Meet Jessica Scott, a third year Innis student and chair of the OSL Service Learning & Volunteerism Committee.
Hey Innis! My name is Jessica and I’m a third year student at the University of Toronto. I’m currently studying neuroscience and physiology.
I love the closeness and tight-knit nature that embodies the Innis community. I grew up in Saskatchewan and lived in a community where everyone was “a neighbor.” Stepping into Innis College or Residence is like coming back home – everyone is so friendly and kind, and is always up for a chat and a laugh!
I would travel to Iceland! The country looks absolutely stunning and the culture is so unique.
I’m really enjoying a bioethics course that I’m taking this semester. It’s really interesting to study biology from a completely new perspective.
In addition to my roles at Innis, I am also quite involved in campus-life and in research. I am currently a work-study student in a lab that focuses on women’s cognitive health. I am also conducting an Independent Study Project in a lab at Mount Sinai that studies ovarian function. This year, I have also taken my interest in women’s health and applied it to work in community. Moreover, this year I have started an on-campus initiative called the Women’s Health Collective, which aims to promote women’s health on local and global scales through community outreach, research symposia and fundraising events.
This is my second year as a committee head with the Office of Student Life. This year, I am serving as the Volunteerism and Service Learning committee chair. It’s been really inspiring to see how committed the Innis student body is to their community, and how motivated our students are to get involved in campus life.
There are so many lessons that we can’t learn in the classroom. Engaging in service learning opportunities gives students the chance to build important and practical skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. I think what’s most important about volunteering, however, is the impact on the people we serve. You never know what your involvement and volunteering will mean to someone in need!
Women’s Health in Women’s Hands is a women’s health clinic in downtown Toronto that specifically caters to historically marginalized groups of women. I really admire the cultural-sensitivity, respect and tact with which this organization operates.
I would love to organize outings for Innis students to visit local community organizations. For example, our students could visit patients in a long-term care facility, or help students at a nearby school with homework. The possibilities are endless, so keep an eye open for what next semester will bring!
If I could give my first-year self any advice, I would say: enjoy the flexibility that first year brings! Take courses that are out of your comfort zone, and get involved in clubs that you wouldn’t initially consider!