Six Students Celebrate the New Year with Major Scholarships

Over $100,000 awarded from the Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies

STELLARTON, N.S. – Six business students studying at Atlantic Canadian universities will each receive $15,000 as recipients of the 2012 Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies. In addition to the award recipients, four students receive $2,000 for honourable mention. All finalists nominated by the deans of business at each university receive a $500 honorarium.

“The academic excellence, leadership skills and business knowledge shown by these students is remarkable,” said David F. Sobey, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies. “My father was an innovator and I’m sure he would be particularly impressed with the great business initiative and entrepreneurship these students have shown through the various projects they are involved in.”  

The award recipients were chosen from 28 finalists based on academic standing, entrepreneurial interest, extracurricular and community activities, and career aspirations. The recipients of the 2012 Frank H. Sobey Award for Excellence in Business Studies are:

Oksana Kovalenko
Oksana Kovalenko is a fourth-year Honours Business student at Acadia University. Originally from Latvia, Oksana and her family immigrated to Toronto, Ontario eight years ago for education and business opportunities. Oksana is the founder of the Toastmasters International club in Wolfville and served as Features Editor for the Acadia newspaper, the Anthenaeum. Among her many volunteer activities, Oksana assists at the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship. Oksana plans to pursue a career in a multi-national corporate environment where she can employ sustainable business expansion strategies as vehicles to build human capacity and stimulate economic growth in emerging markets.

Michael Brown
Michael Brown is a third year Commerce student at Saint Mary’s University, majoring in Finance and Entrepreneurship. Volunteering is very central in Michael’s life and he is heavily involved in the YMCA’s Abilities in Motion, a program close to his heart as he had to overcome an injury after a motor vehicle accident. Michael is currently operating a rain gutter business, a business which began as a university project. He plans to continue this business throughout his time at Saint Mary’s. Among a long list of achievements, Michael recently received the Sobey School of Business Homburg International Mobility Award.

Natasha Kelly
Natasha Kelly is a third year student at Cape Breton University, majoring in Accounting. Currently working as a research assistant for the Organizational Development Department at the University, Natasha remains active in her community involving herself in programs such as Kardio Kix for Kids, a program aimed at keeping younger students physically active. Natasha’s future plans are to obtain her Chartered Accountant Designation and her Masters of Business Administration. Upon completing her education, Natasha hopes open her own business and improve the financial situations of both individuals and businesses within Canada.

Kyle McDowell
Kyle McDowell is a fourth year Business student at the University of New Brunswick. In addition to blogging for the faculty of Business Administration and tutoring students, Kyle volunteers at the Fredericton Food Bank and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. As a Bachelor of Business Administration student, Kyle is involved in the Activator program, which pairs students with entrepreneurs looking to transform their ideas into a business reality. Kyle and his team were recently awarded “Best Overall Proposal” in the Activator program. With his passion for entrepreneurship Kyle plans to create businesses of value to the world, becoming a “serial” entrepreneur in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Christie Lang
Christie Lang is a student in the Master of Business Administration program at Dalhousie University. Christie is a competitive curler and stays involved in her community participating in events such as the Ride for the Cure and the IWK’s Bicycle Relay Fundraiser. With her masters degree, in addition to a Bachelor of Arts and a diploma in Health Services Administration previously attained, Christie is well prepared for her aspiration to become a leader in Nova Scotia’s healthcare delivery system.

Samantha Phelan
Samantha Phelan is a fifth year Commerce Co-op student at Memorial University. Samantha is extremely involved in her university’s extracurricular activities and has been elected President of the Commerce Class 2012. In addition to her many volunteer experiences, Samantha was recently chosen to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Honolulu where she was inspired by speeches from President Barack Obama and Senator Hilary Clinton. Upon graduation Samantha plans to enroll in a part-time Masters of Business Administration program. 

The following four students each received Honourable Mention and a prize of $2,000.

Taryn Greig – St. Francis Xavier University
Janell MacDonald – University of Prince Edward Island
Nicholas Cormier – Mount Allison University
Seth London – Dalhousie University


About the Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies

The Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies currently presents six awards of $15,000 each. All full-time business students attending Atlantic universities are eligible for consideration. Deans of Business at each university nominate candidates based on academic standing, entrepreneurial interest, extracurricular and community activities, employment history and career aspirations.

Established in 1989, the Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies have awarded more than $921,800 to business students in the four Atlantic Provinces. Each university in the region offering a business program has had at least one recipient of a Frank H. Sobey Award.


- 30 -

For further information, please contact:
Cynthia Thompson
Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs
Sobeys Atlantic
Phone: 902.752.8371 ext. 8455