By Susan Hickman
Eloïse Madeleine Kerr’s fascination with neural wiring in the brain and its correlation with mental illness led her to Carleton University’s Neuroscience Department. Now, with her BSc Honours in Neuroscience and Mental Health in hand, Kerr has also earned the Governor General’s Medal for coming first in her graduating class.
“I chose this program because I was really interested in how the brain works,” says the 23-year-old, who also minored in Psychology. “I wanted to know more about how we can help people with mental challenges.”
Though she began her studies in human kinetics at another university, after her first year she realized it was not a good fit and switched to Carleton’s Neuroscience program.
“I am absolutely thrilled that I have won the Governor General’s Medal,” says Kerr. “I have always strived to do my best in school, and I feel very blessed to have such an honour in return.”
Carleton has been a “special” experience for Kerr, who hails from Val-d’Or, Québec.
“It was easy to find the help I needed, with peer support groups, counsellors, program advisers, professors and student success centres all there to guide me through my degree.”
Kerr highlights the opportunity she’s had over a few summers to work as a research assistant in the Neuroscience laboratory.
“It really helped me develop some meaningful skills and friendships,” says Kerr, who is now working as a summer intern doing molecular and clinical work at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research.