Recognizing the first Wilson Leadership Scholars


Photo Credit: Sarah Janes

Three accomplished students are the first recipients of the Wilson Leadership Scholar Award, a prestigious new award established to cultivate the country’s next generation of leaders and hosted at McMaster.

Three accomplished students are the first recipients of the Wilson Leadership Scholar Award, a prestigious new award established to cultivate the country’s next generation of leaders that is hosted at McMaster.

Kylie Hopkins, Yung Lee, and Andrew Richards were named Wilson Leaders on Tuesday, April 12.

The awards, which include $50,000 to cover education costs over two years along with admission to an elite leadership development program, recognize students who demonstrate exceptional promise and potential.

The program is among the highest value undergraduate scholarships in the country.

Kylie Hopkins is a second year Nursing student with an extensive track record of working with youth in sport in both the Hamilton and McMaster communities.

In addition to volunteering with the Good Shepherd’s food bank, Hopkins has worked with kids as a karate instructor, coach and fitness co-ordinator. She even helped develop a more interactive, student-based program of activities for McMaster’s Sport Fitness School.

Health Sciences student Yung Lee has maintained a near-perfect academic average while working at the McMaster Immunology Research Centre with Charu Kaushic, and also doing clinical infectious disease research with Gordon Guyatt and Reed Siemieniuk. He is also involved in a number of on- and off-campus clubs and organizations such as McMaster Medicine and You, Music in Medicine, and even as a photo reporter for the Silhouette.

Communications student Andrew Richards is captain of the men’s volleyball team. He’s also a mentor with the McMaster Athletes Care program and has served as a volunteer with Best Buddies Canada, where he built relationships with special needs students. In 2014 and 2015, Richards served as captain of the Canadian Junior Men’s Volleyball team.

“We are incredibly proud of these first Wilson Leaders,” says Peter Sharpe, President of the Wilson Foundation and Chair of the Selection Committee. “They truly embody the core values of this program: honesty and integrity, vision and creativity, resilience and determination, a love of learning and a commitment to societal wellbeing. Congratulations to all three Wilson Leaders.”

President Patrick Deane says he looks forward to seeing how the Leaders take on the world’s toughest problems.

“These are some of McMaster’s most outstanding, well-rounded young scholars,” says President Patrick Deane. “With the support of the Wilson Foundation, they’ll be able to apply their considerable skill to tackling some of society’s most perplexing issues.”

To that end, Wilson Leaders will receive one-on-one mentoring from leaders across Canada, connect with visiting scholars and senior faculty and engage in experiential learning programs in the community.

“The leadership development program focuses on mentorship, community and access to unique growth opportunities through community service and employment,” says Sean Van Koughnett, Associate Vice-President Students and Learning and Dean of Students. “This really is a terrific opportunity for these high-calibre leaders.”

The Wilson Leadership Scholar Award selection committee included Deane, Van Koughnett, John Kelton, Dean and Vice-President, Health Sciences, Dave Lazzarato, past Chair of McMaster’s Board of Governors, Chancellor Suzanne Labarge and Peter Sharpe, President of the Wilson Foundation.

The Wilson Leadership Scholar Award is offered by the Wilson Foundation and proudly hosted at McMaster. More information can be found at