With a perfect GPA over his four-year Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Mental Health, Thomas Ritchie has been chosen for the Chancellor’s Medal – given to an undergraduate student with outstanding academic achievement.
“The whole department in Neuroscience has a different feel,” says Ritchie. “It’s a little smaller, you get to know your professors really well, and they really walked me through it.”
Ritchie received a Dean’s Summer Research Internship and two summer awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council to research on campus. He worked in two Neuroscience labs, those of professors Hymie Anisman and Matthew Holahan.
“He was very good at all aspects of his lab work,” says Holahan, who encouraged Ritchie to attend Carleton. “I know his parents are a great influence, but Thomas is very capable of directing his own destiny.”
As the son of an occupational therapist and a child psychologist, Ritchie was aware of mental health from a young age. He was close to going into psychology but preferred to stick to hard sciences.
“Most parents are probably happy when their kid follows in their footsteps, but mine would have been happy with any choice I made,” he says.
This fall he will head to medical school at Queen’s University, his father’s alma mater, to continue his studies into the human brain.
“I’m not sure yet what I would like to specialize in,” he said. “I do like the idea of helping out with clinical research and trials with people, so we’ll see.”