Third year BBA Honours student Oksana Kovalenko was recently awarded a $3,000 Export Development Canada (EDC) International Business Scholarship. The EDC awards up to 30 scholarships annually to undergraduate students with a demonstrated interest in international business.
Oksana is a remarkable student, with a passion for international development and humanitarian causes. In early 2009, as a volunteer with Canada World Youth, she taught ESL at an underfunded school in China. In the summer of 2009, working with the The Otesha Project, she and fifteen other youth bicycled through Nova Scotia, using theatre to promote environmental sustainability and social justice. And in the summer of 2010, she served as an intern with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi, India, where she conducted research on important human rights issues.
Oksana's honours research investigates methods of improving the effectiveness of micro loans, an important tool in alleviating poverty in developing countries. Dr. Kelly Dye said of Oksana, “It is rare to see a student who achieves such high standards in her academic work while simultaneously making such a large contribution to the world around her.”
Originally from Latvia, Oksana's family emigrated to Canada seven years ago. She speaks English, Russian, Latvian, and is learning Spanish. After graduation, Oksana plans to take part in an eight-month International Microfinance and Microenterprise Fellowship through Aga Khan Foundation Canada. Her aim with this fellowship is to supplement her academic research with work experience in the field and to prepare for a Graduate Program at Ohio State University, where she plans to study Development Economics with a focus on Microenterprise Development.