A Rossland Secondary School graduate has earned Canada’s most prestigious scholarship – $150,000 towards continuing her doctorate at Western University in London, Ont.
Katie Kryski is one of the 167 recipients of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, a government-funded award for doctoral research.
The 2003 RSS grad received a personal congratulation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper last Wednesday.
“This scholarship will be paramount in aiding my development as a researcher and clinician,” said the 26-year-old in an email interview.
“Not only does it offer financial security to its recipients, it provides a much-needed feeling that your hard work is recognized as a genuine contribution to society.
“Most of all, it provides a strong impetus to continue to strive for excellence at times when the road ahead can be daunting.”
Kryski began her undergraduate degree in a kinesiology program at the University of Calgary but after taking an “abnormal” psychology class in her third year of studies, her path was reset toward clinical psychology.
“My research now explores how biological and contextual factors influence the development of early emerging vulnerability to mood disorders, with a focus on the how psycho physiological reactivity to stress influences this process,” she said.
“I am passionate about both my research and clinical training and I hope to continue to contribute in both streams as my career unfolds.”
Kryski recommends that students, who are beginning their academic career, keep an open mind and take a breadth of courses in the early years to discover and later target an area they are passionate about.
She still holds much of her success to the foundation set in high school.
“RSS was a place where you knew everyone’s name and they knew yours, teachers and students alike,” she said. “I felt supported by teachers, who took a genuine interest in my success and demonstrated a desire to see me contribute my own knowledge and skills to society.”
Her parents, Brad and Cyndi Kryski of Rossland, not only feel the financial relief for their daughter but also know that the recognition must feel good for someone with a long road in post secondary.
“I have a new respect for anyone with Dr. in front of their name because the world does not give this easily,” said Brad via email Friday.
“Our reaction (besides financial relief for her and us) was, of course, pride but huge happiness for her because we know how hard she has been working for a long time (eight years of post secondary at this point) and she is passionate about her work.”
The federal government announced the Vanier program in 2008 to strengthen the country’s ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students, and to brand Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning.
Vanier scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health fields.