Trinity College's Steven Wang has been selected for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. (Photo courtesy of Steven Wang)

U of T student named Ontario Rhodes Scholar

Trinity's Wang off to study at Oxford

Steven Wang, a graduate of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, has been named an Ontario Rhodes Scholar for 2012. Wang is one of 11 Canadians to earn one of the world’s most celebrated academic honours. 

Established in 1903, the prestigious and highly competitive scholarship comes with a stipend and tuition expenses to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford.

Wang, who majored in international relations, dedicates the honour to his parents who overcame many barriers when they moved to Canada from China.

“Winning the Rhodes scholarship is in many ways a reflection of what is best about Canada – the idea that a boy from a humble background and foreign land can achieve as much academic success as someone with certain privileges and ties,” said Wang, 22, who immigrated to Canada at the age of nine.

Rhodes scholars must be well-rounded students involved in extracurricular activities and volunteer work. At 17, Wang founded Community Action by Youth, a grassroots initiative dedicated to empowering youth to address issues of poverty and climate change. He also helped start a development group in Kenya to co-ordinate projects in micro-finance, healthcare and education. Wang is currently working on a conflict resolution and global citizenship project in Toronto at the Mosaic Institute.

Wang plans on pursuing his Masters in International Relations. “I want to explore how we can ensure cooperation among competing powers and that international laws can be legitimate arbiters of conflict,” he says.

After Oxford, Wang intends to study international law and pursue a career in international politics.

“I want to help address the systemic questions facing our world. I believe real change requires reform in international institutions so they are more enforceable, representative, and able to meet the mutual challenges we face together in this century.” 

The University of Toronto has produced numerous Rhodes Scholars over the years, including President David Naylor and Liberal MP Bob Rae.

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