Two Brock grad students earn prestigious national scholarship


Two graduate students from Brock University have been recognized for their work with a national scholarship for up-and-coming researchers.

Drew Marquardt and Royette Tavernier were recently awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) for their academic achievements, leadership skills and research potential.

“We congratulate Drew and Royette on their success at this highly competitive and prestigious national stage of research funding,” says Michael Plyley, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies.

“As winners of Vanier awards, Drew and Royette are recognized as outstanding young researchers,” he says. “They will not only contribute to Canada’s growing reputation around the world for excellence in research and higher learning, but will also lead future discoveries, creativity and innovation to benefit communities everywhere.”

Marquardt, who completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry and master’s in physics at Brock, is the recipient of an NSERC Vanier CGS that will support his future PhD work in biophysics at the University.

His research program, “Vitamin E’s biological role,” aims to better understand why vitamin E is such an “essential” vitamin for humans, especially for reproduction.

“My project is to make a link between the structure of vitamin E and its role in the human cell,” says Marquardt.

Marquardt will be looking at whether vitamin E’s location in a cell membrane plays a role in a human cell. He will be using technology that scatters neutrons, which enables scientists to examine the tiniest materials. Part of this research is based on his work at the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre in Chalk River, Ont.

Royette Tavernier, who completed her master’s in child and youth studies at Brock, was awarded a SSHRC Vanier CGS. Her award will support her PhD work in psychology at the University, which will examine how students adjust to significant “turning points” in their lives.

Her research program is entitled, “Turning Points: The Association Between Positive Meaning-Making and Psychological Well-Being Among Canadian Students.”

“This research will increase our understanding of how Canadian students cope with significant life events, and will give counsellors important information about how they can help Canadians deal effectively with the stress of their life events,” says Tavernier.

Her research aims to determine whether or not students who created positive meanings from their turning points also experience greater psychological well-being and successes in their academic and social lives.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship was created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Each of the recipients receives $50,000 a year for three years, to help them as they pursue and complete their doctoral studies.

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