Mr. Grayson Ross

GraysonGrowing up in a small, rural community, beginning studies at university was a very exciting time for me. I was initially drawn to Brandon University after hearing of the positive experiences friends had while enrolled in classes there and the opportunity to study close to home. Becoming a veterinarian has been a goal of mine from a very young age, and Brandon University has greatly helped me get closer to attaining that aspiration. I completed three years of undergraduate studies at BU and have been accepted into the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.  Brandon University’s small class sizes allowed me to really get to know my professors along with the majority of my classmates. These relationships not only made my time at BU very memorable, but also helped me succeed during my undergraduate studies. The professors in the Biology department, in particularly Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Ardelli, along with advisors like Mr. Macintyre are all very passionate about their field of expertise, dedicated to their work, and eager to see their students flourish. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at BU, am grateful for all that I have learned and the friendships that I have made. I am confident that the skills and knowledge I acquired at Brandon University will help me succeed as complete my veterinary studies.

Mr. Jordan Cockerill

JordanI graduated from Brandon University in the 2016 Spring Convocation with a 4-year degree in biology, and I am currently attending St. Martinus Medical School in Willemstad, Curacao. Choosing to attend BU was one of the best decisions I have ever made. BU Biology alumni will speak of how well this department prepares you for any career you have in mind, such as research, human or veterinary medicine, or other health care professions. During my experience here at BU, I had many health care professionals, students in other BU departments, and the general public ask me questions pertaining to my classes and what we covered because that is how well this department can prepare you for your future endeavours. Since I took biomedical-related classes, I spent a lot of time with professors such as Dr. Bernadette Ardelli, Dr. Faiz Ahmad, and the late Dr. Patrick Jackson. These professors, along with the rest of the biology department, are extremely passionate and knowledgeable, care about their students, and strive to allow us to reach our potential. In addition, the small classes allowed for a personal experience between the professors and the students, and I have also had other BU students comment on how they cannot believe how close we are as a department. All these things, among much more, solidified my choice in attending BU for my undergraduate education, and this will definitely be a place that holds many special memories for me.

Mr. Jarret McKinnon

Jarret McKinnon2Starting out at university was difficult for me. My first couple years were a struggle but Brandon University’s faculty, along with the small class sizes, allowed me to form unique relationships with my professors. These relationships helped me succeed throughout my undergraduate degree. Not only was the faculty there as professors, but mentors as well. The Biology department particularly, is a tight knit community and everyone strives to help each other out. I had been an active member of the Biological Society on Campus, which organized: fundraisers, social events, and tutoring, which help new students with course material. The club also gave us a place to hang out and visit with fellow students and friends between classes. My experience at BU was a positive one; it was my positive experience that motivated me to pursue graduate studies in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, and I am proud to say, ‘I got my undergraduate degree from BU.’

Mr. Cale Gushulak

Gushulak_photo2I am currently at the Department of Earth Sciences at The University of Western Ontario pursuing a Master’s degree in geology. I completed a 4 year Honours degree in biology at Brandon University. My honours thesis was done under Dr. Greenwood and titled Paleoclimate of the Early Eocene McAbee Marcroflora, British Columbia, Canada. The biology program and BU helped me get to where I am by providing the biological and paleontological knowledge I needed to be prepared for grad school. In addition, the research, writing, laboratory, and critical thinking skills I obtained while in BU’s biology program are used daily in my graduate research.

Mr. Kevin Blais

Kevin2I’m a first year medical student at University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Like a few dozens of other Canadian students, I finished my under-grad in Canada right at BU. In pursuit of a common goal, we have traveled thousands of miles from northern hemisphere down to southern hemisphere and from one continent to another. The pace of medical school training is fast and the work load is heavy. The core course: Medical Science 1 in the first term contains at least 9 different subjects: Anatomy (surface, gross, X-ray), Physiology,
Histology, Pathology, Medical Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Cell Biology, Immunology and Clinical Genetics. Every week, we are given a clinical case that is used in our PBL (problem based learning) small group studying. All that week’s materials revolve around that case. I feel so fortunate that I have taken almost all the subjects except histology and pathology that are not available at BU, especially Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology. Familiar terms such as “cell signalling”, “antigen presenting cells” keep appearing throughout the semester. Thanks to Dr. Ardelli who did an excellent job in explaining these difficult concepts which I still remember well. Besides theory, we also have clinical coaching in which we learn clinical skills such as physical examination on each other. Overall I’m happy with the school and my progress in the course work. I hope my words are beneficial for your study and I wish you all success.

