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Students lounging on "the beach" in front of Redpath Museum. Valeria Lau | McGill University (April 2018)

Two University of Manitoba students in the running for global McCall MacBain Scholarships

February 7, 2024 — 

Two University of Manitoba students are finalists for the McCall MacBain Scholarships, Canada’s largest leadership-based scholarships for master’s and professional studies.

The scholarships are the result of a landmark $200 million gift in 2019 by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, then the largest single donation in Canadian history.

Designed to encourage purposeful leadership, the scholarships enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program.

Katherine Bazin and Matthew Band are among 91 finalists from around the world. More than 700 Canadians applied for the scholarships, and of those, 159 participated in a first round of regional interviews in November and December.

They will travel to Montreal to attend final interviews in March, with travel expenses covered by the scholarship program. “I am excited to see the beautiful architecture and landscapes of Montreal,” said Matthew. “On top of this as an NHL fan, if the timing works out, seeing a Canadians game and chanting ‘Ole, Ole, Ole!’ at the Bell Centre would be incredible.”

Each finalist was chosen based on their character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity.

Image of Matthew Band, a white male, smiling with long dark hair.Matthew Band, from Winnipeg, is a computer engineering student. He co-created a council of first-year students as part of the engineering society, and has continued to contribute to the society in various executive roles. Matthew also started a chess club, volunteered at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and played on several intramural sports teams. He works for a baking business and is looking at ways to classify sleep apnea patients through sound transfer. Matthew is applying to master’s programs related to electrical and biomedical engineering.

“I was already thrilled to have made it to regional interviews, but then getting the call to come to finals raised my emotions to where I had no words,” said Matthew. “It’s an honour to get another opportunity to share my personal journey with the next set of interviewers, and possibly make it to the scholarship cohort.”

Katherine Bazin, a female, with long dark hair standing in front of a lakeKatherine Bazin, also from Winnipeg, is completing her bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She co-leads communications for the Electrochemical Society student chapter, organizes educational and volunteering opportunities for her sorority, and sings alto in a community choir. Katherine also worked as a recreation support worker at a rehabilitation centre supporting teens with disabilities. In addition, she is a workshop instructor for a science outreach program. She spent a summer assisting with research on electrochemical detection of chemoresistance in cancer. For her master’s degree, Katherine hopes to pursue electrochemistry for environmental and women’s health applications.

“My university experience has allowed me to explore my abilities academically, discover what drives me, and rise as a leader on campus,” said Katherine. “The mentors and communities I have connected with have transformed my experience, constantly inspiring me with their support and wisdom.”

For fellow students, Katherine added, “The application process calls on you to share who you are, where you’ve been, where you’re headed, and why. It’s less daunting when you shift your focus away from the pressure of the outcome, and instead be present throughout the process. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on yourself, personally and academically, and see how far you’ve come.”

“Integrity, kindness, curiosity, and courage are the characteristics we want to see in the next generation of leaders,” said Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain, Chair of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “By connecting emerging talent to an outstanding graduate education and a community of peers and mentors, we hope to encourage positive leadership for Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the world.”

“More than 300 senior volunteer leaders were involved in selecting this year’s finalists,” said Natasha Sawh, Chief Executive Officer of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “Our team is very much looking forward to welcoming the finalists – who have already distinguished themselves as the top candidates globally – to Montreal in March. We extend our warmest thanks to the universities that nominated them for this opportunity.”

A cohort of up to 30 McCall MacBain Scholars will be selected after final interviews. Canadian finalists who are not selected for the cohort will be eligible to receive a $10,000 Finalist Award.

Applications will open in June 2024 for the 2025 cohort. In addition to the 30 fully funded McCall MacBain Scholarships each year, up to 100 additional awards, valued at $5,000 to $20,000, are offered to candidates. More information about the McCall MacBain Scholarships can be found at

A one-hour information session including a short presentation, followed by time for Q&A for UM students will take place in-person on Thursday, Febraury 15 from 12 – 1 p.m. The 2024 finalists, Matthew Band and Katherine Bazin, along with the 2022 McCall MacBain Scholar Bryden Bukich will attend the session to share their experiences.
Learn more about the information session and register in advance.

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