About Natasha O.
Hello! My name is Natasha, I am in my first year of a Masters of Neuroscience at the University of Ottawa. This will be my fourth year of being and SSSC mentor and will be my third year of running the Science Accelerator section of our Kick-Start into Science workshop series. During my undergrad I volunteered at a number of SSSC events including Science Scavenger Hunt, Med Night, and the Science Networking Forum. I also designed the SSSC mural in the tunnels and painted it with fellow mentors. Since the summer of first year I have been involved in research - I held a Dean's Summer Research Internship in Dr. Susan Bertram's behavioral ecology lab, and three NSERC USRAs in the neuroscience laboratory of Dr. Hymie Anisman and Dr. Marie-Claude Audet, with whom I will be doing my Masters.
Research and mentoring are two things which I am extremely passionate about and being involved in these activities has certainly had a positive benefit to my university experience. The SSSC community is so welcoming and composed of wonderful people who I never would have met had I not become a mentor. I have also made several of my current close friends in the labs I have worked in and I have really enjoyed experiencing the world of research. Thanks to these experiences, I am able to pursue a Masters degree with scholarship and have participated in a number of local conferences. As well, in June of 2018 I was fortunate enough to travel to Venice with my lab to attend an advanced course on the microbiome and the brain.
To incoming first year students, my advice is to not be afraid of taking advantage of all the opportunities which university presents you with. Get involved, try out different clubs, and apply to any job you think you may be interested in - now is a great time to find what you are passionate in! If you are ever unsure where to start, myself and the other mentors of the SSSC will always be happy to help you out.