Meet Humanities and Arts and Science valedictorian Gali Katznelson

By Anna Verdillo, June 13, 2017

Where do you see yourself in five years? What would you say to your first-year you? Meet Gali Katznelson, valedictorian at the June 13 Convocation for Humanities.

1. Name: 

Gali Katznelson

2. Hometown:

Toronto

3. Degree/Major:

Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science

4. What made you choose McMaster for you higher education career? 

I knew that the Arts & Science program was an opportunity to surround myself with motivated, compassionate and hardworking people who would push me to be better.

5. What will you be doing after graduation or see yourself doing? 

I plan to pursue graduate studies and to work in the healthcare field.

6. What would you say or advice to your first year self? 

I would tell first year me that it’s okay to feel lost!

7. How has McMaster shaped the person you are today? 

The McMaster community cares so deeply not just about issues on campus and within the broader Hamilton community, but about problems on a global scale. The sense of social responsibility is something that I felt in the air since my first ClubsFest experience. It’s been incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by people motivated to question the status quo, speak out against injustices and dedicate their time to making a positive difference for causes that they care about. I hope to carry the lessons learned from our wonderful community wherever I go.

8. What events did you enjoy the most at McMaster/Hamilton city?

I’ll definitely miss attending events put on by the Society of Arts & Science Students, such as formals and Kaffeehaus.

9. If you could change anything in the past or in your time at McMaster, what would it be? 

Mistakes, failures and regrets have a funny way of turning into really valuable lessons. I don’t know if I would give them up.

10. Who was your support for succeeding in higher education? 

I am completely a product of my support system and have many people to thank for helping me. I am most grateful to my parents for sacrificing so much for me and for always cheering me on. A huge thank you to my professors who have inspired and encouraged me throughout the years. Finally to my beloved friends and brother, thank you for constantly getting me through my existential angst.

11. How have you changed over the course of your University life? 

Thanks to the wisdom of my friends, I think I’ve learned to sweat the little things a bit less.

12. How have you grown as a person throughout your time at McMaster?

I think I’ve become much more aware of how privileged I am to receive an education and to have the freedom to choose what to pursue in my life.

13. What do you envision yourself doing five years from now? 

Five years from now I hope to still be sharing ideas and laughs at potlucks with my friends from Mac.

14. What is your definition of success? 

If I can leave a net positive impact on the world, I would consider that a successful life.

15. How would your life be different if you didn’t go to McMaster? 

I really don’t know where I would have ended up if not at McMaster’s Arts & Science program. Wherever I went, I would have probably had to settle on a specific area of study, and I still can’t tell you what I would have chosen!

Learn more about Spring 2017 convocations here: http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/grad/convo-dates/