Dr. Lorraine Dooley

Lorraine1I believe that Brandon University’s Biology and Zoology program helped me attain my success. Initially I was unsure of which career path I would choose. I liked general sciences, and was leaning towards biology and medicine. I initially was inclined towards veterinary medicine however the courses and lecturers at BU opened my mind to the possibility and fascinating world of human medicine. Dr. Ardelli and Dr. Jackson were very passionate about the topics they taught and they inspired me to focus on human medicine which I became passionate about. Biology/Zoology program provided abundant support for learners and gave me the education and confidence to apply and be successful in medical school. I was accepted to University College Dublin’s Medicine Programme in Ireland, and graduated with honours in 2013. I am now pursuing a residency in internal medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. I am planning to apply for a fellowship and pursue either general internal medicine or nephrology. I would also like to add that professors at BU were very approachable and created opportunities for learners to gain research and experience related to our fields of interest. As well as providing counsel for career decisions. Without the support and availability of these great mentors at BU I doubt I would be where I am today.

Dr. Jeffrey Tompkins

Jeffrey_Tompkins_4x6x300I graduated from Brandon University in 2009 with a B.Sc in Biology. Since then, I’ve completed medical school at the University of Manitoba and am currently pursuing subspecialty medical training in anatomical pathology at the University of Alberta. The education I received during my time in the Department of Biology was instrumental in my success in medicine. Due to the quality of instruction in areas of anatomy, physiology, cell biology and immunology, I found myself ahead of many of my peers upon entering medical school. The faculty at BU did more than just impart knowledge; they helped me develop skills in critical thinking, hypothesis testing and scientific communication, which I use every day as a physician. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to conduct scientific research as a first year undergraduate student, which would not have been possible had I attended a larger institution. The fundamentals of scientific research I learned at BU have allowed me to publish numerous scientific papers and attend conferences across North America. The fact that I was able to experience these things while being supported by professors who are knowledgeable, passionate and approachable, made it a pleasure to do my undergraduate studies at Brandon University.

Mr. Youn Tae Chung

YounI obtained an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. I was accepted to University of Manitoba Medicine program this year (2015). I am proud to be alumnus of Brandon University’s Biology program. Although I am continuing my education in another university, BU Biology program will always be my roots where I have discovered my passion in biology and medicine.  The Department of Biology is a genuine community of students and professors who are more than willing to help you out. Smaller class sizes allowed me to develop relationships with classmates and professors and connect with them on a personal level. I found friends that will last a life time and professors that I still keep in touch with today. The Department of Biology is very fortunate to have professors who are passionate about the topics they teach and truly care about the students’ success. Without professors like Dr. Ardelli and Dr. Jackson who have always challenged me to be the best I can be and provided me with guidance and support in my academic and personal life, I wouldn’t be where I am at today. If I may offer a humble advice to future students, do not think that the size of the university, whether small or large, is going to determine your success in the future. University is what you make of it. Learn as much you can, find your passion, get involved with extracurricular activities, and most importantly enjoy the journey and have fun!

Mr. Alexander Will

Alex WillMy program of study was a Bachelor of Science 4 year degree – major in biology (biomedical stream), minor in chemistry. I am currently preparing to attend U of M in the fall to obtain my degree in respiratory therapy. The biology courses I took here at BU (as well as the wonderful professors that taught them) helped to spark my interest in the study of life.  Furthermore, the knowledge of anatomy and physiological processes that I obtained from these courses has given me the foundation I needed to pursue a career in the medical rehabilitation sciences.

