Your Gift in Action: Archives

Gold medal nurse
It was the quality of education that attracted Noah Gatzke [BN/07] to the U of M from northern British Columbia, but it was the availability of scholarships and bursaries that motivated him to go for the gold. And gold it was – the year Gatzke graduated he also received the University Gold Medal for the highest standing in Nursing.

Now a trauma and acute surgery nurse at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, Gatzke is helping patients survive the difficult times in their lives. “I like seeing results from my work, and I like that these results are measurable and apparent in the lives of my patients and their families,” he says.

Gatzke is thankful for the student awards that helped him succeed.

“For me and my family specifically, receiving scholarships and bursaries from the University of Manitoba allowed me to pursue my post-secondary education on a full time basis rather than working part time to support my family while studying part time,” says Gatzke.

“I believe that the funds provided by scholarships and bursaries are invaluable to students like myself who have young families and therefore have a higher cost of living that would often make full time study inaccessible.”

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Blair Mukanik loves a challenge. That’s why he chose to study electrical engineering at the University of Manitoba. Mukanik has always had an aptitude for math and science, but he was drawn to mastering the complexities of electrical engineering. “I wanted to excel in something that I didn’t have a lot of prior knowledge of,” he says.

And his hard work and determination have served him well: he’s been a summer student at Manitoba Hydro for the past three years and has also been rewarded by winning a number of scholarships, including the Grettir Eggertson Memorial Scholarship.

Mukanik continues to seek out new challenges. Recently, he’s begun volunteering with the engineering student council, participating in high school outreach. “It’s fun; you get to meet high school students from across Manitoba and talk about all the strengths of the engineering program at the University of Manitoba,” he says.

After graduating in 2009, Mukanik hopes to either continue his studies at the master’s level or open up his own consulting business.

Through it all he’s grateful for the scholarships he’s received. “It’s nice to be recognized for doing well in school, and it encourages me to continue to do well,” says Mukanik.

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She wanted to make a difference. That’s why Erin Brickman made a career change from wildlife biology to become a nurse. “I thought about every career under the sun and decided that nursing had all of the components of my ideal job – being active on the job, caring for others, contributing to society, and feeling like I’ve made a difference every day,” she says.

Brickman graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2007 and is now a nurse at St. Boniface Hospital. She received the Isbister Scholarship in Nursing and credits it with helping her through school. “Earning a scholarship made me feel as though my hard work really paid off,” she says. “I felt honoured to receive it and relieved that my year’s tuition would be reduced. It made me want to work even harder for the next term.”

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“Bursaries go a long way to help students such as myself gain valuable knowledge,” says Miten Dhruve, a Medicine student who hopes to one day practise in Winnipeg. “They help relieve one of our main stressors, which could be quite detrimental to our studies. Bursaries really bring a smile to the student’s face since they then know that they can buy that one essential textbook or that medical instrument that will, in the end, help them become better physicians.” He adds that he is very thankful for the generosity behind bursaries which enabled him to focus on studying.

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Sarah Holder (BPE/07) did not expect to win the Frank and Kally Kennedy Memorial Award for women’s basketball in 2004. What set her apart from other candidates was her passion for volunteering – a quality that comes naturally to her.

Holder has always volunteered while attending university, and she says the Frank and Kally Kennedy Memorial Award gave her the freedom to focus on her sports-related volunteerism with youth while she worked toward her Physical Education degree. “I didn’t have to worry about working.” Scholarships like this one are important because they reward and motivate students, Holder adds. “It made me feel good that things do not go unnoticed. It made my life easier and allowed me to put more time into volunteering and coaching.”