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Faculty of Science's Fall Term Update on courses, labs, tutorials, exams, research and fieldwork

Grad Student Recognized for Leadership Role

Shawn HerculesShawn Hercules has received the Mary Keyes Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service to McMaster. The award, named in memory of Dr. Mary Keyes, Associate Vice President (Student Affairs), acknowledges graduate students who give their time, spirit and energy to McMaster student societies, university committees and governing bodies.

Shawn, a Ph.D. candidate with the Department of Biology, has served as President of McMaster's Graduate Students Association since May 2019. The Association advocates for the needs of the collective acts as a resource and provides support and services that improve the graduate student experience at McMaster.


"The Graduate Students Association was able to quickly pivot during the pandemic and continue providing services that meet students' needs in a virtual format. Additionally, in the face of anti-Black racism, the GSA abolished its previous political neutrality policy and replaced it with an anti-oppression policy. The GSA is now positioned to be more vocal and active on issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, that are important and relevant to graduate students.


"Graduate students, with guidance from our supervisors and peers, are the ones running the research engine at Canada's most research-intensive university.


"At the beginning of the lockdown, my supervisor Dr. Juliet Daniel went above and beyond to meet with me and the other graduate students in our lab. Dr. Daniel began meeting with us on a weekly basis not only to help us transition our research to an online format but also to check in on us and our mental health. She insisted that our lab as a whole would have games nights to help us maintain social activities and overall team spirit.
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