Each year, Marianopolis College students gain entry to the world’s top universities. Some 90 percent of recent graduates are studying in their first-choice program, many right here in Montreal, while others are at renowned schools across the globe. This year is no exception, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is what a few members of the Class of 2020 achieved and what they loved about Marianopolis.
KALLIOPÉ ANVAR MCCALL
Highschool: Collège de Montréal
Hometown: London, Paris, Montréal
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: My love for environmental activism pushed me to co-organize the Marianopolis chapter of the Global Climate March on September 27, 2019. I was also the co-executive of MariCEVES, a club that is part of a Quebec-wide environmental and social student coalition. In my last term, I started a movement for divesting from fossil fuels. Furthermore, my love for the arts motivated me to co-organize, produce, direct and perform in “The Vagina Monologues – 2020”, an empowering play about feminism and womanhood. I also was prop and set designer in the Marianopolis Theatre Company during both years. Finally, I was involved in the Environmental Studies Certificate and the Indigenous Studies Certificate.
Accepted at: University of Toronto, McGill University
Will attend: University of Toronto, at Victoria College, with a major in Philosophy, and a double minor in Middle Eastern Studies and Women and Gender Studies.
Plans for university studies/ career: During and after my many years in university, I plan to work as a journalist, writer and thinker, which will be powered by my social justice activism. I am also interested in becoming a politician or a member of the United Nations, perhaps later in my life.
Best Marianopolis memory: Lying in the grass in front of the school with a big group of friends while laughing, talking, studying (sort of) and sunbathing.
Favourite class or professor: All my Liberal Arts classes and professors were absolutely phenomenal. I particularly adored Professor Dufour, Professor Sasson, Professor Ponce, Professor Spriggs and Professor Chew, because they pushed me towards excellence.
MARA DE CAROLIS
High school: Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School
Hometown: Town of Mount Royal
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: First Aid Club; Humans for Humanity Club; Operation Smile Club
Accepted at: Boston University, McGill University (pre-med), Queen’s University, Université de Montréal (pre-med), University of Toronto, Western University
Will attend: Université de Montréal pre-med
Plans for university studies/career: I will be starting medical school in the fall of 2021 after my pre-med year. I don’t know which specialty yet, but I would love to work with kids and am interested in cardiology.
Best Marianopolis memory: hanging out in the cafeteria with friends
Marianopolis highlight: working on a personal project to help spread my knowledge of medicine and science to African children with limited access to education. I was inspired to write an illustrated children’s book explaining various common illnesses. I raised money to publish and send 500 copies to date to an organization that provides education to low-income families in rural Tanzania.
AWA HANANE DIAGNE
ARTS AND SCIENCES
High school: Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: The Woke Folk (founder); Marianopolis Black Student Union (president); Marianopolis Podcast Network (president); Imaginatlas; Social Justice Committee; Marianopolis World Review
Accepted at: McGill University, Queen’s University, University of British Columbia, University of King’s College, University of Toronto
Will attend: University of Toronto as a Loran Scholar
Plans for university studies/career: majoring in Bioethics and Health Studies, possibly with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. I hope to use my undergraduate education as a stepping stone toward a career in Law with focuses on health and intellectual property policy and their global repercussions
Best Marianopolis memory: the first thing that comes to mind is becoming extremely close with my fellow A&S classmates and having small group study sessions during final examination periods. I adored the opportunities I had to get involved in a diverse array of extracurricular activities. From exploring science/speculative fiction with Imaginatlas, to podcasting, to leading the Marianopolis Black Student Union, there is literally nothing that I could not do at Marianopolis.
Favourite class or professor: As an A&S student, I was lucky to be able to take in-depth courses in various departments. Courses that have left a significant impact on me are Fundamentals of Law with Professor Stuart Kruger ’84, Ethics of Globalization with Professor Maurice Dufour, English Literature to 1800 with Professor Blair Morris and I’m Not Myself Today with Professor Rachel Levine. In different ways, all of these courses have influenced my interests and world views for the better, something I am immensely grateful for. I particularly appreciate the intellectual freedom that Professor Levine gave to her students, which allowed me to write an essay exploring Shrek, selfhood, donkeys and ancient physiognomy (an absolute dream). Last but not least, my mathematics professor, Jean-François Deslandes, is a teacher who I will remember forever. I feel privileged to have been his student for three semesters.
