Two York students win Royal Bank of Canada scholarships

York students Jason Brown and Meghan Scott are two of the latest winners of the RBC Royal Bank Scholarship for Undergraduates, beating out candidates from across Canada.

Brown, in his fourth year at York’s Schulich School of Business, is the silver business winner of the RBC Royal Bank Scholarship for Undergraduates worth $3,000. Scott, a third-year visual arts student in the Faculty of Fine Arts, is the bronze arts winner, which comes with a $2,000 scholarship.

There were nine winners of the RBC Royal Bank Scholarship for Undergraduates divided into three categories – business, science and visual arts. Each of the three recipients in each category won either gold, silver or bronze. The gold winners each received $5,000 along with a personal experience of their choice – such as attending a four-day photography workshop in Ottawa – the silver winners received $3,000 and the bronze recipients $2,000.

When applying for the award, students had to write their responses to six essay questions dealing with creative and practical ideas for innovation and improvement in their field of study. They were also required to list their involvement in the community.

Right: Jason Brown

"My innovation leverages the growing trend of cellular phones being an appendage of the human body," Brown said. "It seeks to expand the use of cellular phones to allow consumers to photograph UPC codes from print or outside media and subsequently present that photograph directly from their phones at point-of-sales to ‘cash in’ on the offer presented."

Brown believes this would reduce costs on behalf of the company offering the promotion, improve the efficiency of the promotion by increasing coupon redemption rates, incremental sales volumes and dollars, and product velocities.

He says it would simplify the coupon process for consumers and help combat the growing marketing problem of consumer desensitization to such things as billboards and print media by actively engaging the consumer in the advertisement.

"Innovation is such an integral part of Canada’s continued economic and social prosperity and must be encouraged in order to blossom. I feel extremely fortunate to have been recognized by RBC for my innovation," Brown said. "This award is important to me because it represents positive reinforcement and truly provides motivation to continue to think in an innovative way and strive towards benefiting all Canadians, as well as others around the world."

Brown is majoring in marketing, entrepreneurship and international business at the Schulich School of Business and plans to study law.

"In a nutshell, I intend to pursue a career in law, studying international trade policy and using my forthcoming business, and hopefully law degrees, synergistically to help facilitate beneficial international trade," Brown said.

As a board member for two not-for-profit organizations – People and Organizations in North Toronto and the North York Community House – Brown says he understands the relationship between business, commerce and socio-economic development.

"I entered Schulich with a desire to assist less advantaged, international communities around the globe through beneficial trade," he said.

As for Scott, she hopes to travel the world producing art and sharing her visual ideas. She is particularly interested in sculpture and drawing.

Left: Meghan Scott

"I enjoy learning about these fields in every way possible, such as exploring artist-run spaces in Toronto to visualize and comprehend what contemporary artists are creating."

Scott already has her career planned out in detail.

"When I graduate, I hope to practice art making for a year or two until I build up a strong portfolio, and hopefully a more detailed CV, in order to apply to graduate schools in Britain," she said. "With a master’s degree, I hope to teach as a professor at a Canadian university while simultaneously practicing and showing my artwork across the country."

Scott is hoping to create a new artistic movement that brings super realism and appropriation – borrowed elements – together in creating works of art.

"Receiving this award has been a real confidence-booster. It’s refreshing to have an organization support my ideas and my artistic goals," Scott said. "It has given me further motivation to continue studying in this field and to develop my skills as an artist, so that I may achieve my ambitions."

The RBC Royal Bank Scholarship for Undergraduates, is one of six scholarship awards offered by the bank’s scholarship award program to help students across Canada fund their educations. Over $600,000 was awarded last year in scholarships.

For more information about the RBC Royal Bank Scholarship for Undergraduates, as well as application forms for 2008, visit RBC’s scholarship site.