Marcotte, Muscat awarded Killam Fellowships to study in Canada

University of Maine students Sarah Marcotte and Abigail Muscat earned Killam Fellowships to study in Canada during the spring 2021 semester.

Marcotte, a third-year biology major, plans to study at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Muscat, a third-year marine sciences major and international affairs minor, plans to study at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

The Killam Fellowships Program provides exceptional undergraduate students from universities in Canada and the United States with the opportunity to experience a semester (or a full academic year) as an exchange student in the other country. 

Marcotte and Muscat, who both are in the Honors College, will each receive $5,000, plus a grant for an educational field trip. Killam Fellows are slated to take part in an orientation program in Ottawa this fall and a seminar in Washington, D.C. in the spring.

Sarah Marcotte
Sarah Marcotte

Marcotte, of Bangor, Maine, wants to experience academics at another university and explore another part of the world. “Also, my family is French Canadian, so I wanted to go to Canada to connect with that heritage.”

She looks forward to intensifying her study of French, and becoming a more confident and fluent speaker. She’s also excited to learn from Dalhousie’s agriculture and botany experts, and to make friends.

Marcotte has camped with her family in the Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick areas, and visited Quebec City, Montreal and Halifax. “I’m interested in gaining a new sense of independence,” she says. “This will be my first time traveling by myself without family or friends. I’m also hoping to have the opportunity to visit Toronto or Ottawa for the first time.”

Marcotte plans to pursue a career in agricultural or horticultural science, possibly specifically relating to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Abigail Muscat
Abigail Muscat

When Muscat started searching for study abroad opportunities, she sought a way for it to be at the University of British Columbia. 

“In April of 2018, I traveled to B.C. to see the gray whale migration and I fell in love with the natural wonders and species of the area, from the black bears and rhinoceros auklets (seabird), to the orcas and nudibranchs (molluscs),” she says. 

“During this trip, I briefly visited the UBC campus and afterwards I knew I wanted to find an opportunity to go back, which led me to apply for the Killam Fellowship.” 

Muscat says UBC has an excellent ocean sciences program and ornithology courses and she’s eager “to gain field experience on the Pacific Northwest Coast and learn more about a unique marine environment that I am passionate about.”

She’s also enthused to cultivate her interest in international affairs, including experiencing firsthand another culture’s local and international conservation dialogue.

The Bass Harbor resident plans to pursue a Ph.D. and have a career that combines her love of birds and the ocean, and that informs policymaking in these areas.

The Canadian-American Center and the Office of Major Scholarships supported Muscat and Marcotte’s applications. Betsy Arntzen, Canadian-American Center education outreach coordinator, assisted students with the application, provided the UMaine nomination letter and mailed the application packet. 

Previous UMaine students who received Killam Fellowships include Lucas Yoder, Claire Fouchereaux, Nicole Turmel, Kristen Brown, Mallory Lavoie and Kristin Kirouac.

To learn more about this fellowship and other merit nationally competitive scholarships, contact Nives Dal Bo-Wheeler at the Office of Major Scholarships,

Beth Staples,