The Quest University Canada Alumni Association (QUCAA) is now accepting applications for the Keystone Scholarship. This funding initiative was developed by QUCAA with support and input from the Quest University Canada Student Association (QUSA) as an opportunity for students requiring financial support to complete their Keystone. Applications are open until December 15th, 2022.
The Keystone is a valuable experience and a core component of Quest’s program, sparking immense personal growth and learning. Financial support can enable this quintessential process—and in certain situations, is essential to realizing an ambitious project.
Scholarship applications are received and reviewed by a group of 4-6 alumni who have volunteered to sit on the review committee. Typically, a successful application underlines the need for financial support and showcases the student’s ability to communicate the nature of their Keystone, their relationship to the project, its origins, and its aspirations. The inaugural awards in 2020 were given to Adam Achs and Gurbani Kaur, and the 2022 awardee is Giulietta Frequet Kohan.
Giulietta’s question is: “how can physical spaces create a feeling of belonging—and can we make places like this accessible, sustainable, and affordable?”. Consequently, for her Keystone Giulietta will be refitting a camper van into a liveable space—allowing for a physical and theoretical exploration of belonging—of space giving way to a sense of belonging. Giulietta draws parallels between her identity as a female immigrant in Canada)and her interests:
“My Question was born from thinking about my own belonging throughout my life. It is a question that easily comes up when you’re crossing borders. As you change houses, cities, countries and continents, it becomes hard to keep track of where you truly feel at home.”
The challenges and achievements awaiting Giulietta will leave her in the good company of Quest students before her. The Keystone project of alumnus Jesse Horn (class of 2012) dives into similar intellectual terrain. Such similarities are cause for celebration and emphasize the relevance of the alumni community supporting the current student population.
As a student, Jesse asked the question, “how can effectively designed environments promote healthy communities?”. In his own words, “[this] question was focused on how the built environment promotes different levels of interaction between people and whether those interactions had a positive or negative effect on the community”. Much to the Quest community’s benefit, Jesse’s Question led to the construction of the climbing gym:
“I designed and proposed the bouldering gym at the end of my second year and spent my third-year winter break building the gym. I felt like Quest needed more spaces on campus for community building and recreation during the rainy months and the bouldering gym seemed like a good fit. My Keystone project was based on collecting data on who used the gym throughout the year and whether there was any statistical significance in the mixing of communities throughout the year. The idea behind this study was that community health is a difficult thing to measure, and therefore it often gets overlooked during urban design and evaluation. My Keystone project was an attempt to create a measure of community health.”
Spaced nearly ten years apart, Giulietta’s and Jesse’s projects dance around the themes of belonging, community, health. Both ask how physical spaces give way to feelings that are understood cerebrally and emotionally, rather than through tactile connection. This approach highlights a much larger truth that Quest’s academic program was designed around: the world we live in today is not one of neat little boxes, and questions like this can rarely be answered without considering multiple perspectives. While both Jesse and Giulietta might be driven to turn literal boxes (the structures we live, play, and work in) into something much more liveable, in combining the physical and emotional both projects are exemplary of Quest’s vision: interdisciplinary inquiry.
The Keystone is a fantastic opportunity for each student to pursue inquiry they genuinely care about. Each Keystone has unique creative, academic, and in some cases, financial challenges. The Keystone scholarship fund is in place to make sure students with ambitious plans have the financial opportunity to turn those ambitions into reality. Any student wishing to apply can find the application linked from the QR code on the poster above (information was also shared with students by email). Completed applications and any questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.