Queen’s student named McCall MacBain Scholar

Queen’s student named McCall MacBain Scholar

Siena Margorian is one of 20 Canadian students who have been selected to pursue a fully funded master’s degree at McGill University.

By Communications Staff

April 30, 2024


Siena Margorian

Siena Margorian will study for a master’s degree in renewable resources at McGill as a McCall MacBain Scholar.

Queen’s student Siena Margorian has been named a McCall MacBain Scholar. She is one of 20 Canadians selected from more than 700 applicants to pursue a fully funded master’s degree at McGill University. She is part of the fourth cohort of the McCall MacBain Scholarships, Canada’s largest leadership-based scholarships for master’s and professional studies.

Margorian recently completed her bachelor's degree in biology and is a fifth-year concurrent education student at Queen's, majoring in outdoor education and experiential learning. She will study for a master’s degree in renewable resources at McGill.  

“I’m excited to have this opportunity because I’m passionate about sustainability,” says Margorian. “I believe you need to be able to see environmental issues from many different perspectives, and my experience at Queen’s has set me up to do this. At Queen’s you meet so many different people through extracurriculars and clubs and learn from them. The strong sense of community gives you the opportunity to be exposed to so many different ways of thinking regardless of your major.”

During her time at Queen’s, Margorian started the Armenian Students’ Association, and she currently leads a team of 40 students as co-president of Queen’s Backing Action on the Climate Crisis (QBACC), a student group dedicated to environmental issues. Margorian also volunteers as a first aid responder and as a Scouts troop leader-in-training.

Margorian was actively involved in research while completing her biology degree, working on projects led by Professor John Smol and Associate Professor Frances Bonier. She spent last summer conducting research on the ecology and parental behaviours of burying beetles under the supervision of Dr. Bonier, a topic she began investigating for her senior thesis.

“The professors in the Biology Department are incredible. They care a lot about their students and invest so much time in them,” says Margorian. “My professors here have really helped me think critically about research and develop questions that need to be explored. Dr. Bonier especially has been a mentor to me and doing research with her has helped me gain independence and confidence as a thinker and researcher, which I think will serve me well in my master’s program.”

McCall MacBain Scholarships

The McCall MacBain Scholarships are the result of a landmark $200 million gift in 2019 by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, the then-largest single donation in the country’s history. Designed to encourage purposeful leadership, the scholarships enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program.

Of the more than 700 Canadians who applied for the scholarships, 159 participated in a first round of regional interviews in November and December, and 55 attended final interviews in Montreal. Every scholar participated in six different interviews over the course of seven months.

Recipients were chosen based on exceptional character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity.

“These students inspire us with their compassion and drive,” says Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain, Chair of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “Our shared mission is to provide them with an unparalleled graduate education, leadership development opportunities, mentors, and lifelong connections. We hope to accelerate their ability to make an impact in communities across Quebec, Canada, and around the world.”

The new cohort consists of 20 Canadians and 10 international students. The McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill also offered 117 entrance awards ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 each to top candidates who were not selected for the cohort.

Applications will open in June 2024 for the 2025 cohort. More information about the McCall MacBain Scholarships can be found at mccallmacbainscholars.org.

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