University of Lethbridge student, Jonathan Le May, who originally hails from Strathmore, has been awarded a Silver Medal of the Governor General.

The accolade is presented to the student with the highest academic standing at the undergraduate level. Le May has just graduated with a Bachelor of Science with a major in neuroscience. 

“I was surprised because I had actually applied for another award. (The university) has their own medals that they give out, so I was assuming that I had received an email about that award. When I got on the phone with the president of the university, he informed me I had gotten the Silver Medal,” said Le May. “It was actually a fun process. I got an email from the secretary of the president asking if I could have a quick phone call with him … I was really excited because I did not know about it. I felt fancy getting a phone call from our president.”

Le May explained his interest in neuroscience began during his time in high school with anesthesiology and the idea of consciousness. 

 This curiosity led to a desire to develop a better understanding of the brain, which brought him to Lethbridge. 

“I was reading some textbooks in high school during reading period and I would just go through all these different anesthesiology books and it was really interesting to me, the idea of consciousness,” he said. “Are we conscious, are other animals conscious, and what does that really mean? Especially because when we sleep, we are unconscious and stop thinking and processing everything for a little bit, then you wake up and everything is normal again.”

Le May spent a significant portion of his undergraduate degree working in a lab with Dr. David Houston, and completing five independent studies for an honours thesis.

The ceremony to receive his award was at the conclusion of his convocation. Le May explained after receiving his bachelor’s degree he was invited to remain on stage to receive his silver medal.

“It was really significant to me to be recognized for the hard work that I had put in over the past four years and to be able to receive the award knowing the work that was put in was really special to me,” he said.

Le May has applied to enter into graduate studies, continuing at the University of Lethbridge, to continue in the same lab he has been involved with for the past several years. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree in neuroscience, and apply for medical education during his tenure.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 14, 2023