21 February 2010

Staff at UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) could be forgiven for thinking that Casey Linton was an accomplished honours student having seen her working attentively in the labs over summer and occasionally being mentioned in their monthly newsletters.

The fact is Ms Linton is fresh from graduating as Senior Dux of Gold Coast’s Somerset College with a 45 out of 45 in her two-year International Baccalaureate course – the equivalent of an OP1– and has her sights set on starting a Bachelor of Medicine, Surgery and Science at UQ this year.

Ms Linton was one of 184 new UQ Excellence Scholarship recipients commended at a special ceremony at the University today, Sunday, February 21.

Ms Linton along with 23 other school leavers who achieved a score equivalent to the very top of the OP1 band, became one of the first students to accept the inaugural UQ Vice Chancellor's Scholarships, valued at $12,000 a year for up to five years.

Director of the Office of Prospective Students & Scholarships Ms Margaret Fairman said the new Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships were a welcome addition to UQ’s Academic Scholarship program.

“Our Academic Scholarship program aims to not only recognise and reward the achievements of outstanding school leavers but those with significant leadership or community service achievements as well,” she said.

Today was not the first time that Ms Linton has been honoured here at UQ, having won the state final of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge held at QBI in 2008 and coming runner up at the national final and international final, which was held in Canada.

Ms Linton said the competition, which aims to increase brain awareness among young people by testing their knowledge of brain function and neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers disease, certainly played a part in her decision to pursue a career in medicine and medical research, as has her work experience at QBI.

“I was really excited when I found out I had been awarded the scholarship. I really wanted to go to UQ, because it has a really good reputation for medicine in Queensland,” she said.

“I’m looking to go into medicine or medical research, however my experience at QBI has been really good, so it is possible that I might continue down the track with research.

“To get such a prestigious scholarship from UQ is a great honour and I’m looking forward to settling into Emmanuel College and experiencing the university life.”

Media: Margaret Fairman (m.fairman@uq.edu.au) or Robbie Mitchell (07 3346 7086) or Jan King 0413 601 248