An example of the X-ray spectra you’d see from a supermassive black hole vs. the one our new MSc Student Charissa Campbell was researching in her undergraduate studies. (Gallo, 2011, JRASC, 105,143) While many of our students have previous research experience, this is not true for all. Still it has been an added plus for our newest recruit from St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
by Charissa Campbell
After 5 years, I successfully finished my Bachelor of Science degree but I could not tell if I wanted to continue with my studies or not. The final year of my degree was intense, filled with 6 classes a semester, working a part-time job as well as completing my undergraduate thesis which involved weekly research. All I could think of during that time was why on earth I had decided to do this field of work. However, at the same time, receiving my Bachelor degree in May 2016 was a great accomplishment and I appreciated the degree much more.
To be honest though, when the time came around to apply to graduate studies, I had no idea if I wanted to repeat the process I was currently going through. Sleepless nights, typical college food and one assignment after another. Since applications were due in early 2016, I figured, why not apply anyways and see what happens.
Since I did my undergraduate thesis on high-energy astrophysics, this was all I knew, research wise. So I applied across Canada for high-energy research, specifically on Active Galactic Nuclei. However, one day I got an email from Dr. John Moores asking if I’d be interested in planetary science. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think or if I’d even respond as I didn’t know anything about planetary science since it wasn’t in any of my studies at Saint Mary’s university. But then the voice inside my head said I’d be crazy if I didn’t take any opportunity that came my way, especially since I have been interested in Mars research from a young age.