Henry’s final homework assignment
Henry Gage is among the more than 1,500 students graduating from the Faculty of Science on June 15th. We asked Henry, and nine other remarkable students, to look back at their time at McMaster and share what they learned, what they’ll miss and who helped them along the way. Here’s Henry’s final homework assignment:
The best advice you got as a student?
There are only so many hours in a day. Don’t overcommit yourself; pick a few things that you really love to do and focus on them!
The best advice you’d give to a first-year student?
Follow your interests — you’ll likely start your degree thinking you have a clear picture of what you want to study, and leave studying something completely different.
The professor who pushed you the hardest and challenged you to aim higher?
Dr. Mike Waddington.
The unsung heroes who went above and beyond for you at McMaster?
Do I only get to pick one?! There are so many people who contributed immensely to my experience at Mac, including Dr. Carolyn Eyles, Paula Schnurr (my track coach), and Dr. Chad Harvey.
The one thing you never got around to doing?
Intramurals. If only I wasn’t so injury-prone…
The one thing you’ll miss the most about McMaster?
The track team. I’ll miss the camaraderie of my teammates that helped me get through tough workouts and races, and the fun we have travelling to meets and at practice.
The most important thing you learned in the classroom?
Learning doesn’t feel like a chore when you are genuinely passionate about what you study, which sometimes means taking a risk to try something new. I started in iSci thinking that I would go into earth science, and four years later I’m starting a PhD in ecology!
The most important thing you learned outside the classroom?
There is more to life than your school work. Find time for fun in something entirely unrelated to academics.
Your best day as a Mac student?
Scaling steep glacial moraines in the Peruvian Andes with my close supervisors and mentors Dr. Eyles and Dr. Narro Perez!
The one thing you know now that you didn’t know on your first day at McMaster?
How much green space there is in Hamilton. Between running and my field research in Hamilton, I’ve discovered countless waterfalls, parks, and trails that I had no idea existed!
A moment that mattered for you at Mac?
When our 4x800m team put together an awesome performance to qualify for USPORTS track and field.
How was being a student at Mac during the pandemic?
Certainly challenging, but it made me appreciative to have picked great housemates.
I’ll be starting a direct-entry Ph.D. in ecology at Princeton next year on full scholarship.
Henry’s McMaster highlights reel:
- Rhodes Scholar Finalist
- Schulich Scholar
- 10 McMaster Scholarships
- In total over $20,000 in external research grants funds on own research program
- Member of McMaster Ecohydrology and Glacial Sedimentology laboratories
- 4 peer-reviewed publications
- 10 presentations at international conferences
- Researching glaciers in the high Peruvian Andes and wetland ecosystems in Ontario
- ESRI Canada Centre of Excellence Student Associate
- Senior editor for the iScientist journal
- Member of McMaster varsity cross country and track team
- TA for three courses