Health‑focused Dal grads earn McCall MacBain regional awards

- February 7, 2024

Sydney Keyamo (BSc'23), left, and Jack Killeen (BSc'23) received regional awards from the McCall MacBain Scholarship program this year. (Provided photos)
Sydney Keyamo (BSc'23), left, and Jack Killeen (BSc'23) received regional awards from the McCall MacBain Scholarship program this year. (Provided photos)

Two recent Dalhousie graduates now working in health care were among those selected to receive McCall MacBain Regional scholarships this year.

Sydney Keyamo (BSc'23) and Jack Killeen (BSc'23) will each receive $5,000 to put towards funding a full-time master's or professional program at any public university in Canada.


Ottawa-born Keyamo, who completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Health Studies at Dalhousie, says it's an honour to receive the regional award.

“I loved reflecting on my journey and why I chose to give back to my community," she says. "I highly encourage others to take that opportunity. I hope to build on these experiences and pursue studies in the areas of public health.”

While at Dal, Keyamo served as a vice-president academic and external with the Dalhousie Student Union and as a student senator, representing students on various university committees and through provincial and federal advocacy efforts. She also led activities during Orientation Week, helped run the Dalhousie Association of Psychology Students, and volunteered as a research assistant.

Keyamo now mentors student leaders through the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and contributes to the MSSU, a Nova Scotia Health Authority unit supporting patient-oriented research and health services decision-making in the Maritimes. She is applying to master’s programs in public health.

A passion for medical sciences

Killeen, a Haligonian who graduated from Dal last year with an honours in neuroscience, currently works in the emergency department at the IWK Health Centre.

Taking on the role marked a sort of return to the hospital for Killeen, who had volunteered there in the diabetes clinic and managed summer camps over the years.

In his final year at Dal, Killeen served as president of the Dalhousie Medical Campus Response Team and led its transition from student society to a funded service within the university's Student Affairs division.

Killeen was awarded the Dalhousie Student Union Gold D’s award at the 2023 Dalhousie Impact Awards last spring. The award recognizes students who have shown outstanding extracurricular contributions in the community and “an elite level of involvement and achievement in campus life over the course of their university career."

Killeen examined the effects of sleep disturbances in youth with Type 1 diabetes in his undergraduate thesis and is currently applying to medical schools and master's program in medical sciences.

Upper echelon

Kayamo and Killeen placed among the top 95 of more than 700 Canadian applicants to the McCall MacBain Scholarship pool this year.

Up to 100 awards of $5,000 to $20,000 are offered each year on top of 30 fully funded scholarships for study at McGill University in Montreal. You can read about Dal’s past McCall MacBain scholars here, here, and here.

The scholarships are the result of a landmark $200 million gift in 2019 by John and Marcy McCall MacBain. At the time, the gift was largest single donation in Canadian history.

Applications for the next round of McCall MacBain Scholarship will open in June 2024 for September 2025 admission. More information about the awards can be found at


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