Taylor Goodon is the first from Brandon University (BU) to join an exclusive club that celebrates Canada’s best students.
Goodon, a third-year Science student, is one of 10 national recipients of the 3M National Student Fellowship Award. Presented by 3M Canada and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE), the fellowship recognizes diploma and undergraduate students who have demonstrated qualities of outstanding leadership and who embrace a vision of education that enhances their academic experience and beyond.
A member of the Turtle Mountain Métis community, Goodon is pursuing a Bachelor of Science Honours degree, with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity to be able to show other Indigenous youth that we are capable of achieving our dreams, and that we have a place in academia,” Goodon said.
Goodon is the first BU recipient in the 10-year history of the program and the only Manitoban among this year’s winners. She and the other 3M National Student Fellows will receive a two-year membership in the STLHE and will participate in a funded project on teaching and learning. They will also take part in the STLHE Unconference, which will be held online in June, featuring keynotes, discussions and poster presentations.
“Our students stack up well against the best anywhere in Canada, and they shine when they step into the national spotlight,” said Dr. David Docherty, President and Vice-Chancellor at BU. “Taylor is an excellent example of this as a very accomplished student and leader, with a bright future ahead of her. I commend Taylor on pursuing and achieving this opportunity, and I hope that she is just the first of many BU students to take part in this excellent program.”
Goodon has amassed some impressive accomplishments since arriving at BU. She was named one of Brandon University’s Outstanding Female Students in 2020, and later that year she was named to CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 list, celebrating emerging leaders under the age of 40.
Goodon has worked in Dr. Michael Charette’s Ribosome Assembly Lab at BU, presenting her research at conferences provincially, nationally and internationally, and her work has been supported by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Her goal is to pursue a career in medicine. Goodon has also worked as a tutor in the Indigenous Student Transition Program as well as the Department of Chemistry, and has volunteered with the Brandon Chapter of the Bear Clan, with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and as a Manitoba Métis Federation youth representative.
“Taylor really leads by example, as a student and also in her volunteer work,” said BU’s Dean of Science, Dr. Bernadette Ardelli, who helped Goodon put together her application. “She is a very well-rounded person, and I’m impressed by her desire to encourage other women and Indigenous students to pursue education and careers in the STEM’s field. I’m thrilled to see her be rewarded with this fellowship.”
The daughter of Will Goodon and Dr. Kelly Saunders, who is the Chair of BU’s Department of Political Science, Taylor Goodon has had plenty of people who inspired her journey. She credits Drs. Charette and Ardelli for their guidance, and her older brother Hunter for encouraging her to study science in university. Hunter Goodon graduated from BU last year and is now in medical school at the University of Manitoba.
“I also wish to acknowledge my Métis community for inspiring me to advocate on behalf of all Indigenous women and youth,” she said. “And I’d like to thank my parents, for always believing in me and pushing me to become my best self.”