Incoming international student receives "monumental opportunity" as recipient of the Nicholas and Janice Brathwaite Award  – Faculty of Engineering

Incoming international student receives “monumental opportunity” as recipient of the Nicholas and Janice Brathwaite Award 

Pryla Pamphile
Pryla Pamphile

Pryla Pamphile, hailing from the island nation of Dominica, is the latest McMaster University recipient of the Nicholas and Janice Brathwaite Award, Pamphile will be starting in the Bachelor of Technology – Biotechnology program in the W Booth School of Engineering and Practice in the Faculty of Engineering.

Generously established by the PETNA Foundation in 2012, the Nicholas and Janice Brathwaite Award celebrates outstanding scholars from the Caribbean region and provides them with the opportunity to pursue their academic goals in any level one undergraduate program at McMaster University. 

“My wife, Janice, and I started the PETNA Foundation as a way of honouring my parents. Together [with McMaster], we are helping young people achieve their dreams of leveraging education to change the trajectory of their lives so that they too can impact the lives of others,” says Nicholas Brathwaite (BSCH ’82; LL. D ’18). Since the award’s inception, it has supported eight students from the Caribbean pursue studies at McMaster University. 

Pamphile says she aspired to pursue a STEM-related career at an early age after witnessing a friend pass away from an untreated heart condition. She plans on leveraging her Bachelor of Technology degree to impact her community and the world, sharing: “I dream of revolutionizing the process of organ transplants, where rather than waiting lengthy periods, hoping to find a match, patients can receive organs specifically made for them with little to no risk of organ rejection.” 

Pryla Pamphile working in a lab.

Outside of her academic commitments, Pamphile served as president of the Perpetual Help Program at her school, stating, “this allowed me to be of service to my fellow students by cooking meals for less fortunate students and to hone my problem-solving skills.” Pamphile also implemented a Big Sister Program, pairing senior students with incoming juniors to ease their transition from primary to secondary school. In recent months, Pamphile served as co-coordinator for the Girl Power Club via her employer, which works to empower young girls to be more independent and fearlessly take on jobs in traditionally male-dominated fields. 

Born in St. Lucia, the Dominica resident expressed gratitude for the award, stating, “this is a monumental opportunity for me to receive a world-class education and propel myself into a successful career. I know my future career goals can be attained through being afforded excellent networking, research and co-op opportunities.” 

“Following a competitive selection process with applicants from ten Caribbean community (CARICOM)-member states, we are thrilled to join the PETNA Foundation in honouring Pryla Pamphile with the Nicholas and Janice Brathwaite Award,” says Andy Moonsammy, McMaster’s Guyana-born international recruitment representative responsible for supporting applicants throughout the Caribbean region. “Pryla’s commitment to innovation, community service and excellence exemplifies the values upheld by McMaster University and the PETNA Foundation.” 

Learn about McMaster Engineering’s undergraduate scholarships.