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How does Alberta Central help students quench their curiosity?

Aug 16, 2016
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” –Albert Einstein

For 2015 Jim and Barbara Scopick Scholarship recipient Cole Sugden, life-long curiosity about the human brain is his reason for pursuing the Bachelor of Science Honours in Neuroscience program at the University of Calgary for the past two years.

“Having close family members greatly affected by mental disorders exposed me to the fragility of the human brain from a young age,” Cole shared. “I have found it very interesting to see how such a complicated organ can be subjected to such large changes due to a degenerative condition.”

Cole has spent his time in post-secondary conducting work on his own research projects, learning about the human nervous system, and gaining knowledge about the biological and psychological foundations in neuroscience, which will be pivotal in his ultimate ambition of applying to medical school to become a psychiatrist.

Of course, Cole maintains his curiosity outside of his studies as well, participating in leadership opportunities, athletics and student groups, all while mentoring a group of first-year students. Most notably, he recently completed work at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, using complex imaging equipment and software to research language networks in children who had sustained a pediatric stroke.

Cole has also taken time to give back to the cooperative sector, volunteering every summer as a counselor for the Alberta Community and Cooperative Association (ACCA) Youth Leadership Program, which takes place at the Goldeye Center near Nordegg, Alberta. As a counselor, Cole develops and administers lessons about agriculture, group process and cooperatives to approximately 60 youth.

“The ACCA Youth Leadership Program is exceptionally important to me, as I was a participant for six years. The lessons I learned through the program were invaluable, and have played a major role in shaping me into the individual I am today.” 

For Cole, receiving the Jim and Barbara Scopick Scholarship has been imperative to pursuing volunteerism alongside his studies.

“The additional money allowed me to pursue research and volunteer opportunities without worrying if I could afford my classes. I could not have been nearly as engaged had I not been supported by the scholarship.”
It is clear to Alberta Central that providing scholarships to students like Cole is an investment in our community that will have a lasting impact.

“It never fails to surprise me how humans have made such progress in understanding something as vast as the solar system, but have yet to fully understand the brain; something so directly relevant to us.  Pursuing a career in research and healthcare allows me to continue my curiosity regarding the human brain, while also making a difference in the lives of those affected by neurological diseases.” 


Go looking for opportunity and you will find it.  All it takes is a little extra effort because opportunities are always around the corner! 

Take some time for yourself.  Make sure you have a good work/life balance that allows you to make the most of your experience, but doesn’t stretch you thin.  However, that being said…

Don’t skip class.  For the extra half hour of sleep you get, it’s just not worth it! 


To learn more about the Alberta Central Scholarships and application process, please visit the Scholarships page on ABCentralNet.

Please note, only children of Alberta credit union, Alberta Central or Celero (Calgary) employees are eligible to apply for Alberta Central Scholarships.