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Grand Erie Students Receive Prestigious Scholarships through James Hillier Foundation

Nolan Cross of Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School (BCI) and Amy Hutchinson of Paris District High School (PDHS) are this year’s recipients of the James Hillier Foundation scholarship. The prestigious honour is awarded annually to exceptional graduating students in Brantford and Brant County, providing up to $20,000 over four years of post-secondary studies to further achievement in scientific research, and careers in the science and technology fields.

Right: Amy Hutchinson.

“Amy is the human embodiment of the scientific method, and asking questions about the world around her comes as naturally as breathing,” noted Maria Vink, Cooperative Education Teacher at PDHS. A co-op placement this year gave Hutchinson the chance to step into the world of scientific research, co-authoring two papers and submitting two literature reviews for publication in the Journal of Student Science and Technology to contribute to the growing body of research on lung health and e-cigarettes. Her research is providing suggestions for consistent guidelines for medical professionals to follow when dealing with suspected e-cigarette and vaping-associated lung injuries. “Amy is a kind and empathetic human being who recognizes the needs of others and strives to leave her mark to improve the world.”

Both Hutchinson and Cross have consistently earned marks in the high 90s over their secondary-school careers.

Right: Nolan Cross.

“Nolan is a thinker of the highest order, making insightful connections between diverse subjects and approaching all problems and challenges with a mind open to possibility,” said Kate Johnson-McGregor, Assistant Department Head, English, and Head of Library Programming at BCI, who taught Cross this year. In addition to impressive academic achievements, Cross is also an accomplished musician with interests in languages and classical literature, sharing his talents through a variety of extracurricular activities. “Nolan is one of the brightest, most respectful young people I have ever had the pleasure to teach.”

The James Hillier Foundation scholarship honours the legacy of the Brantford-born scientist and inventor who credited the receival of an academic scholarship as enabling his own pursuit of post-secondary studies. Brantford elementary school James Hillier Public School was named in recognition of his achievements and contributions to the scientific field.

Cross and Hutchinson have each accepted offers to attend McMaster University this September, with Cross pursuing studies in the Department of Engineering and Physics, and Hutchinson in the Life Sciences program.

Photos by Grand Erie Communications

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