Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After spending three summers as an undergraduate student research assistant (NSERC-USRA) in a microbiology laboratory at Carleton University, I found that research was my true passion. Pursuing a graduate degree allowed me to make my own decisions about what path of research I wanted to explore, and to find answers to the questions that I wanted to ask.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Coming to UBC was an easy decision. First, the University of Britsh Columbia is a recognizable name with a reputation for quality research. Second, there was a young PI looking for students to work in the area of molecular food safety; the area I am passionate about. I specify "young" because I wanted to work with a supervisor who was interested in the cutting edge of research. Finally, the allure of Vancouver was too much to pass up. I am an avid hiker, and the mountains of BC were somewhere I always wanted to explore.
Pursuing a graduate degree allowed me to make my own decisions about what path of research I wanted to explore, and to find answers to the questions that I wanted to ask.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I was attracted to my program because it combines the excitement of pure research with the practical application of improving the safety of our food supply. I like knowing that the work I do may be used in industry within the foreseeable future.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The best surprise about UBC was how beautiful the campus was. I came to Vancouver with an eye for exploring nature, but I had no idea how much access to natural beauty I would have simply by going for a walk over my lunch break.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I came back to university after spending over ten years cooking in professional kitchens. Having experience working long shifts in stressful situations has prepared me for the hard work and focus required to get my research project completed. Those years have also made me appreciate how blessed I am to be studying in a graduate degree at UBC.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
For fun and relaxation I primarily like to get out of the city and do some hiking. If I am stuck at home I can most often be found playing my guitar.