November 7, 2003
Scholarships support future physician
Campus campaign hits new high
If Anna Wesenberg were graduating today, she would like to become a family physician in a rural area, where such professionals in Canada are desperately needed.
"I'd like to set up a practice and really get involved in the community," said the first-year medical student at the University of Alberta. "I wouldn't just want to get to know my patients, I'd like to get to know their whole families."
Wesenberg is excited as she talks about her plans for the future, but they are plans that she says wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the scholarships she has received and continues to receive in her studies at the U of A. She says the scholarships allow her time to focus on her school work and without those scholarships she would have to work in order to cover tuition and living expenses. They also allow her to get involved in volunteer activities, such as the Butt Out campaign, a program organized by U of A medical students to teach children the effects of smoking.
"I wouldn't be in medical school right now if it weren't for my scholarships, that's for sure," Wesenberg said. "I owe a huge, huge thank you to all the donors who made them possible."
So far in 2003, 1,822 staff and faculty members have donated to the internal campus fundraising campaign, which has already surpassed the amount of donors who contributed to the last internal campaign (1,495) in 1997. As a result of this support, there will be at least 10 new student awards available as early as 2004.
"The outpouring of support from staff and faculty has been tremendous," said Jeff Wright, manager of the internal campaign. "Providing opportunities to directly support student bursaries and scholarships has proven to be of great interest across campus."
Wright added that the University Bursary and Emergency Funding Office had a $2.4-million shortfall in funding for students in need. Donations to the internal campus campaign will address this shortfall, as well as be used to enhance the learning environment on campus for all students and researchers.
"It's a great feeling to know that I have the support of my community and my university," Wesenberg said. "These scholarships give me the time to prepare properly for my profession, and that's a hugely valuable investment for me, and I'm very grateful."