John-Paul Semaan, Melanie Semaan, Anne SemaanJohn-Paul Semaan follows his sisters Melanie and Anne as graduates of the Outstanding Scholars program.

Graduation to close family chapter of Outstanding Scholars

The graduation in June of John-Paul Semaan will bring to a close a family tradition: he and his two sisters all completed the Outstanding Scholars program.

Melanie Semaan (B.Sc 2020) and Anne Semaan (B.Sc 2019) are now studying to become doctors at the Schulich School of Medicine in London. John-Paul Semaan will begin studies in law this fall at Western University.

The siblings were able to mentor each other in the research process. Melanie and Anne, both biology and biochemistry majors, worked in labs in the Essex Centre for Research (CORe) — Melanie studying cell division in fruit flies with Andrew Swan, and Anne working on the role of proteins in cancers with Lisa Porter.

“It helped me to have Anne already in the program,” Melanie said.

John-Paul pursued a different path, studying political science and working on a variety of research topics with Antonio Rossini, a professor of languages, literatures and cultures.

“We started out looking at language in Dante’s Inferno, but over time, I did research on political exile, the political aspects of writing, and the impact of oratory on story-telling,” says John-Paul. “I learned research skills that will help me in law school, like reading analysis, locating resources efficiently, and research writing.”

All three siblings noted that their research experience helped them do better in class as well, preparing them for exams and assignments.

“Undergraduate research opportunity is one of the great strengths at the University of Windsor,” says Simon du Toit, co-ordinator of the Outstanding Scholars program. “Watching three siblings from the same family complete their Outstanding Scholars research careers here is cause for celebration.”

The University’s Convocation ceremonies will run in 13 sessions, June 7 to 16.