William Boissonneault Wins Schulich Leader Scholarship
SLC Student William Boissonneault has been selected to receive a $120,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship to study Engineering Physics at Université Laval. Boissonneault was nominated by a committee at the college for his outstanding achievements in engineering and long-track speedskating, and received support from his research supervisor Dr. Tigran Galstian and from the Fédération de Patinage de Vitesse du Québec. William is the fifth St. Lawrence student to win a Schulich Leader Scholarship.
This year, the value of the scholarship has increased to address the increased cost of living across Canada. A total of 100 scholarships are being awarded - 50 engineering scholarships valued at $120,000 each and 50 science, technology or math scholarships valued at $100,000 each.
“We are proud to celebrate the continued success of Schulich Leader Scholarships, the premiere STEM scholarship program in Canada. This group of outstanding students will represent the best and brightest Canada has to offer and will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded, technology innovators,” says program founder Mr. Schulich.
Boissonneault has been working on research at the Centre d’optique, photonique et laser COPL since summer of 2022, starting there as part of a Mitacs internship. He says “With my goal of developing medical imaging devices, this scholarship will help me focus on developing my research and development skills, working in optical engineering research under Dr. Tigran Galstian's supervision. It will also allow me to explore the vast engineering physics fields in greater depth.”
Dr. Galstian has seen Boissonneault’s excellence first-hand. “William is a rare example of a young person who is passionate about sciences… Actually, I have the impression that he is passionate about everything he is doing. Add to this a good academic background, curiosity, perseverance, and the desire to solve problems … and you have the winning combination!”
When asked about how it felt to receive notice of the scholarship, Boissonneault says “It felt unreal for the first 48 hours, until I realized the full impact of the opportunities that will come from joining this national network of Schulich Leaders. It is an amazing feeling to see the recognition of my potential based on my accomplishments to this date.”
Boissonneault is excited about what’s to come next year. “I am eager to test out the neurological optical probe I am developing under Dr. Tigran Galstian's supervision,” he says. “I am also excited to start my undergraduate studies in order to explore the different fields of engineering physics in the different laboratories of ULaval. This scholarship will allow me to fully dedicate myself to my studies and research, without worrying about unstable income, while also pursuing my sport.”
Dr. Gwendoline Simon, physics teacher at Cegep St. Lawrence, says that Boissonneault’s academic success, research, speed skating and community involvement are “more than enough to make him an exceptional individual”. However, she says, “having the privilege to be his teacher for the past two years, I can say that the most remarkable thing about William is his kindness and his respect and consideration of other people. He is not a future leader because he already is one.”
Dr. Galstian seconds this. “William is a hardworking and nice person; I think that he has a lot to give to his community and country if we support him now."
Boissonneault has been able to develop his skills throughout his time at the college. "At St. Lawrence, I always felt supported in my learning endeavours," he says. "The teachers were always happy to help me push my understanding further than what was actually in the class material and answer my picky questions. I am also grateful for the opportunity St.Lawrence gave me with the MITACS internship program, where they paired me with my current research supervisor, Dr. Tigran Galstian."
We agree with Dr. Simon, who says, "Congratulations for your fully deserved Schulich scholarship. You have made the whole St. Lawrence community very proud."
You can visit William Boissonneault's profile here: https://schulichleaders.com/scholars/william-boissonneault/.
For more information on Schulich Leader Scholarships, visit schulichleaders.com.