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Kaleem Hawa ’12 is UCC’s 25th Rhodes Scholar

Kaleem Hawa ’12 has received a Rhodes Scholarship, perhaps the most prestigious academic award in the world.

Each year, 89 are awarded internationally. Hawa was one of 11 Canadians, including two from Ontario. (Our archivist is working to confirm it, but with 25 Rhodes Scholars to date, UCC may lay claim to more than any other Canadian school since the program’s inception in 1903.)

In his final year at Trinity College at the University of Toronto, where he studies global health and international relations, Hawa is also a junior analyst at McKinsey & Company. He’ll head to Oxford University in England this fall.

K_Hawa“I’ll be studying new threats to security, including pandemic preparedness and climate change,” Hawa says.

To that end, he’ll undertake two one-year masters degrees: global governance and diplomacy; and integrated immunology.

Though the task at hand is kind of enormous, Hawa is more optimistic than anxious. In a wide-ranging discussion, it’s clear why Hawa impressed the Rhodes judges at an “interview party” for the 13 Ontario finalists at the University Club in Toronto in November. He was a star debater, chair of the World Affairs Conference and much more while at UCC. He also graduated as a Loran Scholar. Hawa is past president of the Hart House Debates Committee, the University of Toronto Liberals and the university’s international relations society.

Looking back, Hawa credits UCC’s International Baccalaureate Programme for setting him up so well. UCC is celebrating 20 years of being an IB World School.

“The IB prepared me incredibly well for the rigours of university life and study,” he says. “The debate program in particular played a seminal role in growing my confidence and strengthening my knowledge base.”