SACKVILLE, NB — Bernard Soubry is Mount Allison’s newest Rhodes Scholar. Soubry is one of 11 students across Canada selected for the prestigious scholarship, valued at over $100,000 from England’s University of Oxford.
Originally from Lachine, QC, Soubry is the 12th Mount Allison student in the past 14 years and the sixth in a row to receive the award. At a total of 53 Rhodes Scholars, Mount Allison holds one of the best records amongst Canadian universities.
“In all honesty, after I got the call, I collapsed on the floor sobbing and then phoned my mother,” Soubry says. “I am extremely thankful for this whole process because it has been an incredible show of love and support from faculty, staff, and friends at Mount Allison. To be able to receive that support has been an incredible gift, far greater than I could have asked for."
President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell says, “Bernard was an engaged member of the Mount Allison community from the day he stepped foot on campus. He took advantage of the many learning opportunities available inside and outside the classroom, from drama to research, and built an impressive resumé during his time at the University. I am thrilled to see him recognized as our next Rhodes Scholar and I would like to congratulate him on behalf of the entire University community.”
Soubry graduated from Mount Allison in 2013 with distinction in anthropology and English, where he focused his studies on climate change. He plans to study geography at the University of Oxford, specifically in the study of food systems in relation to small-scale organic agriculture. His primary interest is in food sovereignty and how climate change is affecting food systems.
“It was on an ice floe, in the middle of the Arctic, that I realized I wanted to become a farmer,” Soubry says of his experiences while researching Inuit knowledge and climate change in Pangnirtung. “So when I went home, I started working on issues that would bring me closer to the land I was raised on.”
Since graduating he has been gaining valuable experience in a number of areas, including continuing his work as a research assistant at Mount Allison, working as an organic agriculture apprentice at two farms, as a web editor with RCE Tantramar, a community programming and education intern with Tantramar Heritage Trust, and even co-founding Chez Soubry et White, a pop-up croissant shop that provides French cuisine at the Sackville Farmer's Market. He has also volunteered with Young Agrarians, Sackville Bike Co-op, and the Youth Arctic Coalition.
During his time at Mount Allison, Soubry was a research assistant, teaching assistant, and worked extensively in theatre, both on and off stage. He also volunteered with CHMA radio, Sackville Food Bank, and Eco-Action. He bridged his university life with the Town of Sackville by developing important relationships at the Farmer’s Market and learning to grow his own food at Sackville’s Community Garden.
“Going through this process, I got to really understand who I am, where I have come from, and who at the University helped get me here,” says Soubry. “This would not have been possible without the communities I have been a part of at Mount Allison and in Sackville. These communities I have lived in have opened me up and kept me marvelling at what people can do together. It is the kind of place where total collaboration is what became most important.”