Summer Nasr (Class of ’18) originally signed up to be a Resident Assistant (RA) at Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture to offset her cost of living on campus. She quickly realized that, for her, it was more than just a job. Through her hard work and dedication to keeping students safe in the Trueman House residence, Summer is the proud recipient of this year’s Residence Life IMPACT Award.
“I was immensely honoured to receive the Residence Life IMPACT Award,” Summer says. “As an RA and a resident, I have spent copious amounts of time trying to make students feel as comfortable as possible in Trueman. The Residence Life IMPACT Award, for me, represents four years of success in Dal AC residence, my home away from home.”
IMPACT Awards are awarded each year at Dal AC to students who demonstrate leadership in a number of categories across the campus. The awards recognize students who make a significant impact on the campus community and who go above and beyond to help others, promote their passion and create a diverse and brilliant campus life. This year, Summer was recognized for her leadership as an RA in Trueman House at Dal AC over the past four years.
As an RA, Summer’s primary responsibility was to provide a safe environment for students to live. This meant enforcing the rules to ensure all students were safe and comfortable during their time living on campus. While Summer was responsible for enforcing the rules, she was also a person that students could talk to. Summer’s goal was to be a reliable peer to students and create a fun environment in the residence.
“I take pride in being available to help students while also creating a light and fun environment in residence,” Summer explains proudly. “My favorite part about being an RA was that each year I was lucky enough to get to know very fascinating students and to make life-long friends.”
For most students, Dal AC residence is their home away from home during their studies. This was no exception for Summer who hails from Mississauga, ON. Summer explains that after spending 16 years living in Cairo, Egypt, she and her family moved to Mississauga, where she currently calls home. Despite having no previous agricultural experience, Summer fit right in on campus.
“I have always resided in an urban environment and therefore got my first agriculture experience here at the AC,” Summer smiles.
Growing up, Summer was always passionate about helping animals. In Egypt, she and her father would often rescue orphaned and injured animals off the street and nurse them back to health. It was this passion for animals that led Summer to study animal science at Dal AC.
“I was introduced to Dalhousie University through my father’s friend, Sandy Myette, who always sent brochures and articles regarding the university,” she explains. “This was when I decided to look into the university. When I further investigated their offered programs and came across the Agricultural Campus, it was exactly what I wanted- exceptional hands-on experience, more personal classrooms, and also a way to travel.”
While pursuing a Bachelor of Science majoring in animal science, Summer quickly took an interest in molecular genetics and biotechnology. Along with her degree in animal science, she is set to graduate with an undergraduate certificate in genetics and molecular biology.
Though Summer always knew she wanted to pursue a career in helping animals, it was the opportunities presented to her at Dal AC that really helped narrow down her career interests. Most notably, Summer spent three weeks in South Africa with her classmates as part of the African Wildlife Ecology course, a relatively new optional program offered to animal science students. It was there that she learned of many different paths available as a practicing veterinarian.
“My original plan after graduation was to pursue a career in veterinary medicine for large exotic animals,” Summer explains. “I have a strong passion for the science of animal conservation and protection. However, after being introduced to the fields of molecular genetics and biotechnology, I have also considered pursing a Master’s degree involving those studies.”
While undecided on her final career path, Summer is certain of one thing- Dal AC was the appropriate choice for her. From the small class sizes, to the hands-on learning, the variety of clubs and activities and incredibly intelligent professors, Summer feels a sense of pride as an Aggie.
“Dal AC offers something very special to their students in that you feel like you are contributing to something far greater than you thought you could,” Summer explains. “Being a part of the AC has given me pride that I never thought I’d feel for a university. Every time I look at my Barley Ring, proudly worn on my finger, it reminds me of the change that I can make in this world.”
“And if that isn’t convincing enough, to celebrate the end of each semester the Faculty’s Dean distributes specially made shortbread cookies that can brighten up anyone’s day,” Summer adds with a smile.