Taylor Goodon

Taylor Goodon

What education have you taken?

I graduated from Vincent Massey High School in 2018. I am currently in my second year of my Bachelor of Science, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Biology.

 What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation and I am a proud citizen of the Métis Nation. I am very active in my Métis community. I am currently the Infinity Women’s Representative for the Southwest Regional Youth Advisory Committee. On the committee, I act as a voice for other Métis youth. I serve as an in-school mentor for Indigenous youth with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I also volunteer with Bear Clan.

Tell us about yourself:

I was born in Winnipeg and my family moved to Brandon when I was three. From the ages of 8 to 18 I was a competitive gymnast with Brandon Eagles Gymnastics Centre. I had the opportunity to represent Manitoba five times at the Western Canadian Gymnastics Championships and the Western Canadian Summer Games. After graduating high school, I started my degree at Brandon University. I had the opportunity to work in Dr. Charette’s lab last summer.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

My brother, Hunter Goodon, is my biggest inspiration. He was diagnosed with leukemia when he was three years old. He has worked very hard towards his goal of becoming a doctor to help other children with cancer.

What is your philosophy in life?

My philosophy in life follows the seven sacred teachings: Love, Respect, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Humility, and Truth.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

After finishing my Bachelor of Science, I plan on pursuing a Master of Science in Biochemistry. Eventually, I want to get a degree in medicine. I want to work with Indigenous peoples and be a role model for other Indigenous women.

Nominator’s Comments:

I am thrilled to nominate Taylor Goodon for BU’s International Women’s Day celebrations. I have known Taylor since September of 2018 as one of her university professors and more recently as her summer research supervisor. Though this nomination, I want to depict an incredible young woman who is excelling in all aspects of her personal, academic, research, and athletic life.

Taylor the student: I have had the pleasure of teaching Taylor as part of my first-year university chemistry course. In this challenging course, Taylor not only excelled but seemed to enjoy herself, displaying great ease and comfort with the material.  Taylor chose to major in Chemistry and is now in her second year, tackling yet more difficult chemistry courses, such as Organic and Inorganic chemistry. As a second-year student, Taylor’s mastery of the first year chemistry course resulted in her being asked to serve as a laboratory teaching assistant for the first-year chemistry course.  Taylor demonstrates not only academic skills but communication skills in clearly presenting complex scientific concepts. Overall, Taylor’s academic performance to date points to a very bright and successful future in chemistry .

Taylor the researcher: In December 2019, Taylor approached me about a summer research studentship in my lab. Taylor applied and was awarded national funding through the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA) program. Taylor’s research used biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics to study the molecular causes of a rare and devastating genetic disease in the Hutterite population of the Canadian Prairies called Bowen-Conradi Syndrome. Children born with this disorder fail to grow and die in infancy with no known treatment or cure. This research aims to better understand the disease so that we can propose treatments or drugs to help manage the disease. Taylor presented her research provincially at this year’s CancerCareMB research day at the Health Sciences Center of the University of Manitoba’s School of Medicine and nationally at the RiboWest 2019 meeting. These presentations at provincial and national scientific meetings are truly extraordinary for a student so early in her academic career.  At the RiboWest meeting, Dr. Susan J. Baserga, MD/PhD, Professor at Yale School of Medicine, spent time talking with Taylor about her research, and noted that “Taylor is very bright!” Taylor will be applying for a  second NSERC-USRA to join my research group again this summer.

Taylor as a well-rounded person: Taylor is a very accomplished gymnast through the Brandon Eagles Gymnastics Club, a nationally ranked group that has produced Olympic gymnasts. In addition, Taylor volunteers with the Brandon chapter of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.  Most importantly of all, Taylor is an incredible Métis youth role model in education, science, and research for other Metis and Indigenous youth.

Following her undergraduate degree, Taylor’s career goal is to go to medical school while pursuing a research degree through an MD/PhD program. This is a very ambitious goal, but one in which I am confident Taylor will excel.