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NSCC Applied Research

Celebrating student research accomplishments

Nine people with their arms around one another smiling on a stage in front of a black curtain.
Scotia Scholar recipients joined by special guest speakers - Lisa Mader and her summer interns, who are part of a national research project on post-secondary student homelessness.

NSCC’s 2023 Scotia Scholar Showcase

Nerves and excitement filled the theater last week, as NSCC students and their families from across the province arrived at Ivany Campus to present their self-led, health-related research projects.

NSCC President, Don Bureaux, kicked off the event with a warm welcome to the students that received Scotia Scholars Awards this year. Funded by Research NS, the Scotia Scholar Award is given to students pursuing research that supports our healthcare system and community wellbeing.

"These student projects feed into the desire to learn, pioneer and inspire." said Don Bureaux. "This work is the DNA of what it means to be a community college - it's centered on giving back to the community and helping our fellow citizens live a better life."

Cumberland Campus valedictorian and Scholar, Jordan Beaton, was the first to present. He blew the audience away with his project that focused on raising public awareness of available healthcare resources in his community. Jordan learned he was just as uninformed as everyone else, “Our little community has more resources than I thought. Seniors are the most vulnerable group and make up a huge portion of our population. If it’s hard for a 19-year-old to find health resources, imagine how hard it is for seniors. I really wanted to complete this project with a tangible outcome. After doing extensive research, I created one large poster with all the health-related resources available in Cumberland and smaller posters for specific health sectors.”
His research is already being put to use; the youth centre and marketing firm Jordan works with, as well as the NSCC Cumberland Campus plan to display and share his work.

Advice to aspiring Scotia Scholars

Scholar Jonathan Kanary shared some of his own health issues over the years, describing how first-hand experience drove his research aimed at eliminating societal and technical barriers when accessing health information. His words of wisdom for students thinking about applying for this funding, "If you have an idea, just go with it. Scotia Scholars gave me the opportunity to explore areas of the social services sector that I was unaware of. I will definitely reflect on this experience when designing my future career path."

Another Scholar stressed the importance of finding a topic you are truly passionate about. Kelly Hazelton completed a gap analysis in housing support for men in the Yarmouth area. She didn’t let it deter her that similar research had already been done. “When you are invested in the research topic and come at it from your own point of view, and your individual experiences, you may just find a solution that others haven't considered.”

One recipient wasn’t sure her research idea would make the cut. Destiny Tobin dug into the Nova Scotia housing crisis with an emphasis on the Sydney area in Cape Breton. “Applying for this award, I was doubtful I would be a recipient, let alone have what it takes to be able to carry through a full-blown research project.” She attributed her success to leaning into that feeling of vulnerability, which in turn enabled her to grow and learn in the process.

Impact on educational journey 

The funding allows students to focus on their studies, research and personal growth, enabling them to make the most of educational opportunities. Carly Cormier and Bayo Adeola, both in the Full Stack Application program, used the skills they learned in class to investigate best practices and design health apps.
“This experience provided me with financial support, opened doors to valuable opportunities, enhanced my confidence and amplified my determination to make a positive impact,” said Carly. “It’s been invaluable in shaping my academic and professional growth, it gave me a deeper understanding of the healthcare field and cultivated meaningful connections with experts and peers.”
Bayo seconded that Scotia Scholars enhanced his educational journey, “I was able to apply theoretical and practical training into the creation of a viable product.”
The $6,000 bursary helps students focus on their research project, academic studies and their future beyond school. “Receiving the Scotia Scholars Award ensured that my education next year will not cause financial hardship for my family and has given me a greater respect for people who do research that goes into large-scale studies,” said Kelly.

Empowered to participate in health-related research

The Scotia Scholar Award opens doors for NSCC students from any program interested in contributing to the betterment of healthcare and the well-being of individuals and communities. It provides students with an opportunity to come up with creative ideas and innovations that uplift, motivate and support healthcare practitioners, stakeholders and vulnerable populations.

Brooklyn Rutherford summed it up nicely, “The Scotia Scholars Award gave me the opportunity to spend time learning about my interest in health and technology and the relationship between the two. I’ve learned what I could do with the skills I learned in class to create more accessible products for everyone to use in the future.”