Biology prof gives back with a scholarship

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A man wearing glasses and a pale-coloured shirt smiles at the camera.

By Linda Scales

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. — Mahatma Gandhi

Faculty of Science professor François Chapleau set out to shake the world of some University of Ottawa students, in the gentlest way, by providing a scholarship that could help ease the financial pressures of a university education.

In 2004, he established the Chapleau Scholarship in Biomedical Sciences. Since then, 10 Ontario students in the third or fourth year of the biomedical science program have been awarded Chapleau scholarships. Today, more than 75 students are awaiting decisions on their own applications, indicating the need for scholarships such as this one. And by the thank you notes he has received from the recipients, Professor Chapleau knows just how much this financial support is appreciated.

Professor Chapleau is clear about why he created the scholarship: he’s giving back to the institution that has given him interesting employment opportunities, ever since he accepted a position at the Department of Biology in 1989, and has educated all four children of his blended family.

Professor Chapleau teaches biology to undergraduates and conducts research on the evolutionary history and interrelationships of flatfish. In addition, he has served in several administrative positions at the University, including as Associate Vice-President, Strategic Enrollment Management and Registrar from 2003 to 2008.

He believes that working at the University is a privilege. “For me, it has always been a pleasure,” he says. “The University of Ottawa has given me a lot of opportunities to teach, do research and be active in administration. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Professor Chapleau is one of the 34 University employees who are publicly supporting the 2016 Employee Giving program and are featured on posters around campus. The eight-week “I Give” fundraising campaign, which concludes on April 15, raises funds for student scholarships and activities chosen by the donor. Take a few minutes to read more about the campaign, including some reasons for giving.

The Employee Giving program is part of Defy the Conventional, the University’s latest fundraising campaign, which aims to raise $400M.

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