After two years of virtual celebrations, Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) celebrated its top undergraduate students on October 22, in person, and in style.
Held each year, the awards honour students with the top GPAs in their respective departments, a small and elite percentage of the FAS’ 17,200 undergraduate student body.
“The ceremony is one of the highlights in our year,” says Associate Dean of Student Academic Services Philippe Caignon, adding how wonderful it was to return to an in-person format.
“These achievements did not come without hard work and dedication,” says Pascale Sicotte, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science “These Scholars represent a cross-section of what we do best in the Faculty of Arts and Science.”
We caught up with two honourees to learn more about their journeys.
After completing her undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing, Kirsten Shute decided to enroll again as an independent student.
“I wanted to learn more about the scientific and social aspects of language,” Shute explains. She ultimately joined the Honours Linguistics program in the department of Classics, Modern Languages, and Linguistics in the fall of 2021.
Shute credits her support network of loved ones, professors and Concordia resources such as the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) for helping her achieve her academic goals after an ADHD diagnosis at 23.
“I have three semesters left in this program, and I’d like to focus on historical linguistics for my final project. Diachronic syntax and language contact are two areas I’m currently considering. After that, I’m open to pursuing graduate studies and continuing my writing and teaching career.”
For Kirti Purkayastha, an international student from the Indian town of Kolkata, adjusting to life 12,220 kilometres away from home presented some challenges when he began his first year in 2021.
“There was a new culture, and I was all by myself,” recalls Purkayastha.
That soon changed, as he pursued his BSc in Biology (Honours) and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies with the Science College.
“I love attending the lectures which are in-person and found the professors quite friendly and welcoming. I made friends from the Science College and, this, in turn, has made my academic journey more fruitful than ever.”
With the help of a Concordia Presidential Scholarship, Purkayastha looks forward to pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor.
“I still have countless steps to walk. With every step I walk and every milestone I reach, I hope I am getting closer and closer to my goal.”
Find out more about the Faculty of Arts and Science’s Scholar Awards.
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