A resident of Quebec City, Canada, Routhier-Labadie said she plans to use her Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University, England, for an applied study of prosthetics and joint surgery. She currently is earning a graduate diploma in applied ethics at Laval University, also located in Quebec City, and will head to Oxford in October 2008. Initially, she will take part in a 12-month "taught masters" program in biomedical engineering and eventually will pursue a Ph.D.
Routhier-Labadie was a finalist in the rigorous selection process and was interviewed by the Canadian Rhodes Trust committee on Nov. 23 as part of the final level of competition. She was asked a variety questions during the bilingual session (speaking in English and French) that pertained to her academic expertise as well as her personal views. She recalled one question in particular, when she was asked to name three people in history with whom she would like to have dinner; her answer: Jesus, Mother Teresa and Albert Einstein.
During her years at SHU Routhier-Labadie played women's varsity basketball while completing her undergraduate coursework as a Physics major in three years, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. She completed her undergraduate degree last August and will participate in SHU's commencement ceremony in May 2008.
A university spokesman described her as a solid contributor to the SHU women's basketball program; a "classic" point guard who created scoring opportunities for teammates. One of her highlight games came during the 2005/06 season, when she scored 17 points against Wright State in Dayton, OH.
Basketball, in fact, was a key factor that led her to SHU. In a recent phone interview, Routhier-Labadie said she grew up playing basketball (at Rochebelle High School) and would watch Big East basketball games on TV. She applied at SHU and was offered a scholarship, which fulfilled her dream to play in the Big East conference.
Athletics were always a big part of her family life in Canada, she said. Her father is the founder of Laval University football team; her mother worked for many years as a college athletic director and her grandfather was a professional hockey player in the NHL.
She said she is looking forward to the world-class academic environment at Oxford as well as the education and cultural opportunities that will come from traveling throughout Europe. "I think you learn more when you are exposed to a different environment," she said. "It helps you to see things from a new perspective."
Regarding her near-term career goals following her studies at Oxford, she said at this point in her life she is keeping all doors open. "I can see myself doing research impacting athletes in terms of injury rehab and prosthetics," she said. "I also could see myself teaching and doing research work at a university."
"I have known Annick since her freshman year and have always seen her demonstrate academic excellence in all of her work," Dr. Sedong Kim, chair of Seton Hall's Physics Department, said. "Annick is a role model not only for physics students but for all Seton Hall students."
James J. Kimble, Seton Hall's fellowships advisor, said Routhier-Labadie was not only a star in the classroom, she was also active in tutoring her fellow students and participated in a number of campus honorary organizations. "Her record shows an amazing level of accomplishment, both as a student and as a person," Kimble added.
Among her long list of accomplishments and service activities while at SHU, Routhier-Labadie was involved with the campus chapters of the Chi Alpha Sigma Student Athlete Society, the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the National Society of Physics Students. She spent time working with youth in area basketball activities and was an active member of The Setonian staff, the SHU newspaper.
Routhier-Labadie is being honored as one of Canada's 11 Rhodes Scholarship winners this year. Established in 1902, the Rhodes Trust is an internationally prestigious competition allows elite students from across the globe to complete graduate coursework at Oxford University. Previous Rhodes scholars have included former President Bill Clinton, astronomer Edwin Hubble, U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter and Bill Bradley, a former U.S. Senator from New Jersey and a star basketball player with Princeton University and the New York Knicks.