Physics student awarded prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship

Charles Iorio-Duval

Charles Iorio-Duval

In 5 seconds

Charles Iorio-Duval is entering the B.Sc. program in physics at UdeM with the goal of “changing the world through new technologies.”

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime stroke of good fortune. It’s only just starting to sink in!” Charles Iorio-Duval is delighted to be one of 50 recipients of the $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship this year. He plans to prove himself worthy of the honour by putting the money to good use.

The Schulich Leader Scholarship was created in 2012 by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich. Every year, the Schulich Foundation distributes the money to Canadian students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs at 20 partner universities to encourage Canada’s top students to become Schulich Leaders, the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded technology innovators.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the fruitful partnership between Université de Montréal and the Schulich Foundation, which has helped a dozen recipients realize their full potential during their undergraduate studies at UdeM.

Standing out among the best and the brightest

As he embarks on a B.Sc. in physics at UdeM after earning a Cégep diploma in natural sciences at Collège Lionel-Groulx, Charles plans to devote all his time and effort to his studies. “The scholarship makes my life plan easier because my financial needs will be covered throughout my education. But it means I have to maintain an excellent GPA.”

Based on his transcript, which shows strength in all subjects and particularly in pure science, where his grades have earned him a dozen awards and a 37.1 R score, we suspect our new Schulich Leader will do well. “I’ve always loved a challenge,” he says. “My challenge in university will be to excel in my program and be one of the best students in the department. I want to take the most demanding courses and acquire advanced knowledge.”

Showing leadership in the community

What Charles has accomplished thus far shows dogged determination, strong leadership skills and a keen sense of innovation, all important selection criteria for the Schulich. In his program comprehensive assessment in Cégep, he led a team that developed a mathematical modelling software that will be used in a study on the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia being conducted by his older brother – a physician and Charles’ role model – and other researchers in the neurosurgery department at Université de Sherbrooke. “The software will be used to determine the concentration of gamma rays to administer to babies and the exposure time, depending on the nature of the operation.”

While juggling studies, work, comedy shows, theatre and extracurricular activities, Charles also did scientific, linguistic and artistic training stints and worked in his Cégep’s tutoring service. “I try to seize every opportunity, but I also want to give something back. We have a duty to help improve people’s lives and advance human welfare, if we can. As Nelson Mandela said, ‘It always seems impossible until it's done’.”

Changing the world

Charles is aiming high: his idea of giving something back is to change the world! “Climate change is my generation’s struggle. I feel I can be useful in the battle by working on new technologies related to renewable energy, such as nuclear fusion. That’s why I decided to go into physics at Université de Montréal, which offers an ambitious program. Later, I’ll fight to get my inventions out of the lab. My ambition is to accomplish great things and I’m already full of ideas about how to do it.”

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