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Maike van Niekerk named Dalhousie University’s 90th Rhodes Scholar

Posted by Media Centre on November 21, 2016 in News

(Halifax, NS) – Dalhousie University congratulates fourth-year nursing student, Maike van Niekerk on being named a 2017 Rhodes Scholar. The Rhodes Scholarship is a distinguished award, bestowed to 95 high-achieving students around the world, allowing them to pursue post-graduate studies at Oxford University. Rhodes Scholars are selected based on academic distinction, integrity of character, passion for community and their field, and leadership ability.

“Maike’s accomplishments are a source of pride for the entire Dalhousie community,” says Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University. “Her academic record is outstanding, but what truly sets Maike apart is her commitment to helping others.”

A Corner Brook, Nfld. native, van Niekerk has a vast list of distinguished accomplishments and awards including a Canadian Schulich Leader Scholarship, the Governor General's Meritorious Service Decoration and Dalhousie’s Board of Governors Award. She was also chosen as the Newfoundland Red Cross’ Young Humanitarian of the Year and named one of Plan International Canada’s Top 20 Under 20.

Van Niekerk is the founder of Katrin’s Karepackage (KK). An initiative to honour her mother’s memory and endorsed by the Canadian Cancer Society, KK is the first tax-deductible charitable program in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia that provides funding to offset travel costs for cancer patients travelling for cancer-related appointments in St. John’s and Halifax, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

As a Rhodes Scholar, van Niekerk is hoping to complete her PhD in Psychiatry, with sights set on working with Oxford’s Psychological Medicine Research Team.

“To have the opportunity to potentially join that team, gain knowledge in that field and then bring it back to Canada — hopefully to develop novel and culturally appropriate psychological treatment tools for Indigenous Canadians diagnosed with cancer – will be incredible,” says van Neikerk. “It’s something I really want to dedicate the rest of my career and life to.”

You can read more about van Niekerk and her impressive list of accomplishments on Dal News.

As Dalhousie’s 90th Rhodes Scholar, van Neikerk follows fellow Dalhousie alumni Brittany Graham (2015), Michael Mackley (2014) and Paul Manning (2013) into the ranks of Oxford’s academic elite.


Media Contacts
Lindsay Dowling
Media Relations Officer
Dalhousie University


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