Sadiya Nazir is a Faculty of Science SU Representative who was born and raised in Calgary and is in her fifth and final year as an undergrad at the U of C. Sadiya is a Biological Sciences major, a program she chose because she loved learning about biological systems both at the cellular and macro level. In addition to this, she chose to take a Political Science course as an option in her third year and was surprised to find similarities between the real-world applications of Poli Sci and Bio Sci, so she added Poli Sci as her second major. Sadiya hopes to work on policies in her future career, eventually working on policies for animal welfare.
Since Sadiya really enjoys working on policies, the SU was the perfect place for her to dedicate her time. She chose the SU because they are an organization that truly puts students first, and she loved that students really influence the decisions made by faculty and staff, from something as simple as study spaces to something as important as mental health advocacy. Sadiya has noticed growth within the Faculty of Science since she started at the U of C but ran in the SU elections to facilitate even more growth. The three main platforms she used in her campaign were to improve communication to the students by streamlining D2L notifications to be less frequent, ensuring the science students have a clear understanding of where they could receive funding and find supervisors for research, and to engage the Faculty of Science students better in order to foster a stronger community. In addition to working on these initiatives, Sadiya has been gathering more ideas by talking to students, such as getting a printer in the Science Collaborative Space and reviewing U-Pass eligibility for spring and summer students. The U-Pass eligibility is particularly important because Sadiya believes science students are expected to be on campus quite frequently, due to having labs, so having only one course during the spring and summer still requires science students to be on campus often enough that they should be eligible for a U-Pass. In a more general sense, Sadiya hopes to increase academic and student life awareness, such as volunteer opportunities, research nights, clubs, and other extracurricular activities. Making sure the students are well-informed is a priority. She would also like to take on bigger projects like the year-end science gala, with the hopes of bringing in collaborators from the SU and a variety of departments within the Faculty of Science to strengthen the sense of community within us.
Sadiya’s favourite classes so far are Biology 313 with Dr. Flanagan and Zoology 401 with Mindy Summers. Biology 313 allowed Sadiya to have a very hands-on experience, especially during a particular lab she remembers where the students went to the forest reserve on campus and measured the CO2 output from the trees. Zoology 401 also allowed for a hands-on experience by teaching her how to draw specimens, a skill she has used to help her in other courses.
Some advice Sadiya would give to new students in science emphasizes course selection; don’t be afraid to take courses you are interested in, and don’t feel pressured into taking five courses. By taking courses you are interested in, that are not related to science particularly, you may learn some skills that will help you be more creative in science. While in your earlier years, don’t be afraid to explore your options for a future career; try not to limit yourself. Taking on five courses is a lot for science students as we are in tough courses with lab components, so spending 9 or so hours a week in lab is like having a part-time job! Make sure you know what workload you can handle because the last thing you want to do is overburden yourself. There is no shame in taking longer than 4 years to get your degree.
Sadiya is a wonderful and kind student who is not only taking on a double major as well as being a representative with the SU for us science students, but she is also a Science Mentor. She feels like it is her duty as a fifth-year student to impart her experience on to the first- and second-year students so they can make more informative decisions when it comes to their education. This just goes to show that Sadiya is someone who is genuinely looking out for the best interests of the students of the Faculty of Science. If you would like to contact her for any questions you may have, her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.