Raymond Tu Named 2021 Inaugural McCall MacBain Scholar
At the end of a rigorous six-month scholarship application process, including two rounds of interviews, UNC Chapel Hill student Raymond Tu (BSc’21) joined a life-changing Zoom call.
On the call, Raymond learned that he was among 20 Canadians chosen as inaugural McCall MacBain Scholars, recipients of the country’s first comprehensive leadership-based scholarship for master’s and professional studies.
The scholarship enables students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University while connecting with mentors and participating in an intensive leadership development program.
More than 735 people applied for the McCall MacBain Scholarships, 132 participated in regional interviews with local leaders in November, and 50 were invited to final interviews in March. Scholars were chosen based on their character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity.
Raymond spent a formative summer working with clinicians on HIV treatment and counselling in his parents’ former home country of Vietnam. Driven to pursue health equity, he worked on hurricane relief initiatives and conducted research on environmental health and infection prevention in low-resource settings around the world. Raymond has been involved with the UNC Center for Social Justice (Campus Y) for three years, most recently as co-president, and also contributes to a neighbourhood’s oral history project.
Raymond says he was motivated to volunteer because of his own lived experiences. “I recognized the importance of filling in the gaps in social services and community resources, especially for marginalized folks and people from underrepresented communities.”
Originally from Guelph, Raymond is studying public health at UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. During the year, he volunteers part-time as a teaching assistant in the chemistry department.
Raymond plans to pursue a Master of Science in Pharmacology at McGill, with a focus on environmental health. “During my master’s program, I hope to get a solid grasp on the systems and institutions involved in the nexus between the environment and our health, and how they can be improved to serve all Canadians.”
“The global challenges we face as a society need the energy and entrepreneurial spirit of these scholars,” said John McCall MacBain, who, together with his wife Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain, created these scholarships through a historic $200 million gift. “Through this scholarship program, they’ll have opportunities to deepen their knowledge, develop their leadership skills, and create meaningful connections that will enable them to bring about positive change. We want to congratulate these students and recognize the hundreds of candidates across Canada who were considered for this scholarship.”
In addition to selecting 20 McCall MacBain Scholars, the McCall MacBain Scholarships program and McGill University offered 55 entrance awards of $5,000 or $10,000 each to promising candidates.
Outreach is already underway for the second class of McCall MacBain Scholars, with the application period opening in June. Canadian students and alumni can visit mccallmacbainscholars.org to learn about applying for Fall 2022 admission.
The McCall MacBain Scholarships program will expand internationally over the next decade, with nearly 300 scholars selected by 2030. Next year, the program will begin to offer 10 more scholarships annually for American and international applicants.