My name is Matthew Mellon and I am the Commissioner of External Affairs for the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University this upcoming academic year. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as a member of OUSA’s Steering Committee and to advocate for a high-quality, accessible, and fair post-secondary educational experience alongside some amazing student leaders from across the province.
I am entering my fifth year at Queen’s studying Life Science and throughout my degree I’ve been a fan of academics, through and through. I’ve served as an introductory physics peer tutor and participated in a range of biomedical research, from investigating novel cancer therapies to neuropathological conditions. I also developed a deep passion for academic advocacy through my experiences as the President of my department student council and the Academics Commissioner of my faculty society. I’ve been privileged with the opportunity to have a voice in conversations surrounding curriculum development, academic procedures, student appeals, and academic quality control at Queen’s. Combining my various experiences, I have taken a strong interest in learning more about the intersections between health, healthcare, and public policy.
My experience with academics at Queen’s has helped me develop a strong passion for promoting direct student involvement in influencing their education. As students, we all have a strong insight into the technology and pedagogical strategies that lend themselves to effective teaching, but it can be intimidating and cumbersome to bring these ideas to administration and other decision-makers. From this, my passion for advocacy developed; it became a goal of mine to offer student perspectives in areas where our insights were the most valuable and most needed.
As a member of OUSA’s Steering Committee, I am excited to continue the advocacy work I am most passionate about. During these unprecedented times for post-secondary education, it is more important than ever to ensure that students receive high-quality education and the support they need as they navigate through one of the most defining chapters of their lives. I hope to accelerate conversations on tech-enabled learning to ensure the government can empower institutions to provide adequate online learning. Additionally, with graduates set to enter an increasingly challenging job market, I hope to encourage work-integrated learning opportunities to strengthen the employability of our students. As well, given the variety of difficult situations that many students now find themselves in, I am dedicated to promoting student financial aid and mental health services.
It’s surely a challenging time to be involved in student advocacy, but nonetheless exciting and rewarding. I am thrilled to work together with the rest of Steering Committee to continue to represent the best interests of students and work towards a higher quality of post-secondary education in Ontario.