A Year in the Life of Cam
Hi, I’m Cam.
I’m in my fourth year of an Honours BA in Political Science, with a minor in Economics and a Business Studies Certificate from Mohawk College (affiliated with McMaster).
Before my year at McMaster began I was fortunate to be selected as a volunteer for the #Rio2016 Olympics. It was an amazing experience and summer!
McMaster University resides in the city that I call home.
I was born in Medellin, Colombia during a time of civil unrest and violence. I came to Canada as a refugee with my family when I was seven years old, and we settled in Hamilton.
I chose to study at Mac because it is one of the most prestigious Universities in Canada and around the world. There are also many opportunities to get involved, grow, and learn.
I’ve always been very passionate about
community involvement, current events, social issues, traveling, and trying new things.
I love the McMaster community because like many immigrant families, mine faced challenges that included adapting to a new country and culture, learning a new language, finding employment, and supporting my brother and I. But my local community reached out and supported us in many different ways. For that reason, I am very thankful for the opportunities that have come my way, and it is the reason that I have dedicated my life to giving back to the community.
Poli Sci Society!
This fall in addition to my school work and community involvement, I have gotten involved with the McMaster Political Science Society and attended their US election night viewing party at the Phoenix Bar and Grill on campus (the grad bar now located in the historical Refectory Building). I also attended a panel discussion in October hosted by the department of political science on the US election.
My professors have been a huge part of my Mac experience
Many professors have made memorable impressions on me throughout my university experience at McMaster. They include Peter Graefe whom I often see off campus through community engagements, Henry Jacek whose extensive experience and stories provide a different perspective on my education, Netina Tan who engages her students in very proactive ways, and Lana Wylie who provides a personality approach to her teaching methods.
I spend a lot of my time...
in the quiet study space at Millls Library, at 1280 Bar & Grill (McMaster Students Union bar) where I go to eat lunch with friends at least once a week, and on the 5th floor of Kenneth Taylor Hall where I often go to engage in conversation with professors and fellow students.
This fall, a stop to visit the staff at Alumni House was in order!
Thank you McMaster donors!
Maroon tags all over campus to celebrate McMaster donors on National Philanthropy Day. What a great idea.
Meeting the President!
I kicked off the new year at an event for graduating students hosted by McMaster's President and the McMaster Alumni Office. It was a really great opportunity to meet fellow soon to be graduates, and it was a pleasure to meet President Patrick Deane. He was so friendly and offered some great advice. Just another reminder of how amazing and supportive the McMaster community is!
Just an average day on campus - kidding!
This is my final full undergraduate semester at McMaster University before I graduate in the fall. While I am super excited to be graduating, I have also been doing a lot of reflection around the choices, paths, and decisions that have led to me where I am today.
With graduation soon approaching, (I got my grad photo taken already!) I realize that this is my last chance to be involved in my favourite things about McMaster and all the things that make me a Marauder.
(This picture was taken during some promotional filming that I was working on with the Student Success Centre as a first generation student.)
This semester, I am enjoying a full course load of classes.
This semester, I am taking part in a career placement as an outreach assistant with the NDP constituency office of Monique Taylor who is a Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Hamilton Mountain. As an integral part of Political Science 3PR3, a course I am taking this semester, this career placement allows me to study the practice of politics in a real world setting and it allows me to take part in experiential education outside of the classroom. It is great for my resume!
One of my weekly lectures this semester takes place in the new L.R. Wilson Hall building for Social Sciences and Humanities, and oh it’s nice. I've also been taking advantage of the new student spaces and study locations now available in the Wilson building.
I am also continuing my involvement with the Political Science Society, the First Generation program in the Student Success Centre, the Social Sciences Experiential Education Office, a few clubs on campus, and I volunteered my time with the MSU presidential elections that took place a few weeks ago.
I had so much fun representing Colombia at McMaster’s Model UN Conference
In February, I participated in this three-day conference organized by the McMaster Model United Nations Club and held at the new McMaster David Braley Health Sciences Centre in downtown Hamilton. As a fourth-year political science student, I take a special interest in international politics and diplomacy. As the official 'delegate' from Colombia, I was responsible for representing the country's perspective on various global issues in the hopes of reaching a resolution.
One of my favourite things to do at the conference was to pass notes to other countries. Turns out, passing notes is an important aspect of diplomacy and event organizers had specific individuals in charge of passing notes!
The cost of participating in the conference was covered by an experiential grant called the Hamilton Matters Fund offered through the Office of Experiential Education in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The President's Fund also helped to fund the conference.
My first Ted Talk!
In March, I had the amazing opportunity to be one of three student speakers at the University's TEDx McMaster U conference. With a theme of (In)definite Optimism: Promises for the Future, it was amazing to share my story about coming to Canada, my community and volunteer work in Hamilton, and that time I ran for City Councillor in 2014 as the youngest municipal candidate :) It was also a great way to practice my public speaking skills.
I'm spending the last week of classes in Ottawa
I'm attending the Broadbent Institute's Progress Summit 2017 discussing politics, change, and leadership along with a passionate group of Hamiltonians, including fellow Mac students, who are working to bring together people from the Hamilton community for the greater good. What a way to end the semester before exams start!
I am really excited to be celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary this year. Since arriving in Canada as a refugee almost 16 years ago, this country has created many opportunities to succeed for me and my family. Looking ahead, I hope to be continuing my work in the community as a way of giving back to this wonderful country. My hope, is to start a career in the public service, have a positive impact on my community, and one day enter into politics where I can help to create some real positive change.
Thank you for reading about my year at Mac!
I'll share more in the coming months, so be sure to visit my web page again soon!