Media Releases

U of T student named Ontario Rhodes Scholar

December 12, 2011

TORONTO, ON – Steven Wang, a grad­u­ate of Trin­i­ty Col­lege at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, has been named an Ontario Rhodes Schol­ar for 2012. Wang is one of 11 Cana­di­ans to earn one of the world’s most cel­e­brat­ed aca­d­e­m­ic hon­ours.

Estab­lished in 1903, the pres­ti­gious and high­ly com­pet­i­tive schol­ar­ship comes with a stipend and tuition expens­es to pur­sue a degree or degrees at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oxford.

Wang, who majored in inter­na­tion­al rela­tions, ded­i­cates the hon­our to his par­ents who over­came many bar­ri­ers when they moved to Cana­da from Chi­na.

“Win­ning the Rhodes schol­ar­ship is in many ways a reflec­tion of what is best about Cana­da – the idea that a boy from a hum­ble back­ground and for­eign land can achieve as much aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess as some­one with cer­tain priv­i­leges and ties,” says Wang, 22, who immi­grat­ed to Cana­da at the age of nine.

Rhodes schol­ars must be well-round­ed stu­dents involved in extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties and vol­un­teer work. At sev­en­teen, Wang found­ed Com­mu­ni­ty Action by Youth, a grass­roots ini­tia­tive ded­i­cat­ed to empow­er­ing youth to address issues of pover­ty and cli­mate change. He also helped start a devel­op­ment group in Kenya to coor­di­nate projects in micro-finance, health­care and edu­ca­tion. Wang is cur­rent­ly work­ing on a con­flict res­o­lu­tion and glob­al cit­i­zen­ship project in Toron­to at the Mosa­ic Insti­tute.

Wang plans on pur­su­ing his Mas­ters in Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions. “I want to explore how we can ensure coop­er­a­tion among com­pet­ing pow­ers and that inter­na­tion­al laws can be legit­i­mate arbiters of con­flict,” he says.

After Oxford, Wang intends to study inter­na­tion­al law and pur­sue a career in inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics. “I want to help address the sys­temic ques­tions fac­ing our world. I believe real change requires reform in inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions so they are more enforce­able, rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and able to meet the mutu­al chal­lenges we face togeth­er in this cen­tu­ry.”

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has pro­duced numer­ous Rhodes Schol­ars over the years, includ­ing Pres­i­dent David Nay­lor and Lib­er­al MP Bob Rae.

Steven Wang


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Joy­ann Cal­len­der
Media Rela­tions Offi­cer
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to