Celebrating the graduates of Spring 2021: Nicholas Silver

Meet some of the amazing members of the graduating class of Spring 2021 from the Faculty of Science.

Katie Willis - 24 June 2021

This year, the University of Alberta is celebrating the achievements of our graduates with a virtual convocation ceremony on June 25. As we acknowledge the achievements of our graduating class, we’re sharing just a few of the amazing stories of our graduates.

Meet Nicholas Silver, graduating from the honors neuroscience program, as he reflects on the unique opportunities in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Science and the impact of learning from engaging, caring instructors.

Congratulations, Nicholas! 

What brought you to the U of A?

Both my parents and sister attended and graduated from the University of Alberta. Such a high-quality institution with family ties made it a simple decision to study here.

Tell us about your experience in the Faculty of Science.

My experience in the Faculty of Science is defined by three things: the courses, the students, and the professors. 

The breadth and quality of courses offered by the Faculty of Science has allowed me to explore different fields of study in which I previously had no experience. These opportunities have shaped my future goals and plans. The students I have befriended in the Faculty of Science are all amazing, intelligent individuals who have helped push each other to grow as individuals. Finally, the most positive part of my experience in the Faculty of Science, without a doubt, is the quality of instructors and professors I have had the privilege to learn from. In my experience, all the instructors and professors have displayed kindness towards all students and a shared passion for science. I am extremely grateful to have had so many fantastic instructors and professors as mentors.

What is one of your favourite memories from your time at the U of A?

One of my favourite memories was attending the Undergraduate Neuroscience Conference as an incoming first-year student. Both the quality of the research and the approachability of both students and professors to explain concepts to me created a very inclusive atmosphere which motivated me in my chosen studies.

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

I am a big believer in adaptability. When starting post-secondary, many people have a pre-defined concept of what their degree is going to be. In my experience that pre-defined concept is rarely accurate, as you may find certain courses captivating and want to pursue them further. Learning to adapt to changes like this is an extremely valuable skill.

How have you spent your free time during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

I have spent a significant portion of the time doing research both over the summer and semester. I was fortunate enough to be involved in a lab that was able to keep working throughout the majority of this pandemic. The ability to go on to campus and continue my research provided some degree of normalcy that I have greatly enjoyed. 

How do you plan on celebrating convocation?

I will probably take the day off from research (don’t tell my supervisor!). Might have a few close friends over if outdoor gatherings are still permitted.

What's next after graduation?

I will be starting a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Toronto this coming fall. I hope to study how microscopic biochemical changes can have profound impacts on an organism's overall neurological functioning.