Kather­ine Reiss named Mount A Rhodes Scholar

Schol­ar­ship val­ued at more than $100,000

Sackville Tribune - - COVER STORY -

Kather­ine Reiss has been named Mount Al­li­son Univer­sity’s 55th Rhodes Scholar.

Reiss, of Van­cou­ver, is a fourthyear hon­ours chem­istry stu­dent with mi­nors in bio­chem­istry and com­puter sci­ence. Only 11 stu­dents from across Canada are se­lected to re­ceive the award each year.

“The news still feels a bit sur­real. I re­ceived the call from the Rhodes com­mit­tee on Satur­day fol­low­ing my in­ter­view for the schol­ar­ship,” says Reiss. “It was an in­tense process but also an en­rich­ing one. There’s a lot of self-re­flec­tion, think­ing about how much I’ve grown and changed since ar­riv­ing at Mount A and how grate­ful I am for the ex­pe­ri­ences and peo­ple that have shaped me along the way. I found it hum­bling to pause and re­flect on this.”

Val­ued at more than $100,000, the Rhodes Schol­ar­ship is one of the old­est and most pres­ti­gious in the world, cov­er­ing the cost of post­grad­u­ate stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Ox­ford in the U.K. With 55 schol­ars to date, Mount Al­li­son has one of the best records, per capita, in Canada for the es­teemed award.

“On be­half of the en­tire com- mu­nity, I am thrilled to con­grat­u­late Kather­ine on this re­mark­able achieve­ment in be­ing named Mount Al­li­son’s 55th Rhodes Scholar,” says univer­sity pres­i­dent and vice-chan­cel­lor Dr. JeanPaul Boudreau. “Her aca­demic and re­search en­deav­ours as well as her vol­un­teer work in the com­mu­nity are com­mend­able and we know she will make the most of this in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity.”

Reiss is work­ing to­wards her hon­ours de­gree in chem­istry, con­duct­ing re­search with Dr. Vicki Meli since the end of her sec­ond year. Her re­search fo­cuses on the prop­er­ties of gold nanopar­ti­cles.

Reiss plans to con­tinue her stud­ies in chem­istry at the Univer­sity of Ox­ford in one of their grad­u­ate pro­grams.

“I’d like to earn my PHD and some­day be a pro­fes­sor; I’m drawn to the idea of a ca­reer that com­bines teach­ing and re­search,” she says. “Be­ing on a univer­sity cam­pus, you feel part of an en­gaged com­mu­nity, peo­ple want to learn and en­act change. It’s ex­cit­ing to be a part of this.”

A re­cip­i­ent of Mount Al­li­son’s Bell Schol­ar­ship, one of the univer­sity’s most pres­ti­gious en­trance awards, Reiss also works as a teacher’s as­sis­tant in cal­cu­lus and helps run the univer­sity’s Math Help Cen­tre.

“I want to help build peo­ple’s con­fi­dence in math. A lot of peo­ple dis­miss their abil­ity and as­sume math is some­thing they can’t mean­ing­fully pur­sue. It’s some­thing I lacked con­fi­dence in my­self, but I was for­tu­nate to have some great men­tors in this area,” says Reiss. “I hope I can pay this for­ward.”

Out­side her aca­demic com­mit­ments, Reiss serves as pres­i­dent of the Ro­taract Club at Mount Al­li­son, a branch of the Ro­tary Club. She helped ini­ti­ate the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s af­ter-school pro­gram at Dorch­ester School, which runs once a week, and she vol­un­teers with Marshview Mid­dle School’s break­fast pro­gram.

Reiss is also past pres­i­dent of the Mount Al­li­son Fenc­ing Club and pres­i­dent of the Uni­cy­cle So­ci­ety.

Reiss came to Mount Al­li­son through a leap of faith, as she had never vis­ited the Mar­itimes be­fore com­ing to cam­pus — a sense of ad­ven­ture she will be tak­ing to the U.K. next year.

“I wanted to at­tend a small school and was in­ter­ested in re­search. A friend sug­gested Mount Al­li­son; I’m glad I took their ad­vice. The com­mu­nity of Mount Al­li­son and Sackville has been in­cred­i­bly kind and sup­port­ive; it soon be­gan to feel like home.”


Fourth-year hon­ours chem­istry stu­dent Kather­ine Reiss has been named Mount Al­li­son Univer­sity’s 55th Rhodes Scholar.

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