Sara Baxter has won a prestigious Frank H. Sobey Award for Excellence in Business Studies. Given to only eight business students in the Atlantic Canada region, the Sobey Award recognizes the unrelenting drive of this award-winning varsity athlete. Despite being one of the top scholarship recipients at Acadia University, Sara is humbled by the scope of the Award and impressed by its twenty-five-thousand-dollar value.
Winning the Sobey Award means more than I can even begin to explain. Not only is it giving me financial flexibility to pursue my dreams, but to be selected as a recipient, not only from among my peers, but also from among students at multiple universities across the Atlantic provinces, is huge honour.
This acknowledgement of the Award’s prestige means something coming from Sara, no stranger to accolades. She is
arguably the top all-round female student-athlete on our campus, to quote Kevin Dickie, Executive Director of Athletic and Community Events at Acadia. As a varsity rugby player, Sara has been named ‘Acadia McDonald’s Female Athlete of the Week’, and ‘AUS Subway Female Athlete of the Week’ and ArcelorMittal Dofasco U Sports Female Athlete of the Week’. This last recognition is national in scope.
But Sara’s performance in the classroom has also been stellar. She is a bilingual honours student and Dean’s List scholar. And like many of the recipients of the Sobey Award, she seems to perform better when more pressure is applied, on and off the field. In the classroom Sara successfully leads group work, is a teaching assistant, and a tutor to her fellow students. She regularly places at the top academically in all her courses. Sara was on the first- and second-year winning team competing in the Shaw Group Business Case Competition. She is an organizer of the DISRUPT Conference, and an interview host for the School’s AxeChange podcast. She writes news items on athletes for the Acadia Athletic Department and profiles of professors for the Fred C. Manning School of Business Administration. As a co-op student, Sara was the Community Entrepreneurship Developer at the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre. Her previous co-op work term was at a digital marketing firm in Halifax, which joined her two interests of entrepreneurship and social media. Mastering social media, in fact, is one of Sara’s attainments. She manages social media for the School of Business and for the Acadia Business Society, where she is on the executive as VP Marketing.
But actual societies also interest Sara, not just their media projection. Through Enactus, a community of socially-minded student entrepreneurial leaders, Sara co-manages Saturday morning Regenerate workshops, which challenges young people to become effective entrepreneurs. She volunteers as a figure skating coach with Skate Canada and was VP of Fundraising for the Acadia Axe-Elles Synchronized Figure Skating Team. She has almost a decade of participation in the CIBC Run for the Cure and three years as Team Captain for Acadia Relay for Life. She was a mentor to a young girl in the Girl’s Night Out program and has spent many early mornings in Acadia’s 25-meter pool with her
buddy, a young boy from the S.M.I.L.E. (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience) program.
Usually, the triad of academics, athletics, and community service is what constitutes the makeup of Sobey Award winners. But Sara diverges with another variable: She is funding her education at Acadia with the help of a number of paid positions on campus and through academic achievement, which results in scholarship income. Only a few years ago, the idea of paying your way through university was common. Today it is rare.
I consider myself so fortunate to have been able to fund my education primarily through scholarships and awards, she says. This is a weight that many top students do not carry. And that she makes this added burden appear effortless is a testament to Sara’s character. Among the many scholarships that she has won are the renewable Acadia Excellence Scholarship, the Winston Steeves Memorial Scholarship for honours students, and the Advisory Board Impact Award. The Impact Award really sums up Sara because it recognizes a student
who has had significant impact or his or her community. She’s had an impact at Acadia, most certainly. And she will have an impact in law school, which she plans to attend after graduation.
By her drive and dedication, Sara Baxter has competed athletically at the national level, is recognized as a CIS Academic All-Canadian, is the recipient of the most prestigious scholarships that Acadia University and the Atlantic region can bestow, challenges herself with new and varied experiences—including an exchange to Plymouth, England, and the attendant continental travel—volunteers for worthy causes and assists those in need.
Get involved and try something new, she advises others.
You’ll learn so much more about yourself and perhaps you’ll be surprised by what you’re capable of.
About the Manning School
Founded in 1957, the Manning School at Acadia University is home to over 600 students from over 20 countries. With 23 faculty members from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, the Manning School offers small classes that encourage concentrated interaction between students and faculty. Our students have opportunities to learn outside the classroom through co-op placements, projects with local enterprises, and international exchanges. Firmly rooted in a rich institutional legacy that personifies the very essence of a liberal education, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at Acadia is challenging and flexible, allowing students to explore a broad range of interests and producing well-rounded graduates who are well-positioned to pursue varied professional opportunities. Our graduates work in leadership roles across Canada and around the globe, with many having made their Acadia BBA degree a pathway to prestigious graduate programs.