3M National Student Fellowship: How can you help support a student win this prestigious award


The 3M National Student Fellowship recognizes visionary undergraduate student leaders who demonstrate outstanding leadership and innovation by seeing current needs in higher education or society and implementing change. Each year the Fellowship is awarded to 10 outstanding students from across Canada. There is no restriction on how many students from any institution can apply. The deadline for applications each year is the last day of January.

Most recipients credit a professor who recognized their suitability for this award for notifying them about the award. Do you know an outstanding undergraduate student who would benefit from being a recipient of this award and join a community of young scholars implementing change in higher education? If so, consider nominating that student and supporting them in their application.

Laila AlbalkhiA recent (2022) recipient from the University of Windsor was Laila Albalkhi, Computer Science.

Laila states:

I found out about the 3M National Student Fellowship through an external scholarship website managed by the Student Success and Leadership Centre (SSLC) at the University of Windsor. I reached out to a mentor of mine through the Outstanding Scholars program, Dr. Simon Du Toit, who first helped me understand the value of the award itself. We reviewed the requirements together before starting the application and revision process. Dr. Du Toit played a key role in helping me frame my application to best highlight my experiences and accomplishments, helping me put together an application package that represented me authentically and genuinely.

Laila’s nominator, Dr. Du Toit adds:

My experience nominating Laila for the 3M NSF was gratifying. In my former role I had a unique opportunity to get to know students who distinguish themselves academically, and who are also demonstrating significant leadership on our campus. The Outstanding Scholars program is available in every major on our campus, and it serves high-achieving students. Looking back, I realize that having that opportunity to get to know Laila was critical in supporting her application. I could place her work into a wider context of other students, programs, and experiential learning opportunities. Faculty leaders who serve as undergraduate advisors also get to know students in a similarly wide context, but from the beginning of our collaboration Laila was proactive in seeking opportunity. Students need to bring initiative and vision to this as well. In that sense, I really appreciated seeing an exceptional student receive the recognition and opportunity offered in the 3M NSF program.

Please visit the 3M National Student Fellowship web page for more information about the award, including criteria and eligibility. For UWindsor information about the 3M NSF, please contact Tim Brunet at tbrunet@uwindsor.ca.

If you have any questions regarding the award, do not hesitate to reach out to me at:
Dr. Cynthia Korpan, Coordinator
3M National Student Fellowship Program
University of Victoria

Cynthia Korpan

Dr. Cynthia Korpan is an adjunct professor in Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies at the University of Victoria (former Director of Teaching Excellence). Cynthia has 20 years of experience, expertise, and research into the learning process of graduate students and early career faculty learning how to teach in the academic workplace.

In those 20 years, Cynthia developed a robust curriculum for teaching assistants (TA) that spanned their graduate career. This began with support for their first TA assignment with centrally based programming that was augmented by department-specific peer mentors. Now in its 10th year, Cynthia developed the curriculum for the two-year graduate certificate credit program for PhD students called Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LATHE), teaching the second-year two-term capstone course of the program, since its inception. Most recently, Cynthia designed and taught the curriculum for the President’s Fellowship in Research-Enriched Teaching, whereby ABD PhD students receive $10,000.00 to research-enrich a course in their discipline and subsequently teach it. For instructors, Cynthia developed a flexible multi-modal curriculum that included many programs, such as the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) program, and a three-part faculty program called Faculty Institute of Teaching that addressed all aspects of course design, teaching documentation, scholarship of teaching and learning, peer observations, and educational leadership.

Cynthia currently holds the role of coordinator for the 3M National Student Fellowship, and sits on the executive of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Canada group, both affiliated with the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE). Currently, she is the lead on an international research collective called Beyond the Obvious, investigating what was learned from the pandemic about in-person and online spaces that can be applied to meetings and conferences. Lastly, in 2016, Cynthia was honoured with the inaugural Educational Developer’s Leadership Award.

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