All courses for every first-year Science student will be delivered online this fall. A limited number of students in their second, third and fourth years will return to campus for part of the semester.

Get To Know Audrey Hicks, Acting Associate Dean For Graduate Studies

AUDREY HICKSAudrey Hicks, Acting Associate Dean For Graduate Studies

Why did you take on this role?
As I’m nearing the end of my career at McMaster, I felt extremely motivated to “give back” to the university in the form of leadership assistance.

How steep has the learning curve been?
So steep! The first couple of weeks were a complete whirlwind but I’m finding my groove now.

What have you learned since taking on this role? Any surprises?
I’ve learned to be a better juggler!

How would you describe your leadership style?
As a leader, the first thing I try to do is capitalize on each member’s own specific strengths/skill set in assigning roles to make them feel valued .... So I guess that would be best described as a coach-style leader. I also believe that it is important to lead by example.

Best way to connect with you and get your attention?
Hmmm, since I’m not on any social media, best way is to drop me an email.

What inspired you to pursue a career in science?
I’ve always had an interest in how the human body works, and I also find it fascinating how for every scientific question answered, at least three new questions emerge.

How is the pandemic complicating your work?
Of course I miss seeing people in person (I find Zoom stressful), but apart from that I have coped remarkably well working from home. Being able to convert a downstairs “junk room” into a wonderful home office space has been key.

Is there anyone you want to thank for supporting you in this new role?
Yes! Big thanks to Alex for arranging my computer setup and solving virtually every issue that has come up since (and for doing home deliveries!). And a further big thanks to Ryan for keeping me on task and providing me with all the necessary background intel that is important in this job.

How do you like to unwind when away from work?
I love to walk along the Hamilton Beach and collect beach glass.

Get To Know Juliet Daniel, Acting Associate Dean For Research & External Relations

JULIET DANIELJuliet Daniel, Acting Associate Dean For Research & External Relations

What have you learned since taking on this role? Any surprises?
I’ve learned that having someone control your calendar can be a good and bad thing!! Surprised by the intricacies of all the work done by the Office of the Associate Dean Research & External Relations.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I'm collaborative and consultative because I thrive best working as a team.

What's the best way to get in contact with you?
Email late at night or early morning before my inbox expands to over 100 new unread emails.

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in science?
As a child I was fascinated by nature and was curious about the uniqueness of every plant, bird and animal. I was also discriminated against by my English high school teacher because of my creative interpretations of Shakespeare. That pretty much steered me towards Science which was more objective.

How is the pandemic impacting your work?
It's made setting boundaries between work and relaxation a lot tougher as my home was/is my respite.

Is there anyone you want to thank for supporting you in this new role?
Everyone in the Faculty of Science for being so warm, welcoming and helpful, especially Maureen, Seanna-Lin, Katey and Jamie. And Alex Poulin our IT guru, he is a lifesaver! And of course all my Biology Gal Pals (Robin, Ana, Joanna, Karen, Rosa) who encouraged (and pushed) me to apply for the position and kept me sane and laughing every Friday night over Quarantinis since Friday March 13th!!

How do you like to unwind when away from work?
I love going to the gym and working out (zumba, spin cycling) but since COVID I've had to switch to long walks (and the occasional jog) every day on the trails, Bayfront Park or my neighbourhood.

Meet McMaster Science Society President – Nicole Wong

Nicole WongNicole Wong is a fourth-year Chemical Biology student and this year's MSS President. The MSS works to enhance the undergraduate science student experience through providing student resources, services, and events. With the goal to support the diverse needs of the MacSci community, it is run by students, for students. Whether it be tutoring for MATH 1A03 course, a chance to connect at Formaldehyde, or events to explore novel career opportunities at Quantum Leap, MacSci hosts it all - and more!

Why you got involved with the McMaster Science Society:
As someone who was involved in student government back in high school, I first interacted with the MSS through their Sciclopedia Livestream back in 2017. When they first announced that they were looking for two first-year representatives, I saw it as a chance to get involved with a really cool group of folks running a really awesome society. From there, I learned more about the amazing work that the MSS does - from tutoring to outreach, to its social events - as well as how the MSS Executive dedicates itself to helping students, even when students aren’t watching. Four years later, I’m still around because I truly believe that the MSS is doing amazing work for MacSci students and I want to encourage more people to continue that legacy!

Plans for Fall 2020:
Due to COVID-19 and the university’s announcement of an online Fall semester, the MSS has moved all of its services and events to online platforms. As such, one of our main goals this year is to ensure we continue to provide accessible and impactful programming despite us being unable to be on campus.

Some highlights for our online programming this fall include:
  1. Offering 4 free, 1hr tutoring sessions to all students through our tutor token program (all tutoring sessions are online this year!)
  2. An online Welcome Week run by the amazing Sciclone team, meant to help first-year students connect to the MacSci community through virtual events.
  3. I Love Science Semester, a series of interactive videos and resources from our Special Events Planner meant to spread the love of all things science while facilitating student connectivity during this remote semester.
Keep an eye out for our signature events in a new online format: Symbiosis, General Assembly, RSRCH 1A03, review sessions, and more! Our services and resources are constantly evolving in response to COVID-19, so check out or @macsci on Instagram for more information.

As well, one of our main projects kickstarting in the fall is the development and implementation of the MSS Action Plan, a list of projects and goals that the MSS is committing itself to in order to better support the BIPOC community within MacSci. The plan will be published online in September and will evolve and change as we receive feedback from the community through an affiliated feedback form. This is an ongoing initiative for the MSS, so we are open to any and all information and feedback from you as to how the MSS can work towards making MacSci a more inclusive space.

The Best Advice I Received During My First Year At University...

first yearSara's and her roommates wearing matching T-shirts (Sara is second on the right).

The best advice Sara received when she started her undergrad in Science at McMaster University in 2006...

”You deserve to be here. Fight imposter syndrome. This is new and hard for everyone but we are all in it together. Remember to try to focus on the big picture (i.e. not your grades). Spending your days learning new things is pretty awesome, enjoy it and don’t be so hard on yourself”!

Sara Cormier
Department Of Physics & Astronomy
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