VIU Undergrad Wins Premier's International Scholarship

Stephanie Govier, VIU student and winner of the Premier’s International Scholarship, poses atop the Caana pyramid at the Caracol Mayan ruins site. Caana is the tallest structure in Belize; Govier is on an internship in the Central American country.

July 13, 2016 - 10:30am

Stephanie Govier, a Natural Resource Protection student at VIU, is awarded the distinguished $6,000 prize while interning in Belize

A Vancouver Island University (VIU) student with a passion for the environment has won the prestigious Premier’s International Scholarship.

Stephanie Govier, a fourth-year student pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Protection, was awarded the $6,000 honour in June. Twenty-eight of these scholarships, which are heavily weighted on academic performance and community involvement, were given this year to post-secondary students throughout BC by the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society (IKBBC).

Govier, who hails from the Comox Valley, is the only VIU student among the recipients; the IKBBC received more than 140 scholarship applications during this latest round (the award was launched in 2008).

She was notified about her scholarship success via email while working in Belize, located on the eastern coast of Central America. “I was just sitting at my desk smiling like crazy and trying to decide how to share this awesome news,” says Govier (she ended up emailing her mother and boyfriend). “I was very surprised; I know this is a very competitive scholarship so I didn’t want to get my hopes up.”

Govier is in Belize as part of VIU’s Building Resilience in Coastal Communities program, which is funded by the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships. She’s working as an intern with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, and is assisting with the planning and monitoring of coastal areas. 

“My experience in Belize has been fantastic so far,” says Govier. “My work here and my studies are related because both are connected to the protection and management of natural resources.”

“Stephanie has been a leader in the classroom and often speaks on behalf of her fellow students on topics of mutual interest,” says John Morgan, Chair of VIU’s Department of Resource Management and Protection. “The Belize internship shows that she is interested in environmental protection not only locally, but in a global context as well.”

Govier is keen to begin her career once she completes her studies (VIU is the only academic institution in BC to offer a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Protection). While she’s interested in opportunities with BC Parks and the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, she’s also receptive to other possibilities. “I am keeping my doors open for the time being and seeing what comes my way,” she says. “It has worked out well for me so far – that’s how I ended up in Belize!” 



Communications and Public Engagement, Vancouver Island University

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Tags: Student Success