Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I decided to pursue a graduate degree because I viewed it as an opportunity to become deeply engaged in my scientific community. For me, this means interacting with highly skilled synthetic chemists, industrial collaborators, and leaders of prestigious scientific institutions. These opportunities have helped build my understanding of the current frontiers in science and my views on how I can push scientific boundaries throughout my career.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC is my institution of choice not only because of its state-of-the-art research facilities and top-tier faculty, but because I am able to work for Prof. Laurel Schafer exploring green chemistry methodologies. In my work I operate at the intersection of fundamental catalyst research and applied materials chemistry to produce functional materials. This has allowed me to work with both industry and academia and to collaborate with other research groups, departments, and institutions.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I chose the chemistry program at UBC because students have the potential to expand both their technical and interpersonal skills. UBC houses state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation and attracts highly qualified personnel that students can learn from and develop their skills as a chemist. There is also a host of academic committees and social clubs that students can join to become involved with the operations of the department, network with other students, and develop leadership skills. As well, we have weekly seminars where cutting-edge scientists from all over the world present their research to our department.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
You can be outdoors all year round! Coming from a very cold city with short summers (Calgary, AB) the feeling that winter never truly arrived my first year here made me feel at odds... But then I went on a hike in Squamish in December, a long bike ride along the beach in January, to sit on a patio in February and quickly forgot that feeling.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Completing a research project for my honours thesis during my undergraduate degree gave me the technical skills to excel in the lab once I started research in graduate school.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Graduate school is when you truly understand the word prioritize. Your time is precious but so is your well being. Find a way to carve out time to pursue other hobbies and interests to help you stay balanced and refreshed.