Every year, CRC launches a scholarship competition to reward and motivate its student members to excel and persevere in the field of oncology research. The most prestigious of these scholarships is the Luc Bélanger Distinction Scholarship, which recognizes social commitment and determination to pursue a career in graduate research. A true tribute to Dr. Luc Bélanger, a passionate and committed researcher-builder, CRC awards this scholarship annually to a student member whose career path and achievements are inspiring.
Here is a profile of one of the two recipients of the Luc Bélanger Distinction 2022 Scholarship, Cynthia Mbuya-Bienge, a doctoral student in epidemiology in Professor Hermann Nabi’s team.
Cynthia Mbuya-Bienge’s involvement in various social, community and associative causes has been an integral part of her career for almost ten years. As a volunteer for the Fondation des maladies du Coeur et de l’AVC de l’Outaouais (Outaouais Heart and Stroke Foundation) for two years, she helped organize one of the Foundation’s largest annual fund-raising campaigns, as well as providing administrative assistance to the Foundation’s employees, helping to keep the organization running smoothly. During the same period, she also volunteered for the Grand Rendez-Vous pour l’Autisme en Outaouais, a cause in which she participated annually until 2019, contributing to the smooth running of their largest fundraising campaign, which brought in $50,000 for the 2019 edition.
The student association movement is also close to her heart, and she has devoted herself to it in particular in recent years. Since fall 2020, she has been secretary of the student committee of the Quebec Population Health Research Network, whose main objective is to promote the work of student members working in this field within the scientific community and the general public. She also took part in the Syndic
at des travailleurs.euse.s étudiant.e.s et postdoctoraux de l’Université Laval, first as general secretary and then as president in March 2022. The union’s members include students on research and/or teaching assistantships and postdoctoral fellows. The union movement is rooted in a vision of social justice and upholds values of fairness and equality, which she subscribes to and is proud to defend. Since fall 2021, she has also been the student representative for her doctoral program at the Association des Chercheuses et Chercheurs Étudiant à la Faculté de Médecine de l’Université Laval (ACCEM). She was also the representative for the Saint-Sacrement Hospital site of the Comité Étudiant Regroupement Cancer until October 2022.
Finally, her passion for education has also led her to volunteer as a tutor for a high school student at risk of dropping out for the Diplôme avant la médaille organization during the 2020 school year.
Congratulations Cynthia for your involvement!