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Learning success the hard way

After a bumpy start, biology student keeps his sights on the goal

October 21, 2013

Learning success the hard way
Michael Brown: "I'm grateful to receive my scholarship. It motivates me to further myself in my studies and to pursue my goals."

Taped to the top edge of Michael Brown’s computer screen is a slip of paper. It reads: “How badly do you want it?”

That question – which is in Michael’s line of sight when he’s working on his laptop – keeps him motivated and focused on his biology studies at Western. He knows from experience what can happen when he takes his eyes off his goal.

“In my first year, I really didn’t study as much as I should have. I had too much fun, and my grades suffered,” says Michael, a third-year biology student. “I could see my goal of becoming a dentist slipping away from me.”

In second year, Michael buckled down. He studied hard and his grades improved, so much so that he received the Harrypersad-Tewari Scholarship in Science – an award that recognizes the student who achieves the greatest academic improvement from first to second year in the Faculty of Science.

“I wasn’t expecting this scholarship,” says the Dean’s List student, “but I’m honoured and grateful to receive it because it rewards hard work and sacrifice. And it motivates me to go on, knowing I can improve and achieve my academic goals.”

When not focused on his studies, Michael can be found on the lacrosse field. As a member of the men’s lacrosse team at Western, he attended late night practices in the fall to prepare for games.

“Being on the team is a huge commitment but it has taught me how to manage time between my studies and practices, and to do well at both,” he says. “The team spirit at Western is fantastic and the coaching staff are great. It’s like my second family.”

In 2012, the Western team played in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association championship game, competing against McGill. After a hard fought game, Michael and his teammates lost in overtime. Despite the loss, he knows they gave it their best.

Giving his best is what Michael plans to do as he finishes his undergraduate degree and then looks ahead to entering dentistry school.

“I know now that every effort and sacrifice is worth it,” he says, “because I’ve seen where it can lead.”

Award Facts
Awarded to a student in biology, the Harrypersad-Tewari Scholarship in Science recognizes a student who is entering third year, has achieved a minimum 80 per cent average in year two and has made the greatest improvement in the overall academic average from first to second year (based on a full course load). Vidya and Narine Harrypersad have established the scholarship in honour of their father.

This article appeared in the 2013 edition of Student Awards Recipient Report
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