Rich in research: Rehab Science student wins international Golden Key award

    After recently winning the Graduate Scholar Award from the Golden Key International Honour Society, Arnold Wong is now $10,000 richer. But the University of Alberta PhD student isn?t buying anything shiny and new with the prize ? he wants to put it toward research.

    By Jeannine Guérette on March 27, 2013

    After recently winning the Graduate Scholar Award from the Golden Key International Honour Society, Arnold Wong is now $10,000 richer. But the University of Alberta PhD student isn’t buying anything shiny and new with the prize – he wants to put it toward research.

    “I study the pathologies and treatment of low back pain, and at the end of the day, it’s about helping people and improving care for patients with back pain,” says Wong, who is currently pursuing his PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. 

    Only 10 PhD students worldwide receive the prestigious award each year.

    “I honestly didn’t expect to win it, because the pool was so competitive,” explains Wong. Despite his accomplishment, Wong seemed to be most impressed by the fact that Canadians, who make up less than five per cent of the Golden Key International membership, took home five of the 10 awards.

    One individual who isn’t shy to commend Wong on his achievement is his academic supervisor, Greg Kawchuk, PhD.

    “I went a long way to bring Arnold to the U of A - literally!” says Kawchuk. While collaborating with a colleague on a project in Hong Kong, Kawchuk spotted Wong, a talented Honours student with a perfect GPA. “Since coming to Edmonton, Arnold's impact at the university has been meteoric in magnitude,” adds Kawchuk.

    Wong, whose goal is to become a world-class clinician-scientist, is quick to give credit to others for his success. “I have to thank Greg and the Faculty – we have a really supportive team here,” says Wong.

    “I can’t wait to see what Arnold will achieve next!” says Kawchuk.