The Governor General’s Silver Medal and University Medal in Science are “a lovely ending” for 21-year-old Anna York-Lyon, who graduates with an honours Bachelor of Science, with a major in biology and a concentration in health science.
York-Lyon has been around Carleton campus for most of her life, as her mother worked for many years at Health and Counselling Services, and so it was natural that she would enrol in September 2010.
“I have grown up in Ottawa,” says York-Lyon, who has been accepted into the medical program at the University of Ottawa for the fall, “and when deciding on where to go to university I made my choice to stay. The city features many of the resources and cultural excitements of a large city, but it is small enough, with enough green spaces and safe places, that it does not feel overwhelming.”
York-Lyon’s first choice of program at Carleton was a biology honours general degree.
“This was largely because I was having trouble deciding between studying ecology or heading down the health science route. After time, I chose to concentrate my degree to health science, partially based on a passion for the study material, but also (because) I wanted to work in the health science/medical field.”
York-Lyon believes Carleton’s biology students are “blessed” to be taught by a group of passionate first-class professors who dedicate much time and energy to presenting current material as well as connecting to and motivating their classes.
“Additionally, I think the Carleton science degree in general is fortunate to have the Science Student Success Centre, (which) is an excellent resource that can help students succeed from Day One.”
For now, York-Lyon is immersed in the research of Ashkan Golshani’s molecular biology laboratory under an NSERC grant, an experience she finds rewarding. Over the next four years, she will pursue her medical degree and then: “I’m not sure. I’d like to get involved in teaching or policy once I have worked as an MD for a while, but that plan could change as I myself change over the next decade.”
During her studies York-Lyon also had the opportunity to train and compete as an athlete with the University’s varsity fencing team.
As for the medals, York-Lyon is honoured and proud. “However, I do know my university experience would not have been the same without the support of family and friends. I did not earn the medal alone.”