UWinnipeg’s “Intrepid” Scholars  

UWinnipeg students Alyssa Kidd and Jonathan Kornelsen have earned the prestigious Sir William Stephenson Scholarships (also known as the Intrepid) valued at $6,500 per scholar. Although these exceptional students share an interest in biology, academic success, travel and improving the lives of others, they are on very separate career paths.

Alyssa Kidd, © UWinnipeg

Alyssa Kidd, © UWinnipeg

Kidd is a former Wesmen volleyball player and is currently in the last year of her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at UWinnipeg. Inspired by her professor, Dr. Danielle Defries (Kinesiology and Applied Health), Kidd has a particular interest in research in fetal programing pertaining to obesity and diabetes in children. As a summer student, she worked in a lab devoted to diabetes research at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and is currently continuing that work in the lab with Dr. Defries as a directed course.

“I began my time at The University of Winnipeg in the role of a student-athlete,” said Kidd. “It was during this experience that I not only learned while in the classroom, of the mechanistic and physiological benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but was also able to personally experience it while on the court.”

As a youth volleyball coach, Kidd uses her personal experience to inspire young women to maintain healthy lifestyles including physical activity. Earlier this month, she returned from Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, where she represented UWinnipeg as an exchange student, studying in their school of Health and Life Sciences. While in Scotland, she had the opportunity to travel and discover several countries in Europe.

Kidd plans to pursue a Master of Science in the field of physiology, specifically as it relates to fetal programming, the phenomenon whereby the in-utero environment influences the health outcomes of children, and can predispose them to developing such things as obesity and diabetes later in life. She then plans to attend medical school with the intent of specializing in pediatrics.

Jonathan Kornelsen, © UWinnipeg

Jonathan Kornelsen, © UWinnipeg

Kornelsen has explored much of Canada and has worked in Manitoba’s North. He is a returning UWinnipeg student with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, and is currently working on a second degree in education. Kornelsen recently coached theatrical improv to a group of high school students at Vincent Massey, his alma mater, over a three-year period. His coaching earned the team first place in the national competitive Canadian Improv Games in Ottawa.

“I believe that the best way to have an impact on one’s community is to start with what you know,” shared Kornelsen. “For me, I have had a long interest in theatre, environmental sciences and youth education.”

Committed to sharing what he knows, Kornelsen applied and received funding from the Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference for workshops he designed and delivered many times to youth on plant identification at Birds Hill Park. He finds pleasure in sharing new ideas and concepts with his students and enjoys watching them transform and grow as individuals in the process.

Sir William Stephenson (1896-1989) was born in the Winnipeg Point Douglas area and exemplified the highest qualities of dedication and patriotism. In World War I, as a private in the Royal Canadian Engineers, Sir William suffered the effects of poison gas in the trenches of France. After recovering, he volunteered for service in the Royal Flying Corps and returned to France where he shot down 26 enemy planes. He was decorated several times for bravery and during this period he accomplished his paramount sporting achievement, winning the Interservice Lightweight World Boxing Championship. After the war, Sir William studied at Oxford.

During the early 1920s, Sir William returned to England and pursued a brilliant career in technology-based industries, particularly those associated with communications and aircraft. He invented and patented the first device for transmitting photographs by wireless, and played an instrumental role in the founding of the BBC and the early stages of television development. He won the King’s Cup Air Race and encouraged and financed the development of the Spitfire aircraft and later the jet engine.

In World War II, Sir Winston Churchill appointed Sir William Stephenson as Director of British Security Coordination in the Western Hemisphere and his personal representative to President Roosevelt. Operating under the code name “Intrepid,” Sir William strove for anonymity from this time onward. He was knighted for his services to the Commonwealth in 1945.

In 1979, Sir William received an honorary degree from The University of Winnipeg. In 1984, he made a significant gift to The University of Winnipeg for the purpose of establishing the Sir William Stephenson Scholarships. Sir William passed away in Bermuda in 1989.

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7130, E: n.ibrahim@uwinnipeg.ca

1 Comment

  • Larry McKay said...

    Way to go Alyssa!