Amy SIlver

Spring Convocation: Peer Mentoring Valuable for Carleton Neuroscience Grad

By Susan Hickman

While Amy Silver’s fascination with the brain led her to Carleton University’s Neuroscience program, some of her most memorable moments during her studies came while helping other students.

The 25-year-old, who is graduating with a BSc Honours in Neuroscience and Mental Health, says her times as a peer mentor with the Student Experience Office’s First Year Connections program and as a peer helper with Career Services were very fulfilling.

“When I look back to my time as a first-year student,” recalls Silver, who earned her first degree in psychology at Dalhousie University, “I definitely could have benefitted from having an upper-year peer mentor help me adjust to university. And my first real job hunt was one of the most confusing and stressful times of my life, when I wished that I had someone to help guide me through.”

Silver delighted in watching new students flourish as they adjusted to campus life. A teaching assistant for several courses in her program, she experienced the excitement of students as they learned new material and asked thought-provoking questions.

“Knowing that I may have helped facilitate this in some small way is hugely rewarding.”

Nevertheless, one of the biggest lessons she learned during her Carleton career, says Silver, who will be pursuing her medical degree at Dalhousie this fall, “is there are no lone rangers in life. When I found out I was accepted into medical school, I had a long list of people to thank, because I couldn’t have done it without the support, encouragement and mentorship of my wonderful professors, TAs, lab mates, colleagues and friends.

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to raise a future doctor. And when I think of Carleton, that’s what I think of most: community.”

Carleton University will graduate about 3,580 students and confer 13 honorary degrees during ceremonies taking place from June 13 to June 16, 2017.  Carleton, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has grown from a small college in 1942 to a leading post-secondary institution today, one that has provided a unique educational experience to 140,000 graduates.