As appreciative as she was to receive the President’s Medal during Convocation ceremonies Tuesday, Mary Desaulniers says she couldn’t wait to get back to her seat.
“I hate being the centre of attention,” says the behaviour, cognition, and neuroscience grad. “All my friends and family were super happy for me, but I was dying.”
The medal is awarded to a graduating undergraduate who has made an outstanding contribution to campus activities while maintaining a superior academic record.
Desaulniers served as co-ordinator of the Peer Support Centre and volunteered with the Student Medical Response Service and as a member of Campus Mental Health Advisory Committee, held additional jobs as a teaching assistant and a barista, all while earning grades worthy of a place on the dean’s list.
Next in her career is graduate study in public health at McMaster University.
“I was inspired by my thesis work in Prof. Kendall Soucie’s HEAL (Health Experiences and Longevity) Lab,” Desaulniers says. “It made me want to pursue research.”
Psychology department head Patti Fritz notes that professors describe Desaulniers as a kind, thoughtful, extremely motivated, and compassionate young scholar with a zest for knowledge.
“As can be clearly seen, Mary is a promising young scholar who has significantly impacted the lives of others on campus and in our community,” says Dr. Fritz.