BCU Foundation Announces Recipients of $10,000 “Canada 150 Fund” Graduate Scholarship for 2022


The $10,000 BCU Foundation “Canada 150 Fund” Graduate Scholarship will be shared by two young scholars in its inaugural year. Olha Hnatyshyn, of Verdun, QC, and Olena Skalianska, of Toronto, ON, will each receive $5,000 towards their academic studies.

BCU Foundation established the scholarship as part of its ongoing commitment to foster the development of future generations of scholars and young professionals.

Olha Hnatyshyn has earned BA and MSc degrees and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Environmental Economics at Concordia University. Her research focuses on climate change, multiple international environmental agreements, and endogenous coalition formation. She has received numerous prizes, scholarships, and certificates of accomplishment, and she has published and presented her work in various venues. She is also the initiator and co-organizer of the CIREQ Interdisciplinary PhD Student Symposium on Climate Change in virtual format.

Ms. Hnatyshyn is active in Montreal’s Ukrainian Canadian community, volunteering with the Ukrainian Youth Organization (CYM) and teaching at Ukrainian schools. She has volunteered with Montreal’s Ukrainian Festival and UCC branch, at the Caisse populaire Desjardins Ukrainienne de Montréal, and most recently with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church where she helps raise funds for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Olena Skalianska has earned BA and MBM degrees and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Computational Science and Engineering at McMaster University. Her research focuses on data analytics and natural language processing for course curriculum design. She has published and presented her work in Canada and Ukraine and received scholarships and awards from both countries.

Ms. Skalianska has volunteered in Canada on projects for the Shevchenko Foundation and in Poland on projects for the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. She has participated in educational and leadership conferences and workshops. As a volunteer, she organized more than 30 presentations on Canada’s Mitacs Globalink Research Internship at Ukrainian universities and developed and implemented marketing strategy for promoting the program to students in Ukraine.

A committee of adjudicators comprised of Paul Horbal (lawyer; MSc, Electrical Engineering), Natalie Kalymon (occupational therapist; entrepreneur), Dr. Tamara McColl (emergency physician; assistant professor, University of Manitoba), Dr. Oleksandr Romanko (data scientist; adjunct professor, University of Toronto), and Nadia Gereliouk (BCU Foundation board representative), assessed the applications.

The “Canada 150 Fund” scholarship will be awarded annually to a Ukrainian Canadian graduate student or young scholar pursuing a graduate degree, including Master’s, MBA, PhD, or post-doctoral research at a recognized North American institution in the fields of science, engineering, technology, business, finance, and other disciplines.

Roman Medyk, chair of the BCU Foundation board of directors, is proud of the Foundation’s longstanding funding of projects and activities that promote the rich Ukrainian Canadian cultural identity. “The Ukrainian Canadian experience has profoundly enhanced the development of Canada and continues to strengthen our country’s social fabric. BCU Foundation’s Canada 150 Fund scholarship honours our history by assisting scholars to flourish in their careers and make a lasting contribution to their community. We’re pleased to help them continue the tradition of excellence set by Ukrainians in Canada.”

BCU Foundation was granted its charitable status in December 2002 to establish a permanent means of delivering assistance to community-based cultural and educational endeavours in Canada. The Foundation has distributed over $12 million in support of countless projects to organizations across the country. It is proud to have played a leading role in the development and promotion of the Ukrainian Canadian community through its financial contributions and volunteer work, driven by its motto: Community Spirit Binding Generations.