Dec. 3, 2013

2014 Rhodes Scholar: Yan Yu, Faculty of Medicine

Global advocate for health-care improvement awarded Rhodes prize
Yan Yu, a member of the Scholars Academy Program and student in the Faculty of Medicine, has been selected as a 2014 Rhodes Scholar.

Yan Yu, a member of the Scholars Academy Program, has been selected as a 2014 Rhodes Scholar.

Riley Brandt

Yan Yu, a Faculty of Medicine student from the University of Calgary, has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar for 2014. The Rhodes Scholarships are considered the oldest and most prestigious international scholarships for outstanding students from any academic field of study.

Eleven Canadian Rhodes Scholars are chosen each year from among those nominated by universities across the country. Only three of these scholarships are allotted to the western region (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta). 

The medical student hopes to use the internationally recognized award to further his innovative initiatives in addressing and integrating education in medical practice. “Education is a springboard that can propel societies towards higher quality, more efficient patient care,” wrote Yu in his award application.

Yu, who grew up in both Scotland and Canada, credits his father with instilling in him the importance and value of education. Passionate about seeking solutions to worldwide health-care issues, Yan wants to study business and public policy to become a global advocate and teacher of healthcare improvement.

Already on his way to becoming a global advocate for health-care improvement, Yu led the development of the Calgary Guide to Understanding Disease, an open source education tool that is free to learners worldwide and has been downloaded more than 50,000 times in over 100 countries.

Yu enjoys photography in his spare time.

Yu enjoys photography in his spare time.

As a Rhodes Scholar, he hopes to learn from the diverse perspective of his international peers to sharpen his thinking, refine his worldview and enhance his understanding of different cultures and attitudes.

“Just as education has helped my father and me, I hope to provide similar opportunities for others to improve their own lives,” wrote Yu.

Jessica Cohen, co-ordinator of the Scholars Academy Program, says that Yu will be a great ambassador for the University of Calgary.  “Yan exemplifies the high quality of students that we have in the Scholars Academy Program,” said Cohen. “He also demonstrates leadership among his peers and is interested in a broad range of academic and extracurricular activities.”

The Rhodes Scholarship includes tuition, college fees, and a stipend covering living expenses for two to three years of study at the University of Oxford, in Oxford, England. Yu and Aravind Ganesh (also from the Faculty of Medicine) are the 12th and 13th University of Calgary recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship since 1969.

Recently the University of Calgary has improved support for its students to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship through the availability of institutional resource personnel and individual application reviews.