Christmas came early for Vancouver Island University student Megan Willis.
She received a $1,000 scholarship last week from the Association of the Chemical Profession of B.C. for outstanding academic achievements and activities in service to the profession of chemistry.
“This scholarship is awarded to the top chemistry student applicant in the province,” said VIU chemistry professor Erik Krogh. “We’re thrilled for Megan.
In addition to her success in the classroom, Willis made significant contributions in the Applied Environmental Research Laboratories at the Nanaimo campus.
She presented her work at an international chemistry conference and is the lead author on an upcoming research paper.
Willis is scheduled to graduate from VIU in February with a bachelor of science degree (double minor in chemistry and math). She plans to pursue a career in environmental chemistry research.
The award adds to Willis’s long list of accolades. She is a three-time winner of the prestigious Undergraduate Summer Research Awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada which has allowed her to work continuous summers in the research lab.
Willis, a graduate of Woodlands Secondary School, said her high school teachers Don Traverse and Kip Wood inspired her love of science. She chose VIU because it was close to home.
“Initially I planned to complete two years of my undergraduate degree at VIU and then transfer to a larger institution,” she said, “But when I discovered the research opportunities at VIU, I had to stay. Working in the AERL and being mentored by Dr. Krogh and Dr. Gill has brought relevancy to what I’ve learned in the classroom.”