New alumna Jasmine Aziz honoured for academic achievement

"From spontaneous singing to astounding anecdotes, there are so many great people in the Faculty of Science who enriched my academic experience," says Jasmine Aziz, winner of the Faculty of Science Lieutenant-Governor's Gold Medal and the Governor General's Silver Medal.

Katie Willis - 15 June 2017

Congratulations to new Faculty of Science alumna Jasmine Aziz. Aziz, the winner of the Faculty of Science Lieutenant-Governor's Gold Medal for the graduating student with the highest distinction from an honours program. She is also the recipient of the Governor General's Silver Medal, awarded to the top three students at the University of Alberta.

Aziz tells us about her experience studying psychology at the University of Alberta and her plans for the future, and she shares some advice for her fellow students.

What brought you to the University of Alberta?

I completed high school in Edmonton and was unsure about what I wanted to study in university. Given that the University of Alberta is one of the leading universities in Canada and was just down the street, I opted for the stability of staying at home as I sampled a range of courses in general science.

Why did you choose psychology?

I was interested in pursuing a helping profession, but my fear of needles steered me away from most things medical! However, my introductory psychology courses and involvement in undergraduate research got me hooked on studying the brain and behaviour. I saw psychology as a diverse field with opportunities to both empirically examine questions and help people one-on-one.

What has been your most memorable experience at the Faculty of Science?

I have had so many memorable moments during my BSc that it is certainly tough to pinpoint one experience. Some memories that stand out come from exceptional professors who went the extra mile to make their classes enjoyable and rewarding. From spontaneous singing to astounding anecdotes (I won't give any away so others can enjoy them first-hand!), there are so many great people in the Faculty of Science who enriched my academic experience. I also look back fondly on rewarding trips with labmates and professors to conferences in Quebec City, Paris, and Fernie. Having the opportunity to share our scientific findings, meet other researchers, and explore new lands (and foods!) all in one day was such a treat.

What is next for you after graduation?

This fall, I will be pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University. I am excited to be conducting more research in post-stroke rehabilitation and developing my clinical skills.

What advice do you have for fellow students in the Faculty of Science?

As you work your way through your degree, don't be afraid to experiment and try out courses from a variety of disciplines. Keeping an open mind has certainly helped me find my way. I would also encourage everyone to consider the merits of all career paths, even those less traveled by. While having skill and capacity is important, I have found that it is better to pursue what will bring you most joy.

I am honoured to be receiving this award, and I could not have attained this level of success without the unconditional support of my family, friends, labmates, mentors, and professors. I will always carry my experiences and memories at the University of Alberta with me!