In 2011, venture capitalist and champion of higher education Seymour Schulich established the Schulich Leader Scholarships.
The Schulich Leader Scholarships are prestigious entrance scholarship awarded to high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at participating universities in Canada.
Every year since U of T has welcomed talented STEM students who have shown a commitment to their community to our programs. This year, Carl Pinter from Moose Jaw, SK, has come to the University of Toronto Scarborough to pursue studies in neuroscience.
We spoke to him about what sparked his interest in neuroscience and why he chose U of T Scarborough.
Why did you choose the University of Toronto?
Most of my life has been spent in Saskatchewan. Toronto is definitely a change of scenery. It’s diverse, exciting and offers so many opportunities. I see the university as a place to develop into a mature and learned adult.
What sparked your interest in science?
When I was seven I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I’m now seven years in remission. Scientific discovery literally saved my life. If it wasn't for science, I would be dead. And many others would be, too. 30 years ago my disease was very difficult to treat and 50 years ago it was a death sentence. While I cannot pay back the doctors and the medical staff who helped me, I can pay it forward by contributing to the realm of science.
Tell us about some of your other interests.
One of my biggest passions is musical theatre and singing. I sang in my school’s choir and jazz group and have been involved in the fall musical since grade nine. This past year, I was cast as the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Performing allowed me to connect with a lot of people and increased my confidence.
What attracted you to U of T Scarborough?
Initially it was the neuroscience program. Neuroscience is so interesting because the brain is the key to understanding humans. I’m from Moose Jaw so I'm also used to smaller communities. I like the class size and I have been told that it allows for students to have closer relationships to professors. I've heard some first-year lectures at St. George can have 1,500 students and there are only 765 students in residence at U of T Scarborough, total.
What are your plans for the future?
I see university as a time of exploration and not a specific road that I need to trudge down to get to a goal. I’m excited to start to experience what is out there. I may find certain things interesting in university that I didn't find interesting in high school. I don't want to plan too far ahead or close myself off to any particular area. I want to experiment.