The Vale Canada Scholarship in Environmental Science

Kristin received some unexpected news today: She was the recipient of The Vale Canada Ltd. Scholarship in Environmental Science. We don't know much about the award, other than it is one of two dozen awards and scholarships given to full-time students in the School of Geography & Earth Sciences at McMaster University. And it is worth $2,000, which will cover a decent portion of her fourth year tuition.

 Only three other scholarships are that large or larger, so of course Kristin is quite happy. The Vale scholarship is a "judgmental" award (as opposed to a "mathematical" award) which seems to mean that rather than being based on marks alone, a person or persons makes the decision based on multiple criteria, possibly involving input from professors.

Vale is the third largest mining company in the world, with operations on five continents. In 2006, the Brazilian company acquired Canada's INCO in a $19.4 billion take over bid. The company invests heavily in sustainability projects, and gives scholarships not only in Earth Sciences but also in engineering.

So, after a latter-half of July that included several unfortunate incidents -- dropping her smartphone in the toilet (pooched), dumping a cup of tea on her laptop (pooched), and losing an expensive set of car keys (yeah... of course you'll have to pay for that) -- things are looking good again: New phone is better, laptop warranty actually covered submersion in tea, keys showed up the next day, and now a surprise scholarship.

J. Daniel Clements | Photographs

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The CLEMENTS Family | Barrie, Ontario CANADA