Skip to main content
Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo
COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Meet the Valedictorians: Philip Badawy

A mind reader and future psychology professor at Mac? Introducing Philip Badawy, the Valedictorian at Wednesday morning's Social Sciences convocation.

Jun 10, 2015

Your home town: Mississauga, Ontario. I’ve been residing in the same house for all 22 years of my life.

Your degree & subject area: Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Psychology.

Where are you headed after convocation?

After convocation, I plan to continue at the master’s and PhD level. I’ll be conducting research within the substantive topics of social psychology and sociology. I’ll strive towards publication and I hope to eventually become a professor at a well-renowned institution (such as, let’s say…McMaster).

Your best memory of Mac?

My four years were filled with unforgettable experiences, such as: meeting new people in first year in Brandon Hall, who would then become my future housemates and current close friends; playing intramurals for the men’s outdoor soccer league and being the league champions in 2014; and every time my girlfriend, Tina Luuly, surprises me in class with Pita Pit or Willy dogs.

The best advice anyone ever gave you?

Ever since I was a young boy, my mum would always say to me, “Be the best you can be”, and to this day she continues to reinforce this message. Whenever I embark on a new journey or begin a meaningful task, I’m always determined to give it 100 per cent. This simple, yet significant, piece of advice is something I wish to share with everyone.

Who inspires you, and why?

Dr. Sarah Clancy, my professor for many of my social psychology and sociology courses, is my inspiration because of how she comports herself inside and outside of the classroom. Not only does she demonstrate her knowledge and expertise in her field, but she does so with a highly interactive and approachable teaching style, as she seamlessly facilitates engaging class discussion with her students. She’s one of the most genuinely kind-hearted people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing, and she’s someone I aspire to model myself after.

What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?

Aside from being valedictorian, I think my biggest accomplishment so far would be leading tutorials for Social Psychology 1Z03. Through this teaching assistant experience, I’ve developed and reinforced my leadership capabilities, while elevating my comfort with public speaking. To me, being able to positively impact students’ learning with the insight I’ve accumulated over the course of four years at Mac is something I’m very proud of.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

With my predilection for psychology, my super-power would have to be mind-reading. People are remarkably talented at impression management techniques, which make it challenging to assess whether they’re attempting to manipulate my impression of them with premeditated forethought. Mind-reading would bypass this social process, and I think it would be thrilling and hilarious to catch people off-guard.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned (so far)?

The most important lesson I’ve learned is to treat work (university included) like a marathon and not a sprint. Break down and organize your work into smaller, more manageable tasks. It’s both galvanizing and successful to plan, and abide by, a schedule for assignments, projects and exams, giving you ample time for completion.

What do you think the future holds for higher education?

I think that higher education will become an increasingly popular choice for people as a way to discover their passion, learn more about their aspirations, or distinguish themselves from other job applicants. I hope everyone is up to the challenge of reaching this rising standard of credentialism – but also enjoying their journey along the way.