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By Mark Brown
Students will have some say in deciding the way the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation will distribute its $2.5 billion to students.
Although the official announcement is not expected until at least the end of this week, Brian Milton, interim executive director of the foundation, divulged the names of the students selected to the foundation's director positions.
The foundation will be administered by 15 members and 15 directors, all of which have been named, except for two directors. There are two student members and two student directors.
The students appointed as directors are Bradly Bauer from Mount Royal College in Alberta and Guda Strawczynski from McGill University in Quebec, he said.
Cynthia Hilliard, executive director of the Ontario Community College Student Parliamentary Association, was unanimously selected as another one of the directors, Milton said. He added Hilliard has been a student at the college level and is considering returning to school.
These three individuals will complement Veronica Chau from the University of Waterloo and Heather Wilkey from Mount Royal College, who were named as members of the foundation in November.
"I've got a huge grin on my face," Hilliard said, still ecstatic about her appointment, even though she first learned of it in December. "I didn't even know my name was put forward."
Hilliard said she was looking forward to the challenge. "It's a good thing that is happening to students," she said.
Nick Iozzo, VP-education for the University Students' Council at Western, was happy to learn Hilliard was named as one of the directors. "The USC has worked with OCCSPA for a number of years."
Iozzo said his singular concern was that the only student selected from Quebec is from an anglophone school. "It is a very sensitive issue with a lot of people."
There still is a lot to do before awarding the first batch of scholarships, Milton said, noting the foundation still has to sit down to discussions with all the provinces.
Milton explained the foundation is still waiting for the federal government's last two selections for the directors before he will officially release the names. While it is possible for an additional student to be named to one of the two remaining director positions, Milton suspected it is unlikely since the federal government has already appointed one student.
Martin Simard, communications officer for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, said the naming of the students was a positive step towards implementation of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation. "What counts is the money allocated is going to the students."
The first meeting of the directors will take place in Toronto on Feb. 16 and 17.