Memories of Mac: Valedictorians weigh in 

We asked this year’s valedictorians about some of their more memorable moments at McMaster. Here’s what they said. 

We asked this year’s valedictorians about some of their more memorable moments at McMaster. Here’s what they said:

circular headshot of Akosua Asafu-Adjaye Frimpong I honestly don’t think I can pinpoint just one good memory, I had too many to count! But if I really have to choose, I’d say I enjoyed my time in the McMaster Gospel choir. I loved how I could spend Wednesday evenings with a group of amazing people, practicing, fellowship and later on singing during different programs and events.

Akosua Asafu-Adjaye Frimpong is valedictorian for the Faculty of Humanities, graduating June 12 with a BA Honours in Justice, Political Philosophy and Law, with a minor in Sociology and a minor in Globalization studies. She is looking forward to a bright future in law and politics.

circular headshot of George Fares I think one of my favorite memories was my capstone expo! Getting together with all of my friends after many years of hard work and seeing their awesome projects was a really great experience. Our professors were also very close to us and our journey through B.Tech and they were all there to cheer us on as well as our families. It was just a wonderful experience to see the culmination of our degrees in one room.

— George Fares is valedictorian for the Faculty of Engineering, graduating June 13 with a Bachelor of Technology, Automotive & Vehicle Engineering Technology. He’s working on a Master’s degree in applied science in mechanical engineering under Prof. Ali Emadi

Circle headshot of Salsa SarhanI came back for a fifth year because I absolutely adore the school so much I couldn’t leave just after four years. But if I had to pick one I would most definitely say fourth year as a whole was a beautiful memory. I was elected Social Sciences President & connected with a variety of staff & students, we had our first in person welcome week since the pandemic, & there was an overall feeling of optimism and hope for the school. A very transformative and awakening year to what I truly enjoy implementing my time and energy in.

— Salsa Sarhan is valedictorian for the Faculty of Social Sciences, graduating June 14 with a double major in Political Science and Labour Studies, with a minor in Public Leadership. She’s going to continue her work of community engagement and outreach as a “Youth Engager” position in the City of Hamilton Youth Division team and is considering working in media marketing or communications. 

circular headshot of Elizabeth WongHonestly, I will miss the people (cliché answer but it’s true!) the most! At the end of the day, campus is just a place with buildings but the people are what make your experiences and time in university. I’ve met so many amazing professors on campus and have made friends who have become family. I’ll never experience anything like my experience at Mac ever again. I’ll miss having my friends close by and always being able to hang out. The worst part of graduating is that you all know that you will all go back to different places and that you’ll likely not end up in the same spot.  When else would you be able to pull together a group of friends in less than 20 minutes. Cherish your time with friends because you won’t get a time like this again!

— Elizabeth Wong, valedictorian for the Faculty of Social Sciences, graduates June 14 with a degree in Labour Studies and Political Science. She has previously served as an MSU exec and is a sitting trustee for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and an intern for the federal government.

circular headshot of Meghan NemethMy gratitude will always lie with the fantastic individuals that defined my time here. From the people I met in extracurriculars, to my people that I could grab a coffee and study with, to the people that introduced me to various neighbourhood pets.

Everyone I met brought out some growth in me and I found a lot of who I am today in the laughter of my friends. I think it’s an understatement to say that I — like most students — struggled with the shift that came with online learning. That period online however also taught me to never take for granted everyone around me. There’s so much we can learn from one another, and there’s a lot of lessons to be had in the relationships we choose to invest in. It’s been an honour to even get to witness the brilliance the people here, let alone be able to call them my friends.

— Meghan Nemeth is valedictorian for the Faculty of Science. She graduates June 15 with an honours degree in Environmental Science and is pursuing more environmental field work in conservation, restoration ecology, hydrology, petrology, and fluvial geomorphology. In her time at McMaster, she worked at the McMaster Greenhouse, volunteered at community gardens and participated in outdoor invasive species removals.

circular headshot of Amal KhanMy favorite memory during my time at McMaster is with the Life Science Society (LSS). It was not only my first club but also my first experience coming across a group that shared my enthusiasm for science and was equally dedicated to bringing about positive change! After two years on the team, I had the privilege to take on the role of Co-President and advocate for my fellow students while fostering engagement within the McMaster community. The most rewarding event was the McMaster Interdisciplinary Research Exposition (MIREx) which consisted of five large-scale events in one week, including a graduate panel, medical panel, professional panel, career advising, and research night. It was a resounding success with over 100 attendees and 20 guest speakers from various disciplines and institutions, including our very own McMaster Alumni + previous LSS execs. It was truly a full-circle moment!

— Amal Khan, valedictorian for the Faculty of Science, graduates June 15 with an honours degree in Life Sciences. She’s going to return to McMaster to work on her MSc in Global Health, with an eye on improving health justice and equity on a global scale and investigating upstream approaches that target socioeconomic systems impacting inequities, power dynamics, and resource allocation.

circular headshot of Taren GinterI have so many good memories! This year, I had some pretty incredible experiences attending the NEUDOSE satellite launch at NASA Johnson and hosting an event with Bill Nye that was facilitated by the Science Communications office. I think I’ll also miss all the everyday moments at McMaster- things like working in labs with amazing profs and peers or studying with my friends in Thode.

— Taren Ginter, valedictorian for the Faculty of Science, graduates June 15 with an honours degree in Integrated Science with a concentration in Physics. She served as president of the Integrated Science Society and Operations Team lead for the McMaster NEUDOSE project, which launched a satellite into space on a SpaceX rocket this year. She’ll soon be attending the Tokyo Institute of Technology for the integrated graduate program in the Earth-Life Science Institute.

circular headshot of Laura CoelhoI was involved with many areas across DeGroote and the MacDance community and some of the most special memories are associated with Jeux Du Commerce Central (JDCC) DeGroote. JDCC is the largest undergraduate business competition bringing together 700+ business students across Canada competing across 12 business streams. I’ve been a delegate and executive since my second year, and this past year was Co-Captain alongside Anna Di Bacco. It was a full-circle moment coming together to compete in Ottawa in January 2023. The delegates’ hard work accumulated in 11 trophies, a new record for DeGroote, and the honour of School of the Year for the second time in DeGroote’s history.

I will never forget that weekend seeing our delegates thrive in their final presentations, acting performances, and sports challenges. The gala evening and awards ceremony will remain a core memory.

While winning was a great recognition, what will stay with me is hearing from delegates how much of an impact this community and experience had on them personally and how much I had supported them as a Captain. I will miss this team so dearly and hope to continue to be involved as an alumnus. The DeGroote McMaster community is like no other, and I’ll miss the comradery and memories we shared together.

— Laura Coelho, valedictorian for the DeGroote School of Business, graduates June 16 with an honours Bachelor of Commerce. In addition to beginning her career at Environics Research as a marketing coordinator, she will continue her small business of creating custom hand painted shoe designs.

circular headshot of Shweta SapraThere are so many good memories of my time here at McMaster. Leading the MBA Association as Student Relations Director and organizing MBAA Formal were humbling and rewarding experiences, allowing me to contribute to the vibrant student community. Another memorable moment was competing in the Canadian Marketing League where I had the privilege of representing McMaster alongside talented students from over 20 universities and achieving a place in top 10.

— Shweta Sapra, valedictorian for the DeGroote School of Business, graduates June 16 with an MBA focused on Business Analytics. From here on in, she will be working with an organization that specializes in connecting people to clinical trials done for rare diseases in the U.S., reporting to the CEO and leading their digital marketing campaign.