Celebrating the graduates of Spring 2020: Sarah Morin

Undergraduate student Sarah Morin convocates with Dean’s Gold Medal in Science.

12 June 2020

As the Faculty of Science celebrates with our graduating students today at the University of Alberta’s first-ever virtual convocation, our graduating class finishes one journey, and begins another. Whether they are pursuing further studies, taking to the workforce, or engaging in research, one thing is certain: we are proud to welcome them to the Faculty of Science alumni family.

One such graduate convocating today is Sarah Morin, graduating with a BSc in biological sciences with a minor in sociology, and whose academic achievement is recognized with the Dean’s Gold Medal in Science. The medal is awarded to the convocating student from the general program in the Faculty of Science who has shown the highest distinction in scholarship.

Congratulations Sarah!

What led you to pick the University of Alberta for your studies?

It was pretty much an automatic decision for me. Growing up in Edmonton and having heard great things about the University of Alberta from family and mentors, I always dreamed of pursuing my studies here. It just felt right, not to mention the gorgeous campus and its proximity to North America's largest continuous urban green space, the Edmonton River Valley

Tell us about your experience in the Faculty of Science.

It has been a very fulfilling experience for me. I think the Faculty of Science does a terrific job of supporting students' specific interests while encouraging them to gain exposure to many different fields. I was consistently interested in health sciences, and I was able to take some pretty awesome courses and get involved in research projects that deepened my knowledge and intensified my passion for human biology. At the same time, I also love that I got to explore so many other niche areas in science, from neurobiology to phycology (the study of algae). There's something for everyone here. 

What is one of your favourite memories from your time at UAlberta?

I met some really awesome people through university, some of which have become close friends. With such a diverse student body, I not only had the opportunity to talk to people that share common interests, but I also met people with completely different backgrounds and passions! 

What advice do you have for current and future students at the Faculty of Science?

Be kind to yourself. The transition to university can be quite shocking for a number of reasons, from adjusting to a new environment to managing a heavy course load while juggling your personal life. It may be pretty overwhelming at first, especially when you put a lot of pressure on yourself. Make sure you take the mental and physical rest that you need so that you can be ready to take on each challenge.

Also, remember that you don't have to go through it all alone. If you're having a hard time understanding the material, don't be afraid to ask your classmates, instructors, or teaching assistants for help. If you're going through a rough patch, don't hesitate to reach out for support, whether it's from friends, family, or campus peer support. We're all in this together. 

How have you spent your time during COVID-19 distancing?

With the extra time on my hands, I began channelling my inner artist. I've been having so much fun drawing, painting, sculpting, and sewing. I'm also fortunate enough to be able to work on a research project remotely from home until laboratories start to open up. 

How do you plan on celebrating convocation?

I'll be tuning in to the virtual ceremony at home with my family. 

What's next after graduation?

I'll be starting medical school this September here at the University of Alberta. Looks like I'll be sticking around a while longer.