Lacey Winstone

Lacey Winstone

Give a brief bio about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I was born in Brandon, MB, and raised in Strathclair, MB. I started figure skating in my hometown at an early age and finished in 2010 and was allowed to do the first piece of choreography that I created. I began to dance in 2007 in Newdale, MB doing tap and jazz. Throughout this time, I also participated in Strathclair 4-H club doing projects on food, photography, etc., while doing many public speaking events and holding various positions. In grade 9, I switched from dance to theatre/musicals, which has continued to the present, with me holding a working position of choreographer.

Science has always been essential in my life; as struggling with dyslexia, science was one of the few things I understood quickly and loved. I invested myself in biology and chemistry throughout high school, while tutoring math and keeping my issues with reading hidden. Starting school at BU was so exciting to focus on science which was where my strengths were. In my fourth year, I started working in Dr. Majumder’s breast cancer lab, which moved into my Honors with her in my fifth year. I have done volunteer work and fundraising events, in groups, and by myself throughout my university life. Working in a cancer lab and researching allows me to live my dreams.

What education have you taken?

I graduated in 2017 from Strathclair Community School (SCS), in the small town of Strathclair. MB. This coming spring, I will be graduating from Brandon University (BU) with a 4-Year Honours Bachelor of Science with my major in Biology and minor in Chemistry.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

Accomplishments that I am proud of belong on a spectrum of areas. First, I am incredibly proud of the schoolwork and lab work (in Dr. Majumder’s lab) that I have completed before being diagnosed with dyslexia (after four years of university) and afterwards. The amount I pushed myself to reach my full capability even when it felt like I started behind the starting line made me so proud to see what I could do and complete. And even with the nerves and fears about being diagnosed, I was still able to accept the help needed to enable me to start with everyone else. I want to thank my mother (Joan) for this, as growing up, she saw my struggles and did all in her capability to help me and teach me tips on reading, which was one reason I could get as far as I did without being diagnosed.

My next biggest accomplishment is outside of education. Throughout my schooling, I continued to dance (through the BU dance club) and theatre (through the Strathclair Drama Club). I have been in the theatre club for a long time and love the feeling of being on stage. This year while completing my Honours, I also got the opportunity to do the entire choreography for the Mary Poppins’ musical by myself. I am filled with pride as I watch the performances on stage.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I have always been interested in science, and my whole life, I have wanted to become a vet. Through multiple shadowing, I had learnt that was not the path I wanted to take. After watching most of my grandparents suffer and pass from cancer, I knew I wanted to work in the treatment and diagnostics of cancers. Many individuals in my life have struggled with cancer; every individual has experienced it in some form in their lives. It was not until my first year of university in an introduction section on cancer by Dr. Ardelli that I fully knew this is what I was passionate about. I am grateful to Dr. Majumder and her lab for starting my journey in cancer research.

What is your philosophy in life?

I have three favourite philosophies:

  1. “It is no use going back to yesterday because I was different then.” – Lewis Carrol
  2. “Space belongs to all of us. There is science in dance and art in science.” – Mae Jemison
  3. “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I will be attending the University of Saskatoon for a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry. Once I have completed this, I want to go on to my Ph.D. with the end goal of working in treatment or diagnostic in a cancer lab.

In one sentence, how will you #BreakTheBias?

I have been and will continue to #BreakTheBias by using social media to share women’s work in science as well as my own to shine a light on the accomplishments of women in STEM. accomplished.

Nominator’s Comments:

I have known Ms. Winstone since September 2019 as a student in the fourth year advanced cell biology course designed for senior-level students. This course demands active participation during class debates and case studies and students need to write assignments to showcase ‘novel ideas on therapeutic approaches’ in a manuscript format. Lacey wrote an excellent assignment and stood out as an attentive, hard-working student, and became in the top 5% in that course among 40 students. Unfortunately, she was never diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning disability, until the third year of undergraduate studies at BU, but Lacey’s hard work and efforts to be successful showed results. Lacey was added to the Dean’s Honour list in 2019, 2020, and received a Board of Governor’s Entrance Scholarship in 2017. Lacey expressed her interest to engage in our breast cancer research project in early 2021. During the pandemic, students hardly got a chance to do any hands-on experiments. Lacey had no previous laboratory training to conduct advanced cell biology research. To assess her potential, I look for qualities such as interest in the subject matter, determination, intelligence, and an excitement to engage in scientific research. Lacey amazed me with her sincerity and determination. She worked only for six weeks in the spring and summer of 2021 as a Research Topics student, and as a quick learner, she learned all the basic skills required in our laboratory and soon started assisting senior students. Lacey continues to excel and started as an honors student in my laboratory in September 2021. As a person, Lacey is very humble and polite and a very hard-working student. She collaborates well with senior graduate and undergraduate students at my laboratory and her PRs find her easy going and easy to work with. She is leading the team of undergraduate students in my laboratory, everyone depends on Lacey, and during troubleshooting, she takes full responsibilities, these are excellent leadership qualities. Lacey is a person with the biggest heart, she is engaged in extensive community services. She is taking a full course load, working as a student leader, serving women in STEM, and volunteering for multiple fund-raising cancer research organizations. She donates all money she raises every year during her birthday for charity work! Truly a person with a golden heart. Lacey wishes to peruse a Ph.D. degree and wants to peruse academia and has already accepted an MSc degree at the University of Saskatchewan. Lacey is a true inspiration and deserves this award.