University of Toronto (Canada)
University of Western Ontario (Canada)
My parents were immigrants from Scotland to Canada. My father was a carpenter and my mother was a secretary. They divorced when I was ~3 and we (4 kids in all) were raised by my mother. Needless to say, we did not have much money. I grew up in Toronto and knew nothing about going to college and was not even considering it. I was a very mediocre student in school. I fell into a good group of friends in high school, most of whom were college bound. I ended applied to college, almost by default. When admitted, I selected the closest school to my house to minimize costs, which for me happened to be one of the best colleges in the country. I started studying psychology and biology and combined them together to satisfy my new interest in brain and behavior. About my 3rd year, I decided to go graduate school to become a professor in psychology/neuroscience. As an undergrad, it all came together for me. Previously, a mediocre student, I started to excel in all my courses once I found my niche. I never looked back, applying to and entering graduate school, earning my doctorate, a post-doc at NIH and then on to a faculty career. Looking back to when I was younger, it’s hard to believe it even happened–it was so unlikely, but here I am.