From Climate Change to Food Security, Saint Mary’s University Students Make Change for Good

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Campus © Courtesy of Saint Mary’s University

Saint Mary’s University, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is not just another educational institution; it’s a vibrant community where students, faculty, and researchers are united by a common goal—to make a positive impact on the world, starting at the local level. This close-knit community is driven by a shared sense of purpose, and its students are leading the charge in addressing critical global challenges, from climate change to food security.

A Community of Change-Makers

Saint Mary’s has been ranked third in the nation among the Best Primarily Undergraduate Universities for two consecutive years and holds the top spot as the best primarily undergraduate university in Nova Scotia for the third year running.

What sets this school apart is that students, faculty, and researchers have an unwavering commitment to community engagement and social responsibility. This commitment to effecting positive change is not only reflected in the classroom but extends into real-world projects and initiatives.

“I am delighted that Saint Mary’s University is again being recognized as a leading institution in our region and in Canada,” said Saint Mary’s University President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray of the ranking. “We will continue to create the space for possibility for our students, offering our distinctive combination of access to world-class academics and research within an incredibly supportive and vibrant community.”

saint marys university
STUDENTS AT CAMPUS © RILEY SMITH PHOTOGRAPHER

Saint Mary’s University is all about community, and this value is evident both in the close-knit feeling on campus and in its commitment to making an impact in the broader local and global community. With small class sizes, intentional student-faculty interactions, supportive academic advisors, and innovative learning spaces, students become part of a community that sets them up for continued success.

Undergraduate students in each faculty, from Science to Arts to Business, have countless opportunities to learn and work alongside faculty—and the school’s track record shows that this unparalleled access makes a significant impact.

The Arthur L. Irving Entrepreneurship Centre

The Arthur L. Irving Entrepreneurship Centre is a testament to Saint Mary’s commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. The Centre provides students with numerous opportunities to engage with local businesses and receive training, mentorship, coaching, and consulting activities, all aimed at nurturing the entrepreneurial mindset. With this focus, in 2021-22 alone, the Centre has engaged with 2,000+ students, supported 600+ student entrepreneurs, and helped create 96 jobs: evidence of the profound impact the Irving Entrepreneurship Centre is making on both the student community and the regional economy.

© Courtesy of Saint Mary's University
Campus © Courtesy of Saint Mary's University

Faculty of Science: From Robots to the Environment 

The Faculty of Science is a hotbed of groundbreaking research. Students like Uzair, a Master of Science in Applied Science student, are arriving at Saint Mary’s from around the world to shape the future of robotics. Uzair’s work in Dr. Adel Merabet’s lab is focused on computer vision and machine learning, showing the potential for commercial applications. Additionally, student researchers are taking on the critical issue of invasive species, to help protect delicate ecosystems against their impacts.

Faculty of Arts: Decolonizing Museum Collections

In the Faculty of Arts, Dr. Kirrily Freeman is working with students to ensure that history is told accurately by helping museums unlock their collections. By ensuring that the history and heritage of marginalized communities are accurately represented, they’re reshaping the narrative of Nova Scotia’s cultural history. This community-centered approach is not only rewriting the past, but also preparing the next generation of museum professionals.

DR. DANIKA VAN PROOSDI © CARTER HUTTON PHOTO

Sobey School of Business: Business for Good

The Sobey School of Business offers more than just a traditional business education. It’s a platform for developing future leaders with a strong focus on sustainability and social impact. With an unwavering commitment to sustainability, innovation, and global perspective, the school equips students with the skills and tools needed to make a lasting impact in the business world. Kyle Morton worked alongside professor Dr. Yigit Adede to use machine learning for groundbreaking work in COVID-19 research. Morton’s experience is just one example of how this faculty fosters innovation and of the individualized attention and opportunities available to students.

Saint Mary’s students are even taking their education beyond the classroom: initiatives like Square Roots, Seacycle, and Options Online exemplify their dedication to real-world impact. Square Roots tackles food waste by partnering with local farmers, while Seacycle addresses the urgent issue of plastic waste in our oceans. Options Online provides at-risk youth with valuable training and resources, offering them a path to success.

A hub of change-makers, innovators, and community builders, students at Saint Mary’s are not just earning degrees; they are becoming part of a community united in its mission to make a difference. Saint Mary’s is shaping the future and making the world a better place, one student at a time.

Learn more and launch your future at smu.ca/goeast

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Welcome to Saint Mary’s University—a vibrant campus nestled in the heart of downtown Halifax! Get ready to embark on an incredible journey where the possibilities are truly limitless.

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