Posted by Carol Hutchinson on Sep 09, 2019
Guest Speakers:  Friday, September 13, 2019 12:00 to 1:30 pm
Location:  The National Club, 303 Bay Street, Toronto
Topic: 2019 Scholarship Recipients:  Hshmat Sahak and Josh Harrison Maul
Additional Guest Speakers:  Lorenzo Penate, Amna Majeed, and Poorva Patel
Host: The Scholarship Committee, Chair Mary Bennett
John Chen - Keynote Speaker Bio
John recently graduated with high distinction from the University of Toronto, St. George Campus obtaining a Bachelors’ of Science in Computer Science. Over the course of the school year, he balanced school while working as a teaching assistant, and received a Woodsworth College Student Association scholarship for his academic performance.
This September, he will be starting his thesis-based Masters’ degree in Computer Science at University of Toronto, St. George Campus under the supervision of Dr. Frank Rudzicz. His intended area of research is in machine learning and natural language processing, with a focus on applications in the medical domain.
This summer, he worked as a Data Science intern at LoyaltyOne, the loyalty marketing company behind Air Miles, where he gained practical experience in applying machine learning and data science to real world business problems. Through his work on several projects at LoyaltyOne, including a binary redemption propensity model used for targeted advertising of consumers who are frequent flyers, as well as a recommendation engine prototype for a leading Canadian grocery chain, John experienced first-hand how big data and artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the world. As such, after completing his Masters’ degree, he hopes to continue pursuing his passion for machine learning and healthcare by obtaining an MD/PhD.  
Scholarship Committee Chair, Mary Bennett
The Rotary Club of Toronto’s Scholarship program continues to make a tremendous impact on the lives of youth from around the globe. Since the start of the program in 2012 it has made university education possible for impressive young people who might not otherwise have been able to continue their studies due to financial circumstances.
This year we had so many deserving students apply that the committee was thrilled to be able to grant two scholarships. One to University of Toronto to study Engineering Science and the other to Centennial College to study Addictions and Mental Health Worker Program.
The committee joins me in my excitement at the start of a new school year as our students receive another year of education and draw one year closer to making a meaningful impact in their respective fields of study.
Hshmat Sahak - 2019 Scholarship Winner Bio
Hshmat is a recent high school graduate from Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute; earning the distinguished title of TDSB’s Top Scholar after graduating with a 100% admission average. He received the Governor General’s Academic Medal for his academic standing and has accumulated nearly $75,000 in scholarship winnings, with the largest single contribution from the Rotary Club of Toronto.
Hshmat had the opportunity to conduct research this past summer with the Focused Ultrasound Lab at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. His project involved analyzing changes in the stiffness of harmful tissue induced by high-intensity focused ultrasound to assess the efficacy of tissue ablation procedures.
Hshmat will be entering his 1st year of undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto studying Engineering Science. He plans to specialize in the Machine Intelligence Major and is strongly passionate about health care applications.
After graduation he hopes to conduct graduate studies with the Institute of Biomedical and Biomaterials Engineering to perform research on smart prosthetic devices that can not only replicate former dexterity and control of limbs but also restore a complete sense of touch and functionality.
Josh Harrison-Maul - 2019 Scholarship Winner Bio
Josh was born in Gibsons, British Columbia and raised in Toronto where he’s been very active in community services including the Nelson Mandela Public School; the Canadian Red Cross Meals-on-Wheels program; Habitat for Humanity; the Ralph Thornton Community Centre and with T.E.A.R - Teens Ending Abusive Relationships.
In addition, Josh has recently completed his four-year term with Peacebuilders International where he participated in panel discussions and retreats concerned with racism, sexism, bullying and how to create safe spaces in schools.
Josh has also participated in cooperative placements with the Toronto Police Services which led to a further successful placement with the Youth in Policing Initiative.
After becoming Valedictorian of his graduating class at Eastdale Collegiate Institute, Josh was accepted into the Addictions and Mental Health Worker Program at Centennial College.
After graduation from the Addictions and Mental Health Worker Program, Josh hopes to bridge his post-secondary education with the new mental health and crisis intervention initiatives with the Toronto Police Services.
Maryam Ali - 2018 Scholarship Winner Bio
Maryam has finished her first year at Ryerson University in Biomedical Engineering. She has completed several core courses as well as Introduction to Engineering. In this course, she had the opportunity to enhance her critical thinking, design, leadership and creative skills through participating in the Engineering Disaster project and Reverse Engineering project. The latter project allowed Maryam to work with a team to conduct research on the Baby Boom generation, design a product targeting Boomers in a chosen sector, perform market research, commercialize the product and refine the design with further iterations.
Maryam also took part in the Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab (IATSL) Tour at Toronto Rehab through the Tetra Ryerson club. The tour taught her about current research on ‘zero – effort technologies’. Maryam was also involved in the Tri-Mentoring Program where she would meet with a third-year Biomedical Engineering student and gain insight from their experience. Maryam is determined to learn more, improve and grow stronger during her second year at Ryerson.

Lorenzo Penate - 2017 Scholarship Winner
Lorenzo Peñate has recently completed his second year at York University’s Schulich School of Business.
During the school year he worked in the York Finance team as an advisor to students on OSAP, scholarships, and financial literacy. This summer he completed an internship at RBC working in the CFO group on financial and regulatory reporting and will be returning to campus as an ambassador.  During the school year he will continue his work at MLSE Launchpad where he coaches at-risk-youth and has led several sports programs such as Boxing, Basketball, cooking programs and Multi-sport camps. He remains heavily involved with the Merit Bursary Award through research and the peer mentorship program.
He looks forward to a new school year and the opportunities that might arise with that!
Amna Majeed - 2016 Scholarship Winner Bio
Amna is starting her 4th year in the Life Sciences Program at the University of Toronto, St. George Campus, completing a double major in Human Biology and Immunology. Amna is incredibly passionate about gender equality issues, advocacy, and community outreach. She is the current Conference Chair for the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Team, with the aim to host a national conference in January inviting over 400 delegates to examine existing glass ceilings for women in the professional fields. She is also the current Co-President of the University of Toronto Rotaract Club and hopes to engage with both local and international district clubs on fundraising and community initiatives. This past summer, Amna worked as a research assistant examining the dissemination of Lyme disease bacteria in the joints, as well as writing a meta-analysis on the impact of loneliness on adverse health outcomes. This is her last year of university and, as such, she hopes to make it her most impactful, not only as it concerns academics, but also extracurricular and research endeavors.
Poorva Patel - 2015 Scholarship Winner Bio
I, Poorva am so thankful for the support of the Rotary Club throughout my four-year undergraduate journey.  I have graduated with distinction, my programs: Molecular Biology and Neuroscience.  This year, my experiences have allowed me to work as a Research Assistant in an alcohol administration study being supervised by one of the leading psychology researchers at CAMH.  I am also volunteering in the community as a Crisis Counselor at the Toronto Police Station.  My future plans for next year include continuing to expand my academic career in health policy or health management.  Thank you to Rotary Toronto for the continuous support and care.