Rotary reaches $100,000 milestone in helping students

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Rotary reaches $100,000 milestone in helping students


7 May 2013

Bacteria in fish, mental illness and plant ecology are the fascinating research topics of the three University of the Sunshine Coast recipients of this year’s Rotary Postgraduate Scholarships totalling $12,000.

USC students Eva Hatje (Science), Benjamin Lane (Psychology) and Laura Simmons (Environmental Science) will receive their $4,000 scholarships at a presentation on Wednesday 8 May at the USC Innovation Centre auditorium.

This year marks a significant milestone between the combined Rotary Clubs of the Sunshine Coast and USC, with just over $100,000 raised since 2001 by the clubs to support these scholarships.

Media are welcome to attend the event from 7.30pm to 9pm, when USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill will present the scholarships in front of 180 guests at the Rotary clubs’ annual joint committee meeting and dinner event.

Guest speaker will be orthopaedic surgeon Dr Bernie Tamba-Lebbie, whose speech is titled, ‘From Sierra Leone to the Sunshine Coast – a local surgeon with an international reputation’.

The 2013 Rotary Postgraduate Scholarship recipients at USC are:

Eva Hatje — Nominated by USC’s Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, Eva graduated from her Science degree with first class Honours in 2008. She briefly worked as a research assistant at USC before starting her PhD studies in 2010, exploring the presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria from farmed Atlantic salmon and their interaction with the fish gut.

Benjamin Lane — Nominated by USC’s Faculty of Arts and Business, Ben completed the four-year Psychology program at USC, graduating with first class Honours last year. He was awarded a University Medal and an Australian Psychological Society Prize for being USC’s highest achieving fourth-year Psychology graduate. He has started a PhD relating to mental illnesses.

Laura Simmons — Nominated by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), Laura graduated from USC in Environmental Science with Honours in Science in 2011. She studied in the Czech Republic with USC’s GO Program and has worked in Australia and Canada. Her Honours work on a threatened Lord Howe Island palm enhanced her interest in plant conservation. She is doing a PhD in Plant Ecology.

— Julie Schomberg

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