As a former recipient of the Gzowski Fellowship at Trent University, Alex Vassiliadis's ’19 reflects on how the program significantly influenced his academic journey and career aspirations. Through engaging with the collegiate community and participating in various experiential learning opportunities, Alex's path to a promising future in healthcare took shape with the support of Peter Gzowski College.
As a part of his fellowship, Alex had the opportunity to pursue a mentorship with Trent alumni. According to Alex, one of the most valuable conversations throughout the program was a one-on-one meeting with a Trent alumnus who is a physician. This conversation proved to be invaluable to Alex, providing insights into the healthcare industry, its daily demands, and what this alumni identified as the essential attributes of a successful healthcare professional.
“The guidance I received from this alumnus proved instrumental in my successful admission to the University of Toronto's PharmD program,” said Alex. “It was during this meeting that I realized my passion for healthcare, and I decided to pursue a career as a pharmacist. The Gzowski Fellowship and the support of Trent’s community played a significant role in my journey.”
Established in memory of beloved Canadian broadcaster Peter Gzowski, the fellowship is designed to nurture the leaders of tomorrow by providing financial support, mentorship, and unique opportunities to undergraduate students at Trent. Dr. Melanie Buddle, principal of Peter Gzowski College and coordinator of the fellowship, expressed her pride in Alex’s achievements.
“Alex's journey exemplifies the spirit of the Gzowski Fellowship," Dr. Buddle shared. “We aim to empower our students to explore their passions and aspirations, and to provide them with the guidance and resources they need to succeed. Alex’s story showcases the impact of this fellowship in helping students realize their potential and pursue meaningful careers that contribute to society.”
Unique approach leads to meaningful opportunities
Now an ambassador for the Campaign for Momentous Change at Trent, Alex emphasizes the importance of being open to new experiences and making the most of the unique opportunities offered by the program. He advises current and prospective students considering applying for the fellowship to seize the moment.
“You will likely get opportunities not typically given to other students, so come prepared with questions, be ready to absorb information and above all, enjoy yourself as you have put in the work to be in this position.”
As Alex continues his studies at the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dann Faculty of Pharmacy, he credits the fellowship and the Trent community for encouraging him to participate in experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom, including an accessibility workshop, volunteering at the Trent Day food drive, observing an Enwayaang council meeting, and attending engaging seminars. These experiences not only enriched his understanding of various subjects but also enabled him to forge meaningful connections.
The Gzowski Fellowship continues to inspire Trent University students, encouraging them to aim high, engage with their communities, and work towards building a better future. In 2023, the program has expanded to offer an additional fellowship - the Robinson Fellowship - in honour of the former Peter Robinson College at Trent.
Those interested in applying to either fellowship can connect directly with Peter Gzowski College principal, Dr. Melanie Buddle.