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Community builder

Master of science graduate excels in computer science and school spirit

Campus and Community

By Jillienne Thorne

Spring graduate Lawreen Latif’s formative years spent in the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh instilled in her a global perspective, while her time at the University of Buffalo laid the technical groundwork for her graduate studies.

Lawreen Latif smiles while standing in front of a grassy lawn. There is a gold sash with the words "special feature" in the upper left-hand corner.
Lawreen Latif will collect her master of science degree on Tuesday, May 28.
Photo: Submitted

Choosing Memorial University for its practical curriculum, she found more than just education in her master of science program — she found a place where she could develop and nurture relationships to create a memorable all-around university experience for everyone.

Work-term experience

On Tuesday, May 28, Ms. Latif will step onto the convocation stage at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre to collect her master of science degree in computer science.

She says the peers she met and the coursework she did were highlights of her program, but she especially loved getting hands-on experience during work terms.

“I really enjoyed my courses on data preparation and analysis for their practicality,” said Ms. Latif. “What stood out to me was the co-op program. I completed my co-op at a local startup as a product development manager. This experience taught me a lot about taking initiative, as well as market research and data analysis.”

Ms. Latif not only excelled academically but left her mark on the Memorial’s residence life.

As a residence co-ordinator at Curtis House after the pandemic, she saw how social distancing had affected incoming students.

A group of students in front of Curtis House residence wearing Curtis House shirts take a selfie on a sunny day.
Lawreen Latif and her Curtis housemates.
Photo: Submitted

Ms. Latif says she felt compelled to help rebuild the vibrancy of on-campus life, having experienced it to the fullest during her undergraduate years.

Some of the activities she and the rest of the residence staff organized were Signal Hill hikes, paintball and cooking competitions, plus many others.

One of her favourite programs was a trick-or-treating event with the children from the Burton’s Pond community.

“It was heartwarming to see our residents interact with the kids,” she said. “I also enjoyed organizing study sessions, paint nights and end-of-year formal events and creating content to document it on our Instagram page so future residents can see and continue the community that we have built.”

Another highlight was her role as chair of the residence charity committee, where she worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation and Relay for Life.

“I raised almost $1,500 for Big Brothers Big Sisters, significantly contributing to their youth mentorship program,” she said with pride. “I also organized several charity initiatives, including a pie-your-staff program, where we raised $810 for the Janeway Children’s Hospital and collaborated on the end-of-year yard sale to raise more than $2,000 for the campus food bank, along with donating tons of clothes to local charities and shelters.”

As a Memorial University student who started her academic journey from halfway around the globe, Ms. Latif says she’s thoroughly enjoyed meeting other international students from Belgium, South Korea, Jamaica, Nigeria and more.

“This helped me gain an even better perspective of the world and the opportunity to empathize with and understand many different trains of thought.”

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