Seventy-five of this spring’s science graduates sported gold, silver, or bronze medallions at Monday’s convocation as the first recipients of the LEAD Medallion Scholars Program. The Faculty of Science launched the program earlier this year to help motivate undergraduates to explore learning experiences outside of the classroom.
To earn a medallion, recipients must demonstrate Leadership, Engagement, Application, and Discovery (LEAD) during their time as a UWindsor undergraduate. This includes volunteering or working in on-campus and off-campus organizations, participating in undergraduate research, pursuing study abroad, or completing an internship, co-op position, or service learning course.
Dean of science Chris Houser says students are even more employable when they get out of the classroom and start working in the community and doing hands-on research in the university research laboratories.
“We understand that a degree is important, but to succeed in today’s world you need to be a well-rounded individual with a background in community participation and lab research and even travel,” says Dr. Houser.
“This is an incentive to encourage students to take advantage of opportunities outside of the typical classroom experience and you could see the pride in their faces when the first class got to wear their medallions at convocation.”
Biology major Yucca Albano spent three years as an undergraduate researcher in professor Barbara Zielinksi’s lab and wrote her thesis on that work, which led to getting awarded first place at the Undergraduate Thesis Colloquium this year in the Neuroscience and Physiology category. She was also a volunteer with Let’s Talk Science and the Windsor Cancer Research Group.
“I was thrilled and proud to wear my gold medal at graduation,” Albano says. “The experience I gained through my volunteering and research these past four years has given me the skills and the confidence I need to enter the workforce, as well as giving me lifelong friendships; I am also grateful to have met amazing mentors who helped me become the person that I am today.”
Successful completion of all four areas of LEAD earns student a gold medallion, three areas earns a silver, and two areas earns a bronze. Scholars officially received their medallions at the inaugural LEAD Medallion Scholars recognition ceremony in the student centre’s Alumni Auditorium on Monday, May 28.
For more photos of the inaugural LEAD recipients, visit the Faculty of Science Facebook photo album.