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St. Mary alumna awarded Knight-Hennessy Scholarship

Catharine Bowman one of 70 learners worldwide named to Stanford Program

St. Mary Catholic Secondary School graduate Catharine Bowman is fulfilling a promise she made almost ten years ago: “to change the world with love and science.”

Bowman, whose ground-breaking research into lymphedema has led to improvements in the pharmacologic treatment, psychosocial aspects and surgical management of the condition, has been awarded a prestigious Knight-Hennessy Scholarship to Stanford University in California where she will pursue a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology and Clinical Research at the Stanford School of Medicine. As one of 70 students worldwide accepted into the 2022 cohort, she will be part of a multidisciplinary and multicultural community of scholars looking to address many of the complex challenges facing the world.

“I am so incredibly grateful to be a part of the 2022 Knight-Hennessy Scholars cohort. This opportunity holds such deep meaning to me, both personally and professionally,” says Bowman.

“The opportunity to study at Stanford offers access to learning from world leaders in lymphatic and related systems research, and to then share this knowledge to create meaningful change. My goal remains the same as it was when I was fourteen-years-old — to change the world with love and with science.”

The scholarship has put Bowman’s medicine degree studies at the Cumming School of Medicine on hold for the next two years. In addition to her academic pursuits, she is Vice-President of the Alberta Lymphedema Association, is a Leader in Health Sciences Scholar, and has been named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 (Avenue Magazine) and one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30.

She’s always been very driven, says her mother, Debbie Ciotti-Bowman.

It was in fact Ciotti-Bowman’s battle with lymphedema that put Bowman on her current path. A school science fair project on lymphedema ended up taking her to the Canada Wide System Fair, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in the U.S. and to the University of Calgary where she graduated with a BHSc.

“She has always appreciated the gifts and knowledge from her journey through the Catholic education system here in Hamilton-Wentworth,” says Ciotti-Bowman.

Bowman hopes to develop innovative healthcare solutions for patients experiencing lymphatic disorders by integrating the study of health equity, culture, and lymphology.

Scholars in the 2022 Knight Hennessy cohort come from 27 countries and have earned degrees from 42 institutions world-wide.

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Catharine Bowman prepares
Catharine Bowman prepares "to change the world with love and science." Photo: Don Molineaux.