High school: Royal West Academy
Hometown: Côte Saint-Luc
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: three years in the Marianopolis Theatre Company as an actor
Accepted at: McGill University, Randolph College for the Performing Arts, St. Clair College, St. Lawrence College, Sheridan College
Will attend: Randolph College for the Performing Arts
Plans for university studies/career: I plan to receive a diploma from Randolph in Musical Theatre Performance. I will then either pursue a Bachelor of Music at Wilfred Laurier University or a Masters from either the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland or Guildford School of the Arts at University of Surrey. I hope to pursue a career in Musical Theatre Performance or perhaps creation.
Best Marianopolis memory: most of my best memories stem from the friends I have made. The relationships I have created and the support system I have built is what I will cherish the most. Also, being the lead in two of the musicals by the Marianopolis Theatre Company is what gave me the courage to pursue my dreams and reminded me of the beauty of theatre.
Favourite class or professor: choosing one favourite class or professor is very difficult because I believe every experience has shaped me into who I am today. I do owe much of my growth to my voice teacher Anja Strauss for believing in my voice and helping me grow both vocally and as a person. I owe everything to all my teachers in ALC and Music and I thank them all collectively for believing in and supporting their students.
SOCIAL SCIENCE, LAW, SOCIETY AND JUSTICE
High school: École Secondaire Édouard-Montpetit
Hometown: Plateau Mont-Royal
Will attend: California State University, Fresno on an athletics scholarship. I am an internationally ranked water polo player. Thanks to the College’s partnership with Alliance Sport-Études, I was able to participate with Junior and Youth national teams at World Championships and the Swimming Union of the Americas Cup with the Canadian Women’s Senior National Team. The College was very supportive and made sure to help me in any way possible, not only in the classroom but while I was away competing as well. I am beyond grateful.
Plans for university studies/career: Criminology
Best Marianopolis memory: meeting amazing people from various places who will achieve great things
Favourite class or professor: although all the teachers I’ve had at Marianopolis are amazing, the ones who impacted me the most were Professors Vanessa Sasson ’92 and Stuart Kruger ’84. They are both wonderful teachers with an immense passion for teaching their students as well as sharing many life stories.
MUHAMMAD YAHYA HAIDER
High school: LaurenHill Academy
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: International Studies Certificate; peer tutor; Muslim Student Association (executive); UpGen Business Incubator; Social Activities Committee; Cristina Mucciardi Bursary
Accepted at: Concordia University, McGill University
Will attend: McGill University (Mechanical Engineering)
Plans for university studies/career: I have a passion for all things science-, technology- and business-related. I want to keep all doors open and see where I would like to focus my passions or combine all of them to make a positive societal impact.
Best Marianopolis memory: Sitting on the grass in the front lawn with my friends on warm days
Favourite class or professor: I was fortunate to have Professor Audrey Goldner-Sauvé ’76 for Chemistry I, Biology II and Human Physiology and loved every day of it. Also, all the Physics classes are fascinating.
ARTS, LITERATURE AND COMMUNICATION
High school: St. George’s School of Montreal
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: Hillel Marianopolis (vice-president of Culture); TEDX Marianopolis (head of sponsorships); Native Studies Certificate; Model UN; Marianopolis mentorship program (mentor)
Accepted at: Bennington College, Bishop’s University, Concordia University, McGill University, Mount Allison University, Wheaton College (Massachusetts)
Will attend: McGill University
Plans for university studies/career: I will be pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I later plan to obtain a Ph.D. and become a behavioral therapist for children.
Best Marianopolis memory: choosing one memory would be very difficult as I had a wonderful experience at Marianopolis. I enjoyed making new friends as well as being immersed in an engaging and motivating learning environment.
Favourite class or professor: I enjoyed many classes during my time at Marianopolis, including Buddhist Scriptures with Professor Vanessa Sasson, Spanish with Professor Javier Vasquez, the Perspectives courses with Professors Sylvain Pagé, Megan Spriggs and Selena Liss and various fine arts classes with Professor Liss. I am grateful to all of my teachers for their constant support, devotion and inclusive learning environment.
PURE AND APPLIED SCIENCE
High school: Selwyn House School
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: I was a member of the Marianopolis Sport-Études program. I swam competitively, qualifying for the 2020 Canadian Olympic Trials and the Canadian National Team for Best Fest European open-water swimming championships. The Academic Advisors helped me immensely in balancing athletics and academics. From helping me to pre-register for classes to booking make-up tests, my success in the classroom and in the pool would have been impossible without them.
