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Haleigh Longo to receive the Albert Lager PrizeJune 10, 2019

Haleigh Longo, a Mechatronics student, will receive the Albert Lager Prize.

1. Can you share a little about your experience as a McMaster Engineering student?

I was in Mechatronics Engineering, but I joke that I minored in extracurriculars. I tried to get the most out of my undergrad. I've been involved in a lot of the groups around campus; I was part of the MES council, Mac Eng Musical, the Faculty of Engineering, Redsuits, and I helped plan a few different conferences: MSU CLAY, HackTheCity, and CFES Conference on Diversity in Engineering. Helping others enjoy McMaster as much as I did was what I liked doing most.

2. What were some of your favourite memories?

What I love about Mac is its community. Some of the greatest memories I have are working together with others to accomplish something together. A highlight was performing in the Eng Musical. We all become a big family performing together, but also supporting each other backstage. With CDE, I remember the satisfaction that came when we sat down after it ended and realized that we had made positive change. One of my favourite memories was planning a guest speaker to teach graphic design to a committee I formed. It was so rewarding to see something I spent so much time on come to life. Outside of the big events, I'll remember the little moments I shared with other McMaster students; studying way too late in Thode, exploring Hamilton, and sharing stories.

3. What will you miss the most about being a Mac Eng student?

I'll miss the people. Each day, walking around campus, it was great seeing familiar faces all around me and knowing there was always someone nearby to talk to. Especially now after moving so far away from Hamilton, I realize how unique and valuable it is to have such an open and accepting community of people.

4. What does it mean to you to receive the Albert Lager Prize?

I am so thankful that I was recognized for my involvements through receiving the Albert Lager Prize. It was never my goal to get an award for what I did, I just did these activities because I enjoyed them. Receiving the Albert Lager Prize showed me that my patchwork of student initiatives was truly incredible. This honour summed up my whole experience of trying to improve the experience of others at McMaster. Many of the people I looked up to received the Albert Lager Prize in the past; being part of this group let me realize that I'm a role model for others getting involved at McMaster.

5. What advice would you give to yourself (or to future/current Mac Eng students)?
The advice I would give to students is to never stop doing the things you love. I have a passion for graphic design and I was able to use that to contribute to the initiatives I was a part of. I sometimes worried if pursuing arts outside of school instead of technical teams would make me worse off for jobs after graduation. I came to realize that any job I would be happy in would also value the things I loved. Let the activities you enjoy guide you to find people and places that appreciate them.