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Not many students finish at McGill with a 3.98 GPA, but fewer still are like Dominique Henri. The 23-year-old from Outremont not only rocked her report card, but racked up a number of other accomplishments. She found time to be a student journalist, a playwright, a flamenco dancer and an advocate for the environment. Pretty remarkable.
The Rhodes Scholarship committee thought so too, and decided to give Henri one of the coveted awards that will allow her to pursue graduate studies in Oxford.
Henri has a simple piece of advice for first- and second-year students.
"I'd say that the time when you're a student is a time you can try a lot of things. At McGill you're surrounded by an environment that can bring you so much [and] paths take you to where you don't expect."
During her time at McGill, Henri has obtained a BA in French literature with a minor in social anthropology, and she is presently finishing a masters in the Department of French Language and Literature. At Oxford, she plans to continue her postgraduate studies within the School of Geography and Environment.
Henri's academic versatility has been mirrored outside the classroom where she has worked as a journalist in the Iles-de-Madeline and on campus where she penned esssays for Le Délit. She took part in McGill's vibrant francophone scene as a writer, director and actress with Le Théâtre de la Grenouille.
Henri isn't the first McGill francophone to ride to Oxford on a Rhodes. Others include distinguished lawyer and diplomat Yves Fortier and war hero and political figure Talbot Mercer Papineau.
An avid traveler, Henri has worked on a democracy project in Mali, and has facilitated cultural and linguistic exchanges in Guatemala and Cuba. But it was while traveling closer to home that she discovered one of her life's priorities.
During a 2,500 km trip in a birch bark canoe from Quebec to Winnipeg, Henri came to value the natural world. The voyage was for a documentary on the fur trade and, living every day with the country's river system, Henri developed a profound sense of humans' dependence on the environment. At Oxford, she plans to draw on her skills as a scholar, writer and naturalist to become a powerful advocate for the earth.
McGill's 126th Rhodes Scholar will wrap up her masters in the summer, and take the trip to Oxford in the fall.