Courtney Harris

Courtney Harris

What education have you taken?

I graduated with Honours from Elton Collegiate three short years ago. I am currently in my third year at Brandon University working on a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

For all four years in high school I was placed on the honour roll. I have also been placed on the Honour’s list at Brandon University for two consecutive years.

I received multiple scholarships and bursaries upon graduation from high school; in addition, I have received a number of scholarships and bursaries from Brandon University. All of the scholarships I have received are very much appreciated as it allows me to work less and be able to focus on my education more.

Throughout my high school years I was an active member in the community helping coach the Forrest Elementary School boys volleyball and basketball team as well as the Elton Collegiate Junior Varsity girls volleyball team, helping with the Forrest Church Fall Supper, volunteering in multiple pageants, and helping with the Relay for Life.

I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering in high school so upon starting university I searched for new volunteer opportunities in the community. In my first year I became a Brandon University Student Leader and joined the Brandon University Chemistry Club as a volunteer. In my second year I continued as a Brandon University Student Leader, I took on an executive position with the Brandon University Chemistry Club and I also joined St. John Ambulance as a First Aid volunteer. I am currently an active volunteer with these organizations today.

Additionally, I am very proud to be nominated for this honour for International Women’s Day. Everything I take on is for the betterment of myself and my community, so to be publicly recognized for my work is an added bonus.

Tell me about yourself.

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba which is where I resided during the first few years of my life. With my parents both growing up in smaller communities they wanted to give my younger brother and I the same experience, so we moved to an acreage outside of Brandon when I was three.

Throughout my time in elementary school and high school I was involved in a number of extracurricular activities: piano lessons, swimming, gymnastics, dance, volleyball, basketball, as well as an extensive list of volunteer work. Currently I still volunteer my time as well as hold a job at a local restaurant. I enjoy the fast-paced job of serving and interacting with guests.

For as long as I can remember I have always liked staying busy and interacting with others; however, education has always been put first.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I have always been interested in science, however going into university I was unsure in which field of science I would declare as my major. Although I was enrolled in multiple areas of science my first year, I enjoyed chemistry the most as it has an excellent balance of theory and application. I have not fully explored all areas in chemistry but in the past year I have found biochemistry to be quite interesting. Even though I don’t have an extensive biology background, I have really enjoyed the mix of biology with chemistry.

Although I hadn’t given research a lot of thought, in the past few months I was given some helpful encouragement from a few professors and decided to see what research had to offer through a topics course. Currently I am doing my research project under the very patient and positive supervision of Dr. Charette. To my surprise I have really come to enjoy research.

What is your philosophy in life?

Go above and beyond. I have high expectations for myself and I take a lot of pride in my work. I try to put 110% into whatever I take on and I believe this mindset has brought me closer to my long-term goals.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the upcoming years I hope to be accepted into a dental school program and become a Doctor of Dental Medicine. I always knew I wanted a career in the medical field, however I was unsure of what area of medicine I would pursue. Through a career-shadowing program at my high school I was introduced to the field of Dentistry. After spending only half a day with a Dentist I was very intrigued with the profession. Over the past five years I have had the pleasure of shadowing six dentists and exploring four different specialties. I think what still continues to draw me to this field is the perfect mix of medicine, intricate hands-on work and interaction with people.

Nominator’s Comments:

Courtney is strong academically, being placed on the Honour’s List and Dean’s Honour list in 2014 & 2015 in addition to being involved in Brandon University’s Service Learning Program (Student Leader and St. John’s Ambulance in 2016). The reason for this nomination isn’t based upon either of these obvious strengths though, it’s because of her exceedingly strong problem-solving abilities. Courtney has highly developed critical-thinking and critical-analysis skills and never asks the same question twice. She is a problem solver, tasks aren’t too hard, they are challenges she overcomes.