STEM Dreams

Miasya Bulger and Raphael Hotter earned Canada’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Math scholarships, worth up to $100,000, to study at McGill. The Schulich Leaders program supports the next generation of global pioneers.

Both Miasya Bulger and Raphael Hotter remember the exact moment they found out they were going to McGill as Schulich Leader Scholars.

“I just froze,” says Miasya Bulger, who received news of her $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship between classes at Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Ottawa. “I stood right in the middle of the hallway and stared at my phone as other students passed me. McGill has been my dream school ever since I visited the campus a couple of years ago and suddenly the next step of my life became tangible and concrete.”

Meanwhile, 200 km away in Montreal, Raphael Hotter had a ‘Schulich Moment’ of his own.

“I had just finished my gym class when I got the email,” says Hotter, a graduate of Marianopolis College who received an $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship. “I ran out of the class to call my parents and I was in total disbelief. The next morning, I was convinced that I had dreamt the whole thing.

Bulger and Hotter are two of only 50 students across Canada to receive the country’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Math scholarships this year.

Business leader, philanthropist and McGill graduate Seymour Schulich, BA’61, MBA’65, DLitt’04, set up the $100 million program in 2012 to encourage Canada’s best and brightest students to become the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation.

Bulger entered the Department of Bioengineering in McGill’s Faculty of Engineering in Fall 2018, while Hotter entered the Physical, Earth, Math & Computer Science group in McGill’s Faculty of Science. Bulger and Hotter earned the award for both their academic excellence and their impressive extra-curricular achievements.

The co-founder of a computer science club and hackathon, Hotter created an award-winning science fair project that proposed a new drug to treat the Ebola virus (which he worked on with the guidance of McGill researchers). Most recently, he discovered a new way of imaging the vascular architecture of the brain, a project that earned second place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Before coming to McGill, Bulger mentored STEM students, worked with youth through the Royal Canadian Army Cadet program and implemented programs for youth at the Ottawa Public Library. The community leader also focused on initiatives to alleviate child poverty in Ottawa by organizing awareness workshops for students and fundraising drives for food banks and local charities.

For both students, a Schulich Leader Scholarship unlocks even greater potential and more leadership opportunities.

“Winning a Schulich Leader Scholarship provides me with the resources to pursue my dream program of study,” says Bulger. “For me, this scholarship also represents the next step when it comes to changing the conversation regarding women in STEM fields. I hope to become a role model for young girls who often look to mentors when envisioning themselves in a future career.”

“Winning this scholarship is huge,” agrees Hotter. “It provides me with the financial flexibility to focus on my education and on extracurricular activities. Maybe one day, I’ll do something at the intersection of neuroscience, mathematics and computer science.”