Making the world a legacy

Alumna Lucienne Nicolay and student Annabelle Gagnon-Barnes having a discussion in an Indian restaurant.

Thanks to a scholarship generously funded by alumna Lucienne Nicolay, Annabelle Gagnon-Barnes was able to have a rewarding experience abroad.

Annabelle Gagnon-Barnes was ready to do almost anything for her dream internship in India.

Including delaying her final session, if her financial situation became too precarious.

Fortunately, the Paul-Normand Dussault Memorial Scholarship, which she received in 2015, spared her this sacrifice. But that’s not all she got out of it.

“Thanks to this scholarship, I was able to do my internship and learn about local issues affecting women, youth and health care,” she says. “It was important for me to live there, to immerse myself in the culture, to not just go there as a traveller.”

Gagnon-Barnes’s words are enough to warm the globe-trotting heart of Lucienne Nicolay (BA ’76 and MA ’85 [Psychology]), widow of the late professor Paul-Normand Dussault. Her own planned gift to ensure that the scholarship continues is a testament to her belief in the scholarship’s value.

“The goal of the scholarship is to allow a student in international development and globalization, an area my husband opened up at the University of Ottawa, to complete an internship or take a course abroad,” she says. “It’s to introduce them to the world, increase their knowledge and get them to delve more deeply into global issues.”

Nicolay is a private woman who prefers not to talk about herself. But get her talking about the people she’s met and the things she’s learned criss-crossing the planet—through Africa, Asia and even Antarctica!—and just watch her come to life. For her, travel is first and foremost a means to understand peoples’ way of life and culture. What’s important, after all, is to know more about the world around us.

That’s what she wants to give to students like Gagnon-Barnes. Indeed, when she’s told about the destination of the most recent recipient of her scholarship, her eyes light up: “India? Now THAT’S interesting!”

It looks like the two will have a lot to say to each other about the joys of learning and reflection while discovering the world!

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