Celebrating the graduates of Fall 2020: Jessa Marley

Meet some of the graduating class of Fall 2020—and celebrate convocation virtually with them on November 20.

News Staff - 19 November 2020

In 2020, convocation at the University of Alberta is taking place virtually. Join us on November 20th when our graduates, proud family and friends, and instructors will celebrate the class of Fall 2020’s hard work and achievements. 

Today, meet Jessa Marley, who is graduating with a master’s in applied mathematics from the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and hear from her on participating in math outreach programs, her advice for students beginning their own academic journeys, and where your passion can take you.

What led you to pick UAlberta for your studies?

My (eventual) supervisor, Professor Mark Lewis, cross-appointed between the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and the Department of Biological Sciences. We met before I applied and I was very keen to join his lab. 

Tell us about your experience in the Faculty of Science.

I was extremely fortunate and was surrounded by both classmates and educators with a wide variety of skills. I've never experienced such a wide variety of skills and information in one place before, so a lot of my experience was just trying to absorb as much as humanly possible. It was tough, and coming out of it I feel more confident in my own abilities—but am also more aware of how much further I have yet to go.

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

I really enjoyed my time as Math Outreach coordinator, and although working with school kids on math games was fun, the best part was teaching adults math at the TELUS World of Science during Dark Matters. It led to meeting some lovely people with whom we had great conversations. That and my time at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre were highlights. 

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

For those first entering school, make sure to try a variety of different topics and areas, both in class and outside of them. For me, my hobbies were key in maintaining balance. You'll never know where you'll find your next passion.

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

I was fortunate and got a job the week before everything shut down, so I was able to start a new job remotely. It has been a challenge learning to work with people I've never met, but we've all been able to adapt and be productive. 

How do you plan on celebrating convocation?

Celebration plans are a bit postponed, so for now by saving for an adventure when travel is possible. 

What's next after graduation?

I am continuing work at a tech startup for now, but chances are I'll end up back at school in one way or another!