Awards Expand Horizons for Gifted Student

Tim Krupa

Since entering UBC, Tim Krupa, a fourth year science student at UBC’s Okanagan campus, has embraced many facets of university life. He’s a physics teaching assistant, residence advisor, and President of the UBCO Young Liberals of Canada. He sits on the UBC Board of Governors. He’s a cancer volunteer and a talented athlete. And when he’s not judging science fairs or infusing kids with the love of learning, you may well find him on the phone mentoring high-risk youth.

Considering Tim’s almost overwhelming list of academic and extracurricular achievements, it’s no surprise that he’s been the recipient of multiple UBC awards and scholarships. Most recently he received the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences International Education Travel Subsidy, which carried him to Africa on a unique project.

“I travelled to Zambia in 2011 on a project to start sports clubs in rural communities with underprivileged youth,” explains Tim. “We started soccer teams at schools to show how the parallels of hard work in sports can translate into better grades, gender equality, and encourage school completion.”

When Tim returned to UBC Okanagan, he turned his focus to a directed studies research project, and was granted the Irving K. Barber Undergraduate Research Award which allowed him to return to Africa to assess the development and well being of the children he had worked with the previous year.

For Tim, UBC scholarship and awards meant a life-changing opportunity to explore different interests: “I was focused on a career in medicine. But the experience expanded my vision and further shaped my interests. I’m planning to apply for graduate programs with a research application in psychology to encompass public policy, economics, and global health. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without scholarships.”

Additionally, UBC awards encouraged Tim to study in his hometown, allowing the Okanagan to retain an exceptionally gifted student and community leader.

Tim adds that he’s grateful for everything he’s received and encourages others to consider contributing to UBC: “I would like to thank all the generous donors for instilling their trust in students like me to make the world a better place. Awards definitely open channels. Stepping into the university realm changes everything. You realize there is all this opportunity. Scholarships really push students towards that—they inspire individuals to accomplish great things!”

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