Jessie’s final homework assignment
Jessie Meanwell is among the more than 1,500 students graduating from the Faculty of Science this month. We asked Jessie, 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 Jessie’s final homework assignment:
The best advice you got as a student?
Don’t be afraid of struggle. Give it your best and know that people are there for you when you get stuck.
The best advice you’d give to a first-year student?
You only need five seconds of courage to meet new people. Introduce yourself to someone new as often as you can. Everyone wants to make a friend.
The professor who pushed you the hardest and challenged you to aim higher?
Dr. Lia Bronsard.
The unsung heroes who went above and beyond for you at McMaster?
Fletcher Gates and Dr. Caroline Junkins. Both of them helped me get involved in math education.
The one thing you never got around to doing?
Joining more non-academic clubs. Intramurals are a lot of fun!
The one thing you’ll miss the most about McMaster?
The math building and all the people in it. Hamilton Hall is by far my favourite place on campus.
The most important thing you learned in the classroom?
Everyone benefits when you reach out to each other for help. That includes reaching out to profs and TAs.
The most important thing you learned outside the classroom?
What counts is having supportive friends—you can only get so far on your own and it’ll be a lot less fun.
Your best day as a Mac student?
In first year, philosophizng with friends at a chalkboard and then staying up late in res writing song lyrics together.
The one thing you know now that you didn’t know on your first day at McMaster?
I didn’t know what math is! I never knew it could be such a social activity to explore with friends.
A moment that mattered for you at Mac?
Getting the opportunity to TA for the math department. It meant a lot that I got to share what I loved learning and to support other students.
What was it like being a student at Mac during the pandemic?
Isolating and it had me questioning what I was doing. It helped me realize how important it is to have friends and community — embrace the full university experience!
Master’s degree in mathematics at McGill as a 2023 McCall MacBain Scholar.
McMaster highlight reel:
- 2019 Schulich Scholar in mathematics
- Recipient of NSERC USRAs in mathematics in 2022 and 2023
- S.L. Squire Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Math and Stats Level I (2020)
- McMaster Provost’s Honour Roll Medal (2020)
- Worked as a TA for the math department for five semesters.
- Program developer and instructor for MacPRIME, an inclusive peer-run program to help incoming first-year math students transition to university
- VP Academic for the Math and Stats society (2022-23)
- Maroon student rep (2020-2021)
- Co-founded a volunteer tutoring nonprofit during the pandemic
- Undergraduate thesis was titled Investigating interactive technology in upper level mathematics courses, creating and testing a digital educational tool for learning complex analysis.