackie Kirk Fellowship in Education, which supports graduate students whose research focuses on post-conflict education in developing countries, women teachers or girlhood studies. Established through a $100,000 gift from Andrew Kirk, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, the award honours his late wife, Jackie, PhD’04, a former McGill professor and dedicated advocate for women’s rights who was killed in a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan.

Through the fellowship, Dean Kirk has kept her spirit alive and ensured that future generations of students will have the means to continue her important work. “Quite a few projects have been undertaken, such as one in Mozambique, for instance, that have involved students working with women teachers on the ground to make things happen,” he says. “Hopefully, students will get the opportunity to learn about and be inspired by the work she did.”

Graduate students are also benefiting from the Miriam Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Developmental Psychology, created by the Miriam Foundation to advance research that will enrich the lives of children and adults living with intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Undergraduate students, too, have benefited from increased philanthropic support. The Adriano Tassone Internship Award helps students in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education to gain practical experience by spending the summer pursuing research in their chosen field.

The award was established by Vincent and Sabina Tassone in memory of their son Adriano, a management student and McGill Redmen football player, who passed away in a tragic car accident.

“We’re very happy with our decision,” says Sabina Tassone. “Adriano loved McGill, and we felt he’d want to have a lasting impact on young researchers in this important and underserved area.”