Student Excellence: Kate Schneider Vic 2T1
Kate Schneider, a political science specialist, has been awarded a McCall MacBain Regional Award. This generous scholarship enables outstanding students to pursue a master’s or professional degree. It can be applied to post-graduate studies anywhere in Canada. “This scholarship will allow me to continue my studies in political science at the master’s level,” says Schneider. “Eventually I hope to earn a PhD and pursue a career in public policy analysis.”
Schneider has been awarded many scholarships and awards for her scholarly excellence at the undergraduate level. Just as remarkable, however, is how involved she is in extracurricular activities. “There are so many opportunities for involvement at Vic and U of T,” she says. “I am always excited by the chance to pursue new avenues. Although this means I am often quite busy, as a result, I have had to hone my time-management skills over the past four years” Schneider’s activities are varied. At Vic she and a small group of friends started a club for people interested in Canadian politics. This club has since grown into the University of Toronto Canadian Politics Society. She is its current president and the club has become the largest, non-partisan Canadian politics group on campus with more than 650 members. She has also volunteered for the University of Toronto Association of Political Science Students and taken on various roles including that of vice-president, communications.
Prior to COVID-19, Schneider also filled her days as the assistant principal violist for the Hart House Orchestra. She attended weekly rehearsals in preparation for concerts throughout the year. But the activity that is closest to Schneider’s heart is her involvement with an organization called Survivors to Superheroes. Based out of Westchester County, New York, the organization supports teens and young adults who are survivors of sexual violence in both the United States and Canada. “One of my best friends is a survivor. She is the founder of the organization,” she explains. “Knowing that other young people share the same horrific experiences as what affected my friend breaks my heart.”
As vice president of legal affairs for Survivors to Superheroes, Schneider works behind the scenes to ensure the group is in compliance with applicable laws. She also prepares and co-ordinates all contracts including non-disclosure agreements to protect the confidentiality of survivor stories. “Volunteering for this group is truly inspiring,” says Schneider. “Personally, it is such meaningful work because I am passionate about helping young people affected by sexual violence.”
In addition to her volunteer work, Schneider has pursued a variety of research assistant jobs during her time at Vic. “I have loved my research work with the Department of Political Science and the Department of Economics. My undergraduate research experience with Profs. Chris Cochrane and Robert Vipond has been so positive that is has been the impetus for me to obtain a master’s degree,” she says.
Although Schneider is looking forward to the next chapter of her life, she is going to miss Vic. “The sense of community here is fantastic. I loved my time at Vic. I cherish the friendships I made and value the opportunities I had.”