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Future forward

New graduate from Mexico City will dedicate his career to the planet

special feature: Class of 2020

Part of a special feature celebrating and recognizing the Class of 2020 at Memorial.

By Kelly Foss

Sebastian Reyna Martinez wants to make the world a better place.

Now that he is officially receiving his parchment for a bachelor of science degree this month as part of Memorial’s fall Class of 2020, he is setting his sights on doing just that.

“I’ve always liked frontier science, but the globe is sending very crazy warnings to us about global warming and climate change,” he said.

“Looking around I could see there was no guarantee someone else would fix all of this. Not wanting to be selfish, and caring for the future of the planet, I decided the best option was for me to study science myself, and dedicate my life to helping the planet directly in whatever way possible. Frontier science can wait for when I’m old, the climate is not going to wait.”

Growing from mistakes

Originally from Mexico City, Mr. Reyna Martinez came to Memorial’s Grenfell Campus as an English as a second language student for one semester before starting an engineering program on the St. John’s campus. He later transferred to the Faculty of Science where he majored in physics.

He was excited and nervous to arrive at Memorial, not knowing anyone.

Sebastian Reyna Martinez
Photo: John Harvey

But since that time, he’s made many good friends.

“Even though I had been studying English for a while, it’s not the same as getting to exercise it in a full-fledged English community,” said Mr. Reyna Martinez. “So, I was a bit shy at first, but I soon found myself getting involved in the social aspects of university – too much so, and it began impacting my grades.

“I also had no idea how the school system worked here and had to constantly face my own insecurities and bad habits. But this allowed me to become a better version of myself – growing from my mistakes and learning how to avoid making them in the future.”

He also benefitted from using Memorial’s counselling programs and took up meditation.

“I realized the importance of my habits and behaviours,” he said. “It’s a hard and an ongoing process to change the programming of the brain, but I’m glad to be aware of it. I take better care of myself now.”

Mr. Reyna Martinez is currently considering applying for a master’s degree in energy systems engineering and hopes to one day work in the field of green technology.

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