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Spring/Summer 2021

Student Changemakers

Sir Howard Douglas Scholars

ALUMNI NEWS MAGAZINE | Spring/Summer 2021

This spring, 17 students were inducted into UNB’s Sir Howard Douglas Society. Established in 2006, membership in the society is intended to recognize, promote, cultivate and encourage outstanding UNB undergraduate students who have achieved academic excellence, while actively participating in extracurricular or co-curricular activities, particularly volunteer activities, after completing at least year two of their undergraduate studies. Scholars exemplify the society's motto, Non Nobis Solum: Not for Ourselves Alone. The Sir Howard Douglas Society has 245 members, made up of UNB students and alumni.

In this issue, we are tipping our hats to the 2020 and 2021 scholars, and while we can’t profile all of them, we are proud of these changemakers. Bios of all of the 2020 and 2021 Sir Howard Douglas Scholars and the induction ceremony can be found at

2021 Scholars

Natasha Vatcher (BSc), Oromocto, NB; Ava Hicks (BA), Fredericton, NB; Mila Veljanovska (BSc), Saint John, NB; Sarah Kelly (BSc), Hanwell, NB; Dalton Killorn (BScEng), Charlottetown, PEI;  Reid Sutherland (BA/BSc), Westville, NS; Jordan MacDonald (BA), Saint John;  Jasmine Eng (BSc), Fredericton, NB


2020 Scholars

Sarah Liberty (BA), Kingston, NB; Fahim Rahman (JD), Edmonton, AB; Alisha-Lynn Helen Lapointe (BSc), Florenceville-Bristol, NB; Shanece Wilson (BScEng), West Branch, NB;  Mathew Gracie (BA), Fredericton, NB; Morgan Meade (BBA), Corner Brook, NL; Jackson Weir (BSc), Saint John, NB; Matthew MacLennan (BScEng), Quispamsis, NB; Dayna Alexander (BBA), Woodstock, NB 


Fahim Rahman

Fahim Rahman

Fahim Rahman from Edmonton, AB, graduated with a juris doctor from the Fredericton campus in 2020. He pursued a legal education to change lives and break down social structures. Committed to serving both local and global communities, he volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada, on missing and murdered Indigenous women with the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples’ Council and with the Fredericton Legal Advice Clinic.

“My belief in helping others stems from a sense of respect and acknowledgement towards everyone who has helped me be the person I am today,” says Rahman. “Behind every accomplishment, I am proud of, I can think of at least one person who helped me achieve that. So, I know that if I am able to help at least one more person, I can both pay things forward and hopefully help them accomplish their goals too.”

“My belief in helping others stems from a sense of respect and acknowledgement towards everyone who has helped me be the person I am today.”

As the only member of his family to enter the legal profession, Rahman says that he didn’t really know what lawyers did on a daily basis. “I assumed they were either preparing to go to court or were actually in court. Assisting a lawyer on a pro bono matter was a great way for me to better understand the profession, and how the law, which may seem neutral on its face, actually affects people differently.” 

Rahman adds that he was, “also lucky to work with professor Jula Hughes who taught me that lawyers can apply their knowledge of the law in ways to help the community without going to court, either by being an advocate, helping others understand their rights, or drawing attention to inequalities in the law’s application to people.”

Rahman finished his clerkship at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Calgary last March.  He is now completing his articles at Shores Jardine LLP, a boutique law firm in Edmonton that focuses on administrative law.      

Mila Veljanovska

Mila Veljanovska

Mila Veljanovska from Saint John, NB, will graduate with a bachelor of science degree, majoring in biology-psychology, from the Saint John campus in 2022. She is founder and president of the UNB Saint John Chess Club, a Currie Scholar mentor, vice-president of the Golden Key Honour Society, a science tutor at the Flora Beckett Math and Science Help Centre, orientation leader, and bilingual judge for UNB STEM science fair. Outside of UNB, she volunteers as a bilingual translator with 211 New Brunswick and with the Saint John Regional Hospital.

“I volunteer because communities have to be resilient and come together to help the most vulnerable in difficult times, like during the current pandemic,” she says. “We need to come together to help each other. There are countless possibilities and ways that we can better our community. Volunteering at the hospital allowed me to give back and help the seniors to have a little more fun in their day. I cherish all the memories I made at the hospital, and I am humbled to help brighten their day.” 

“We need to come together to help each other. There are countless possibilities and ways that we can better our community."

Veljanovska says that her best piece of advice that she has received came from one of her mentors “whom I dearly cherish,” and “I often reminded myself of this advice during my journey as an undergraduate student. He told me: ‘The three keys to success are preparedness, opportunity and luck. Luck may bring you new opportunities, but in order to succeed, you must prepare and work hard beforehand’.”

As for her future plans: “I have great aspirations for the future,” she says. “Having seen the effects brought by COVID-19 in my community inspired me to pursue a new career path in research in the field of public health and epidemiology, and I will continue to share my passion for chess with the younger generations.”

Jasmine Eng

Jasmine Eng

Jasmine Eng from Fredericton, NB, graduated with a bachelor of science degree in honours biology-chemistry from the Fredericton campus this spring. She got involved in her community specifically to build an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. “Everyone deserves the right to feel like they belong and to be treated with kindness,” she says.

One way that she has worked towards building inclusiveness was through her role as co-president of the Best Buddies Chapter, an organization that pairs students with individuals in the community who are living with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Beginning in her first year, and up until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Eng volunteered at the University Women’s Centre. “I am passionate about gender equality and wanted to become more involved on campus,” she says. “The centre is a safe space for students of all genders.” On why she volunteers, she says: “volunteering with various community and school organizations has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I seek opportunities to take action about things I am interested in and it makes me happy to know that I can make a difference.” 

"I seek opportunities to take action about things I am interested in and it makes me happy to know that I can make a difference.” 

Eng credits her family for helping her become the person that she is. “Although it’s cliché, one great piece of advice that my parents had always told me is, ‘Put yourself in their shoes.’ From a young age, this instilled in me the importance of having empathy for others and to have an open mind. I believe it’s important to recognize that everyone has different experiences. This has driven me to work towards addressing the disparities that exist in our community with compassion. Understanding other perspectives and worldviews enrich the way that we see the world.” 

In keeping with her dedication to helping others, Eng will study medicine at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL, this fall. “I am excited to continue learning, growing and contributing to my community.”