“I wanted to attend a small school and was interested in research. A friend suggested Mount Allison — I'm glad I took their advice.” she says. “The community of Mount Allison and Sackville has been incredibly kind and supportive; it soon began to feel like home.”
From Vancouver, BC, Reiss has been conducting research on the the properties of gold nanoparticles with Dr. Vicki Meli since the end of her second year.
“I’d like to earn my PhD and someday be a professor — I'm drawn to the idea of a career that combines teaching and research,” she says. “Being on a university campus, you feel part of an engaged community, people want to learn and enact change. It’s exciting to be a part of this.”
With minors in biochemistry and computer science, Reiss plans to continue her studies in chemistry at the University of Oxford in one of their graduate programs.
Valued at more than $100,000, the Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the world, covering the cost of postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford in the U.K. Only 11 students from across Canada are selected to receive the award each year.
A recipient of Mount Allison’s Bell Scholarship, one of the University’s most prestigious entrance awards, Reiss also works as a teacher’s assistant in calculus and helps run the University’s Math Help Centre.
“I want to help build people’s confidence in math. A lot of people dismiss their ability and assume math is something they can’t meaningfully pursue. It’s something I lacked confidence in myself, but I was fortunate to have some great mentors in this area,” says Reiss. “I hope I can pay this forward.”
Outside her academic commitments, Reiss serves as President of the Rotaract Club at Mount Allison, a branch of the Rotary Club. She helped initiate the organization’s after-school program at Dorchester School, which runs once a week, and volunteers with Marshview Middle School’s breakfast program.
Reiss is also past president of the Mount Allison Fencing Club and president of the University’s Unicycle Society.
Reiss says she came to Mount Allison through a leap of faith, as she had never visited the Maritimes before coming to campus — a sense of adventure she will be taking to the U.K. next year.
With 55 scholars to date, Mount Allison has one of the best records, per capita, in Canada for the esteemed award.