Maggie Pickard's family history and Mount Allison's are intertwined. The first-year Science student is a third-generation Allisonian and distant relative of Ralph Pickard Bell — the University's first Chancellor.
"I was looking for a university in a small town with a good residence community and a great science program," she says. "With my dad and grandfather both being Mount A grads, I didn't have to look far. I knew I was going to come here after my campus tour."
A graduate of Halifax West High School, Pickard was awarded a Bell Achievement Award, one of the University's top entrance awards. She is studying biochemistry and hopes to become a cardiologist.
"My dad's best friend is a cardiologist in Ottawa. He's been very encouraging about my plans," says Pickard. "My family also has a history of heart disease so there's another personal connection for me."
Pickard has joined Mount Allison Global Brigades, which travels to Honduras during reading week, as a member of the medical-dental brigade. She is also involved with the Mount Allison Students' Union, the Health Matters Committee, Health Care Outreach, and the Women in Science Society.
With the latter, she volunteered for activities in the community to encourage young girls to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities and education.
"Last fall we volunteered at the local elementary school for their outdoor education day, hosting experiments and activities," explains Pickard. "This semester we're working to organize STEM-based experiments for girls in Grades 3 and 4."
This community spirit is one she has brought with her from Halifax. As co-president of her high school student government, Pickard was involved in several community projects, including fund raising and volunteering with the Brunswick Street Mission and the Terry Fox Foundation.
While growing up in Halifax, Pickard says being at Mount Allison and Sackville still gives her a feeling of connection.
"Knowing so many members of my family were part of this campus and this region — my grandfather grew up in Dorchester and Sackville — it felt like coming home in a way when I got here," she says.