HealthSci Marauder Scholars Recognized

HealthSci Marauder Scholars Recognized

BHSc Students Alissa Zhang and Christian Cossidente were recognized with the OUA Community Service Awards for Women’s Rugby and Men’s Soccer.

BHSc student athletes were among a record number of McMaster students recognized as “Marauder Scholars” at the 23rd Annual Marauder Scholar Breakfast at the end of November.  The Marauder Scholar award is given to student athletes who are also on the Dean’s Honour List.  BHSc Assistant Dean Stacey Ritz presented the awards to Health Sci students, noting that “what makes you worthy of praise is not simply that you have talent or intelligence, but that you use that talent with diligence and persistence and conscientiousness in both your athletic and academic pursuits.”

In addition, 2 of these Marauder Scholars — Alissa Zhang and Christian Cossidente — were recognized in October with OUA Community Service Awards.

Alissa is a 4th year HealthSci from Richmond Hill.  She’s been playing rugby since Grade 9, and tried out for the varsity team having been encouraged by a Mac player she came to know through her work with the Toronto Inner City Rugby Foundation (TIRF).  “I love the tight-knit community of rugby — everyone knows and supports everyone, it’s inclusive, we’re like a family,” she says.  She was recognized for her community service by the OUA because of her contributions to the  development of the McMaster Rookie Rugby Pilot Project – a Hamilton-based version of TIRF bringing the opportunity for low-cost, non-contact introduction to rugby for kids in the city through community rugby workshops, PA day workshops, and after school programs, in partnership with Rugby Ontario, the Mac Varsity Team, and the Hamilton Hornets Rugby FC.  In addition, she’s part of Mac Athletes Care, and volunteers in the children’s hospital and as a researcher.

She recalls a time her coach thanked her for her service, but she says “I didn’t think of it as service, just as something I really wanted to do” – a hallmark of Alissa’s approach.  “I saw so many people around me doing all kinds of things and getting really stressed about it, but for me, I focus just on the things I’m really passionate about,” she says.

Christian is also in his 4th year of HealthSci, hailing from Toronto, and plays centre midfield and right wing for the Marauder’s Men’s Soccer team.  Playing soccer since he was 3 or 4 years old, Christian had originally planned to pursue an athletic scholarship in the US, but changed his mind when he heard about McMaster’s BHSc (Hons) Program and the high-quality of the Marauder’s soccer program as well.  “I liked the unconventional approach to education in BHSc, and the group learning aspects,” he says, “and soccer builds a lot of character in terms of teamwork, communication and perseverance.”  He remembers the balance of sport and academics being a bit of a ‘reality-check’ in first year, but notes that “the support is there from the program, your teammates, your coaches…everyone wants you to succeed.”  Christian has been actively involved in Mac Athletes Care, along with the Think Pink and #NoGoodWay campaigns, for which he was recognized with the OUA Community Service Award.

A highlight of his academic career has been working on his 3rd year project and 4th year thesis investigating ways to streamline the diagnosis of acute stroke to decrease the how long it takes for patients to get the treatment they need.  “Time is brain,” he says, and he has been working with a physician on a project looking at the potential of a video-based app that can be used by paramedics while transporting a stroke patient to the hospital to expedite treatment on arrival.   On the soccer pitch, he had a great moment earlier this year where he scored a goal on a bicycle kick.  “It was exhilarating,” he recalls, “not just because of that moment itself, but as a culmination of all of that work, dedication, training, all the stuff people don’t see.”

This year’s BHSc Marauder Scholars included:

  • Rachel Bugis, 1st year, Fastpitch
  • Nicole Christakis, 1st year, Swimming
  • Christian Cossidente, 3rd year, Soccer
  • Sanya Grover, 1st year, Field Hockey
  • Katie Huh, 1st year, Synchro Swim
  • Rebecca Jiang, 1st year, Field Hockey
  • Kadie Jin, 2nd year, Ultimate
  • Andrew Kosmopoulos, 3rd year, Fencing
  • Andrew Leber, 3rd year, Water Polo
  • Adele Lee, 1st year, Tennis
  • Isabelle Lei, 2nd year, Swimming
  • Amy Liu, 2nd year, Fencing
  • Selena Meng, 1st year, Badminton
  • Alexi Michael, 3rd year, Swimming
  • Connor Moore, 3rd year, Rugby
  • Mitch Pellarin, 1st year, Lacrosse
  • Jilian Sing, 2nd year, Fencing
  • Katherine Toy, 1st year, Swimming
  • Alissa Zhang, 3rd year, Rugby

Congratulations to all of you!