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Leading in residence

Fourth-year student shines in helping first-year students find their way

October 21, 2013

Leading in residence
Christina Shan: "I want to follow in the footsteps of the donors who contributed to student awards at Western. One day I hope to leave a legacy of my own."

Christina Shan’s first year at Western left an indelible impression on her. The friends she made with upper year student volunteers (sophs) in Saugeen-Maitland Hall helped her feel at home.

“In my first year, the sophs were incredibly encouraging and supportive, giving me all sorts of help in adjusting to Western, and advice on how to balance academics and student activities,” says Christina. “Because of that experience, I wanted to do the same for incoming students.”

For two years, Christina served as a soph at Essex and Perth Halls – assisting first-year students with questions about university life, as well as creating positive community experiences for them.

“As a soph, I really enjoy seeing new students succeed and grow as they transition to Western,” says the dual degree student in computer science and business. “And working with many different people and personalities, I’ve gained confidence and leadership skills I wouldn’t have learned in the classroom.”

Christina’s experience makes her a fitting recipient of the Sydenham Hall – Jean Dunlop Residence Bursary. “I’m excited to be chosen for an award that honours a woman who was a key part of residence life at Western for many years,” says Christina (see below). “It motivates me to work hard and to give back to those in need.”

For Christina, giving back includes her volunteer work through the Community Service Learning Network (CSLN) at Western. With a group of students through CSLN, she’s creating proposals for a London-based charity to receive funds to install solar panels and thermo windows for low-income families living in subsidized housing.

“Hopefully, the funding will help reduce energy costs for families and make life a little easier for them,” she says. “This project will also help the environment by generating sustainable energy and reducing energy consumption.”

On campus, Christina has put her energies toward student clubs. She initiated the Ivey Technology Club, as a way to connect business students to leaders in the technology sector and to team them to be more tech-savvy.

What’s next for this enterprising student? In the near future, Christina will spend a semester studying in Paris. “I see this experience as inspiring me in a new way to learn about another culture and to understand business from a global perspective,” she adds.

Award Facts
The Sydenham Hall–Jean Dunlop Residence Bursary is given to undergraduate students who live in Western’s on-campus residences. The bursaries are made possible by generous gifts from Western alumni (held at Foundation Western) who wanted to recognize Jean Dunlop, a former secretary at Sydenham Hall who was a confidante to many students in residence.

This article appeared in the 2013 edition of Student Awards Recipient Report
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