Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I have always been inquisitive and passionate about scientific research. Skin health was a central focus of my undergraduate thesis at Quest University Canada (Squamish, BC) and is a research area that continues to fascinate me. Thus, when the opportunity presented itself to continue my education in skin research I accepted without hesitation.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
What initially drew me to UBC was the ability to pursue a graduate degree in skin-related research as well as establishing roots in Vancouver. UBC’s commitment to skin research initiatives presents a great opportunity to further the limited understanding of this critical organ. Rooting my network in the Vancouver area is important to me as this is where I hope to continue my work in the future.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I was first introduced to the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine after volunteering in my current supervisor's lab during my undergraduate degree. I was immediately impressed by the research community I observed. Further, I enjoyed the breadth of research represented within the Department. To this day, I love interacting with and learning from other students in my department who study an array of different diseases.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I was fortunate to grow up in the Vancouver area. Given the beauty and temperate weather of the city, it would be difficult to call anywhere else home. That said, I am rather new to UBC. Since I came from a rather small highschool and undergraduate campus, I would have to say the best surprise about UBC has been the large internationally-renowned research facilities that I am fortunate to use!
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I most enjoy opportunities to share my research with the public, particularly high school and undergraduate students. As a graduate student mentor and instructor, I strive to provide support and opportunities for younger students passionate about the sciences. It has been rewarding to see my mentees succeed and go on to pursue further studies beyond their undergraduate degrees.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My multidisciplinary liberal arts and sciences undergraduate degree provided me with many transferable skills for graduate studies. Most importantly, it taught me how to think critically and integrate information from multiple fields of study. A skill set that is no doubt required to answer the large and increasingly complex health problems of today.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
During my undergraduate degree, I played varsity soccer. I still love to keep active and enjoy team sports/activities. I also love to travel. When not in the lab, you can find me soaking up the sun on a beach.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Put yourself out there! Whether its volunteering or applying for awards - the best opportunities to disseminate your research will come from making yourself and your research visible.