Even with masks and social distancing, engineering student Sierra Sparks’s enthusiasm inspired the judges enough to award her a Rhodes Scholarship.
Sierra becomes Dalhousie’s 92nd Rhodes Scholar. This life-changing opportunity: a fully paid scholarship covering travel, study and expenses for two years (with an option for a third) at the University of Oxford in England, is offered to just over 100 Scholars each year from across the globe.
It’s well deserved. Sierra’s academic achievements are second-to none: she’s a Dalhousie Chancellor’s Scholar with a near-perfect GPA, a Sexton Scholar designation and multiple awards and honours. She’s also a community builder with a particular passion for increasing support for women and underrepresented groups in engineering.
“I think the motivation, for me,” she says, “is that if I’m enthusiastically involved, maybe other people will see how amazing it is to be involved in student life — just how much you get out of it and how much you can give back to the Dal community and the community at large.”
Prompted by a co-op term this past summer with a local medical imaging startup, Sierra plans to use her time at Oxford to explore how artificial intelligence can be used to improve the diagnostic quality of medical imaging, and also make it more accessible to remote areas and communities.