The music within the science

How immunology student, Adam Caulfield, succeeded at both science and arts.

Luis Carlos Flores - 13 June 2018

The Faculty of Science congratulates one of its newest alumni, Adam Caulfield (BSc immunology).

Reflecting on his experience at the Faculty of Science as a Caulfield, Adam tells us about his future plans and shares insight into how he managed to balance both of his passions, immunology and music.

What brought you to the University of Alberta?

For me, the University of Alberta is really a family school. Both of my parents and most of my uncles and aunts went there. My grandpa was even a dean at the U of A.

I was born and raised in Edmonton so when I was graduating from high school, the U of A was the next logical step. To top it all off, the U of A offered an incredibly strong program in my area of interest (immunology).

My experience at the Faculty of Science was really positive. The U of A has provided me with a fantastic foundation in biological sciences. My classes helped stoke my interest in medical studies, and the laboratory experience helped me feel comfortable and confident in a research setting, something that is invaluable. Furthermore, it was also great to have had the opportunity to be as involved with music throughout my degree.

What resonates the most with you about your experience at the Faculty of Science?

Definitely all the opportunities I had throughout my degree. The Faculty of Science provided me with the opportunity to take a specialized degree in my area of interest and encouraged me to spend time on independent projects.

I also got the chance to learn from so many great mentors, in the lecture halls and in the lab!

How did you balance being an Immunology student and a cellist, both of which are incredibly demanding of your time and talent?

It was a challenge at times balancing both my academics and my music. But to be honest, being able to prioritize was what allowed me to succeed at balancing both. If I had no exams on the horizon, I would be able to spend more time rehearsing for a big concert and vice versa. My music and my studies were both very important to me. It definitely made for some busy weekends studying though!

What do you admire the most about your father and your uncle?

My dad and my uncle have influenced me in many ways. They have been excellent role models. The inspiration that they have both found in their respective fields is what I admire the most from them. They are both so dedicated and find so much joy in their work. Hopefully, one day I will be able to approach my work in the same way.

What future plans do you have?

I spent this last year working on my applications and interviews to several medical schools. At this point in time, I am happy to say that in the fall I will be attending the MD program at the University of Toronto.

What advice do you have for Faculty of Science students interested in both science and art?

Do not fall under the impression that maintaining a hobby that you love (such as music, in my case) is not possible in university. Although it would be busy, having a side activity is not only totally doable but also it's a great way to relieve stress.