By Bonnie Leung
University of Calgary Medicine student An-Wen Chan recently won one of three Rhodes Scholarships offered in the prairies. The winners receive a two to three year scholarship to study at the University of Oxford in England.
Chan credits his winning to family, friends and mentors.
"It’s an incredible feeling of just about any positive emotion you can imagine, although it took a while to sink in," he said.
The award includes tuition and room and board at Oxford.
"Funding comes from a trust fund setup by Cecil Rhodes," said Chan.
According to Rhodes’ will, the criteria for the scholarship is academic ability, integrity of character, interest and respect for fellow beings, and leadership ability. Also, the student must be a Canadian citizen between the ages of 19 and 25, and have completed an undergraduate degree.
Medical Education Associate Dean Allan Jones feels that Chan’s accomplishments will enhance the reputation of the U of C.
"Not only has he excelled academically and in his research projects, but he has been a leader within the Calgary Medical Association," he said. "He is co-founder of the Disabilities Interest Group and the medical student Peer Tutoring Program."
Applicants vying for this award included Albertan students studying at universities around the world.
"Each round of interviews lasted two days with an informal wine and cheese gathering on the first day and a formal interview with the eight committee members on the following day," said Chan. "Canada can offer a maximum of 11 Rhodes Scholarships each year, with a total of
90 Rhodes Scholars chosen annually from around the world."
Chan has many plans for the future.
"I’m completing a graduate degree in clinical epidemiology at Oxford, and then applying to residency when I return in two years," he said. "In terms of my long-term goals, I would like to not only practice medicine as a clinician, but also contribute as an educator and researcher. Outside of academics, Oxford has so much history, tradition, and variety in student life. This will definitely be a fascinating experience."
Students wishing to apply for the scholarship can contact the Student Awards Financial Aid Office at the U of C.
"The U of C Awards Office pre-screens applicants and forwards a select group to the provincial Rhodes committee," said Chan. "The application includes an essay and six letters of reference."