What education have you taken?
I graduated from high school in Melita, Manitoba in 2016. I am currently in my final year of a four-year Honours Bachelor of Science, with a major in biomedical sciences and minor in chemistry.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
I am extremely grateful for every award and scholarship I have received both in high school and now in my undergraduate degree. I want to thank the donors and families that contribute to these awards. Your contributions make a big difference and are very much appreciated by the students. I also very much enjoy the various volunteer opportunities I have experienced. I’m from a small town where volunteerism was not just something to do for fun but was necessary to keep the community thriving. I was involved in various volunteer organizations throughout high school, continuing into my university years. I have volunteered at care homes, gone on a service trip to Nicaragua, and worked with Let’s Talk Science, among other things.
Give a brief bio about yourself
I grew up on a farm outside of Melita, Manitoba, where I received my K-12 education. I was a lifeguard and swimming lesson instructor for 6 years, and have worked as a biology tutor at BU. Last summer I had the opportunity to work as a health care aide in a long-term care facility. I have a family full of women (I’m the oldest of three girls) who inspire me every day. I am currently an honours student in Dr. Majumder’s lab where I get to work on my project studying breast cancer cells, hypoxia, and microRNAs.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
I have always been interested in life sciences, probably from my constant exposure to birth, life, and death on the farm. I was also aware of the struggles rural communities faced in dealing with healthcare, including but not limited to issues recruiting physicians to the area. This passion for science led me to undertake a Bachelor of Science at BU. My interest in healthcare, research, and helping people led me to join Dr. Majumder’s lab, where she has spent her career studying breast cancer. In her lab I get to contribute towards the broader goal of finding a blood biomarker for breast cancer, making the disease detectable in routine blood work. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, as it has made me knowledgeable of the research behind healthcare diagnostic measures and treatments and had given me the opportunity to work with amazing women (and men) in the lab.
What is your philosophy in life?
My philosophy in life is to do what you love, and always be open to learning new things. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I see myself practicing medicine in a rural community, with a focus on women’s health.
Honours student Ms. Emma Gervin, is an extraordinary 4th year Biology student. She is a studious and intelligent student who is most popular for her humbleness and kind behaviour. Emma works in my lab on our breast cancer research project. When she applied for this position last year, although I had not met her, she came highly recommended from other professors in Biology, with all A and A+ grades, several entrance scholarships and on the Dean’s honour list
Emma comes from a rural community, Melita, Manitoba, and is a true country girl. She is so caring and involved in her community that, on multiple occasions, I have seen her serving Melita either as a community worker or as swimming instructor or taking care of farm animals. In every occasion she finds a reason to go back to her roots but at the same time she is ambitious. We all dream to become a professional and get established, but her dream is much bigger. She wants to be a Doctor and practice in her hometown. According to her, she should serve rural Manitoba as a physician where first-hand health care is not as immediately accessible as in urban areas. With her first attempt, she scored high in MCAT and got interviews in two schools.
She is a true leader: if any urgent experiments are required, she works around the clock in my laboratory to resolve any issues. She will be there to help any new student in my laboratory with experiments. Everyone in my group loves to work with Emma. She took a full workload last year, kept her GPA high, scored high in MCAT and finally she submitted her very first author article in an international peer-received journal. This is an exceptional accomplishment for an undergraduate student. She is an excellent scientist and educator, as well, selected by several members of the department to become a tutor and teach a first-year Biology course while she was in her third year of undergrad.
Her work ethic is very strong. She is a determined, intelligent yet humble student. We are all proud of her. We need more women like Emma who want to serve rural Canada. I am very proud to nominate her in this international Women’s Week 2020. I am very lucky to have Emma as my student.