Ms. Erin Froese

Erin FroeseI have a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology (biomedical stream) and minors in chemistry and psychology. I recently completed my physiotherapy classes, clinical placements, and the written component of the national exam. I am currently awaiting the results of this exam. In the meantime I am looking for a physiotherapy job in the city, which I can begin once I am notified that I have passed the national. I will officially graduate in October, and the practical component of the national exam is in November.  In relation to my field of study, Human Anatomy and Physiology and Advanced Anatomy were the most relevant and helpful classes. Having the opportunity to work on cadavers as well as being exposed to a more in-depth look at the human body in Advanced Anatomy gave me an advantage for my physiotherapy anatomy classes, as it was all information that I had previously learned. In addition, many of the higher-level biology classes such as Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology helped develop my studying techniques.

Ms. Andrea Dransfield

Andrea Dransfield

Brandon University gave me an incredible start to the biological field. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t gone to Brandon University. Being a small university, paired with incredible and inspirational professors, I received opportunities that I never would have had at a larger university. At BU, you get to know your professors on a personal level. Everyone in the Faculty of Sciences wants you to succeed and encourages you to strive for greatness. I was unsure of my major, as a lot of students are, but eventually settled into a double major in Environmental Science and Zoology. I can’t thank my professors enough! Joining the science clubs (Zoology Club, EcoBU and Geography Club) at BU positively enriched my experience. I worked on campus in the mosquito lab, spent my days studying in the Nucleus, did a Work Experience credit on the endangered Northern prairie skink and completed an undergraduate honours thesis on harbour porpoise habitat use in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia. After this amazing opportunity to study cetaceans , I was completely hooked! I went on to complete my Master’s in Geography at San Francisco State University with a concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning, through the Marine & Coastal Conservation and Spatial Planning Center. For my thesis, I got to work with National Marine Sanctuaries on reducing ship strikes on large whales. I published my thesis in Endangered Species Research: ‘Where the Whales are: Using habitat modeling to support changes in shipping regulations within National Marine Sanctuaries in Central California.’ I joined the Resource Protection team of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary as a 2013 Sea Grant State Fellow where I worked on policy and management decisions to reduce ship strikes on large whales in the greater California region. I am forever grateful for the opportunities that have arisen from attending Brandon University.

Ms. Vanessa Rosenkranz

Vanessa R. 1As a MSc student at Brandon University, I had the incredible opportunity to work with Parks Canada for my research. My thesis project involves ecological study of threatened fescue grassland within Riding Mountain National Park, focusing on the impacts of smooth brome invasion on insect diversity. Smooth brome is an introduced grass species that aggressively colonizes native ecosystems. I am also conducting a study that examines soil seed bank resources within fescue grassland to determine vegetation recovery after smooth brome has been controlled. Parks Canada provided field assistance for my research, as well as summer employment. When I was not collecting insects for my thesis project, I was identifying plant species with other student researchers. I also assisted Parks Canada staff with conservation activities such as invasive plant monitoring and control, ecosystem management, water quality testing, and wildlife monitoring. My thesis advisor, Dr. Terence McGonigle, was also pleased with arrangements made with Parks Canada and anticipates future collaboration.

Mr. Lyndon Duff

Lyndon DuffI graduated from Brandon University with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biology (Ecology and Evolution stream). Admittedly I did not truly understand my academic interests until halfway through my second year. While working on a research project in Evolution I found myself overwhelmed with how complex, yet so very simple the lives of leaf-cutting ants are. As I began to delve further and further into literature I established quite a passion for all social insects. During my fourth year honours thesis I explored the impacts of grazing on two species of Formica ants found near Great Falls, Mb. Following my thesis, I was awarded two consecutive NSERC USRA’s that was spent working in Dr. Wendy Untereiner’s mycology laboratory on two projects: 1) exploring the diversity of Fungi from nests of the mound-building ant Formica ulkei, and 2) assisting with an urban mycology project that surveyed children’s sandboxes at various locations in Brandon, Mb. I am now at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., pursuing a M.Sc. in the Brock Bee Lab.

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