University of Calgary

$600,000 to enhance undergraduate learning

UToday HomeDecember 21, 2012

By Mark Lowey

(L to R) Aleena Dewji, Ba-Cuong Phan, Shayan Najib are funded by SEEL to attend the World Future Energy Summit.  Photo by Riley Brandt(L to R) Aleena Dewji, Ba-Cuong Phan, Shayan Najib are funded by SEEL to attend the World Future Energy Summit. Photo by Riley BrandtSeveral University of Calgary students are headed to Abu Dhabi to attend the prestigious World Future Energy Summit, thanks to a program that has awarded $600,000 over six years to enhance undergraduate learning.

The students, who will participate in the conference next month in the United Arab Emirates, are among the most recent recipients of cash awards offered by the competitive Shell Experiential Energy Learning (SEEL) program.

Supported by a donation from Shell Canada and administered by the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE), the SEEL program after six years running has awarded $100,000 each year and benefitted upwards of 1,300 students.

“Undergraduates in many faculties and schools have had experiences and done activities that were made possible only through the SEEL program,” says Brian Keay, ISEEE’s interim executive director.

“We are most grateful to Shell for its commitment to this program and the company’s generosity in expanding our students’ learning beyond the classroom.”

“Shell Canada is proud to sponsor the SEEL program and see the difference it makes in the students’ learning experience and development,” says Frank George, team lead for the company’s Campus Ambassador Program at the university.

“We are amazed at the variety of experiences that the students get involved in and appreciate how it enhances their education, and in many cases impacts on others in the area of energy and sustainable development.”

A unique aspect of the SEEL program is that undergraduate students from faculties and schools affiliated with ISEEE decide on the applications submitted by their peers, in three rounds of funding per year.

The program provides funding for individual students and undergraduate student clubs for activities focused on sustainable energy, environment and economy. This includes special projects, credit courses, volunteer programs, field trips and conferences.

SEEL funding has enabled the university’s students to broaden their learning in Canada’s Arctic, the U.S., Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, many European countries, Africa, Asia (including China and India), the Philippines, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

At home, the SEEL program has supported dozens of projects and events, including: the university’s solar car and Solar Decathlon teams; the Schulich School of Engineering-led Alberta Student Energy Conference; the ISEEE Students’ Association international case competition; and the Haskayne School of Business’s Business Day Conference.