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Ottawa girl, 12, becomes youngest university graduate in Canadian history

Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis, 12, walks across the stage as she receives her bachelor's degree in biomedical science at a University of Ottawa convocation ceremony, in Ottawa, on Saturday, June 10, 2023. Dennis becomes the youngest Canadian to ever graduate from university. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis has become the youngest person in Canadian history to graduate from university.

The 12-year-old accepted her University of Ottawa diploma for a bachelor's degree in biomedical science at a convocation ceremony Saturday evening.

Patricia Dennis started her university studies when she was nine years old.

She completed a 40-page thesis about the relationship between the brain and the hand for right-handed versus left-handed people.

Her mother Johanna Dennis said she knew her daughter was special when she was about two-and-a-half years old.

The not-yet-teenager is looking to attend postgraduate school next.

She told The Canadian Press in an interview that she's excited to get her own lab and work with others on her research about the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for co-ordinating balance and movement. 

"I can now call myself a researcher," she said. "I feel like the master of the cerebellum."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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