Will attend: Columbia University
Plans for university studies/career: I plan to study Finance and Computer Science
Favourite class or professor: I definitely enjoyed taking Calculus I and II with Professor Wee Keong Lim. I continued to pick him as my professor because I greatly respected him for his intelligence and his humour. I believe that it was the challenges I encountered in his classes that ultimately allowed me to mature as a student.
High school: Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: Green Team (executive); Humans for Humanity (vice-president); Silver Key student ambassador; Marianopolis Science Fair finalist; Environmental Studies Certificate
Accepted at: McGill University, University of British Columbia, University of Southern California, University of Toronto
Will attend: McGill University pre-med
Plans for university studies/career: I hope to study both Bioengineering and Neuroscience to explore the human mind and learn about genetic modification
Best Marianopolis memory: broadening my global experience by studying International Business in Germany, Austria and France with Marianopolis peers
Favourite class or professor: Professor Wee Keong Lim made every Calculus I class the most entertaining part of my day. I am very thankful for Professor Samia Hilal’s willingness to help me succeed in Computer Programming. Professor Sabine Walser’s Creative Nonfiction class allowed me to be imaginative and share my life experience through stories.
HONOURS HEALTH SCIENCE
High school: St. Thomas High School
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal; Marianopolis Student Union (vice-president of finance); Marianopolis Model UN (president, director-general and first-year executive); TedX Marianopolis (speaker);
Accepted at: Concordia University, McGill University, Université de Montreal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université Laval
Will attend: McGill University pre-med
Plans for university studies/career: I plan on pursuing a career in Medicine; I have a particular interest in medicinal genetics and psychiatry. I aspire to one day get involved in politics as a medical/public-health representative.
Best Marianopolis memory: I have had a number of amazing experiences at Marianopolis, but I really cherish my experiences as part of the Marianopolis Student Union and as an executive of the Marianopolis Model UN club. Through these experiences, I had the chance to befriend some incredible and driven people, as well as work with the amazing staff and acquire new skills.
Favourite class or professor: although it is very difficult to pick, I would have to say Organic Chemistry I with Professor Stewart Daly, Biology II and Molecular Genetics with Professor Ursula Oberholzer and Soundtracks of Our Lives with Professor Hugh Cawker.
HONOURS PURE AND APPLIED SCIENCE
High school: Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: Marianopolis Mathematics Association (president); Marianopolis World Review (opposition executive), Badminton team; Litmag (writer); Prix littéraire des collégiens; Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (gold medal); Asia Pacific Math Olympiad (bronze medal); Canadian Math Olympiad (honourable mention)
Accepted at: McGill University, University of Oxford, Yale University
Will attend: Yale University
Plans for university studies/career: major in pure Math and in something else, I will figure it out from there
Best Marianopolis memory: having insightful conversations with English Professors and Academic Advisors. Giving Math club lectures. Going to see Falsettos, put up by our very own Marianopolis Theatre Company
Favourite class or professor: Professor Sabine Walser’s Memory and Imagination taught me the importance of writing honestly and freely. Professor Kate Sheckler’s Creative Writing taught me that what works for the reader is what’s right. I haven’t decided who I should listen to yet, but both classes were fantastic. I loved both Physics classes with Professor Simon Sabik, who made us confront very interesting problems.
PURE AND APPLIED SCIENCE
High school: Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School
Involvement at Marianopolis outside the classroom: Academic Council (student representative); Eldercare Club (executive); Environmental Studies Certificate, Gender and Sex/uality Certificate; Green Team; Marianopolis Basketball Team; Operation Smile Marianopolis (executive); Women In Science; Empowered (coordinator)
Accepted at: New York University, University of Toronto
Will attend: New York University
Plans for university studies/career: I plan on pursuing a joint major in Data Science and Computer Science with a minor in Economics
Best Marianopolis memory: meeting and learning from driven, motivated, talented, kind people from diverse backgrounds and creating memories and friendships that will last a lifetime
Favourite class or professor: Jean-François Deslandes for his kindness and infectious passion for learning; Professor Natalie Huffels for helping me express my creativity in writing; Professor Wee Keong Lim for his knowledge and humour; Professor Neall Epstein for his celebration of culture and individuality; and Professor Stewart Daly for his dedication and clarity through Biology II and Organic Chemistry I. I thank you all for your commitment to educating the next generation.