Celebrating the graduates of Spring 2021: Bryton Wong

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

Katie Willis - 25 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.

One of the graduates celebrated today is Bryton Wong, graduating with a BSc Specialization in psychology—and yet another cause for celebration is Bryton’s recognition with the prestigious Gold Medal in Science, awarded to the convocating student from the specialization programs in the Faculty of Science who has shown the highest distinction in scholarship.

Congratulations, Bryton! 

What brought you to the U of A?

By the time I was applying for university, I’d spent all 18 years of my life in Calgary, and I wanted a change of scenery. I also wanted to try living away from home and to gain some independence. Moreover, I’d heard great things about the University of Alberta, its campus, and the programs offered by the Faculty of Science. Finally, I had friends that were also headed to the U of A. All these factors together made my decision easy.

Tell us about your experience in the Faculty of Science.

I originally started out as a biological sciences major. I fell in love with biology in high school and thought pursuing a degree in it was the way to go. However, things changed after I took a psychology class in my second year. I immediately became fascinated with the discipline and was fortunate enough to have a chance to explore my interests further as a research assistant with Peggy St. Jacques in the Memory for Events Lab

I ended up switching to a BSc in psychology shortly after. Looking back, I’m so glad I did. I’m super grateful that I got to study so many diverse topics in psychology, including perception, psychopharmacology, memory, and behavioural endocrinology. I’m also grateful I had the chance to learn about interesting subjects outside psychology, such as criminology and economics. 

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

One of my favourite memories is from my first year of university. A few days before classes started, some friends and I decided to explore campus for the first time. We didn’t know where we were going but eventually wound up at the Arts and Business Quad. Campus was quite empty at the time, so we just sat in front of the Old Arts Building, admired the view, and reflected on our impromptu tour of campus. I’ll never forget the excitement we shared. We knew that, very shortly, we would begin a new chapter in our lives and embark on a journey of endless possibilities. We couldn’t wait to get started. 

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

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it! Speaking from personal experience, university is a lot more manageable and enjoyable if you reach out to on-campus services, your peers, and instructors when you need help. Take advantage of the incredible Centre for Writers, Decima Robinson Support Centre, and Science Mentor Program, among other resources.

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

I’ve enjoyed going on long, socially distanced walks around my neighbourhood and at local parks.

How do you plan on celebrating convocation?

When it’s safe to do so, I hope to celebrate by watching a movie at a theatre and having a nice dinner at a restaurant with friends and family. 

What's next after graduation?

I’m looking forward to starting medical school at the University of Alberta in the fall and returning to campus.