Research is not something I ever saw myself enjoying however it has been one of my favorite things!

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My name is Logan Sampson, and I am a IMG_1921third year student at CBU, enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program. I am a Student Ambassador, a member of the CBU Dance Team and Pre-Med Society, and the Vice-President of the Biology Society.

Choosing my university in my grade 12 year was not as easy as I thought it would be. For a long time I wanted to leave Cape Breton to experience the city lifestyle and go to a large university. But boy am I glad I didn’t. CBU has provided me with more opportunities than I could have ever dreamed of at a larger university. Even though CBU is a “small-town” university, it networks with so many other universities all over the world, and you don’t experience many limitations. After my first year I travelled to Ghana, Africa with a group of fellow CBU students through a group called Global Medical Brigades. Had I not been at CBU, it is highly unlikely I would ever get involved in such a trip but the comradery of my classmates was infectious and I was hooked!

Through CBU, I was also able to travel to Quebec City for a 5-week French immersion program. I was very hesitant at first because none of my friends were going; however with loving encouragement of my parents, I was able to experience living on my own for the very first time. I also tried many new things like river rafting, zip lining, and learning a new language in a foreign city. In the end, I was very happy I went and made life long friendships. With opportunities like this offered at CBU I want to encourage new students to partake in anything they are interested in even if their friends are not! The best part was, I earned 6-credits toward my degree! That experience is definitely one of the highlights of my CBU story, so far.

In my third year, I became involved with CBU’s Student Ambassadors. My responsibilities included being available for questions regarding any aspect of CBU as well as attending and hosting events. We held events throughout the year, including multiple events during Frosh Week, Frost Week, Pizza with a Peer and several coffee house fundraisers. We also attended multiple events such as University 101 and Multi University. As a Student Ambassador I was able to meet so many students, new and old. My favorite part was helping first-year students get comfortable here at their new school as well as teaching them some tricks of the trade-great study spots, helpful study hints and making known the opportunities CBU has to offer. Without the guidance of a helpful upper-class student in my first year, I would never have thought to go searching for ways to get involved.

One of the most important experiences I have gained by going to CBU is the chance to work with an incredibly intelligent research professor. If I were at a larger institution, I can say with great confidence that I would not have this opportunity, especially just being in my third year. Research is not something I ever saw myself enjoying however it has been one of my favorite things I have done here at CBU.

If I had to do my grade 12 year all over again, I would choose Cape Breton University from the get-go and save myself the stress of applying for other universities.  Make it Happen.

“Don’t worry everything happens for a reason”

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I’ve alwaykoris been told: “Don’t worry everything happens for a reason” and don’t get me wrong I’m a firm believer in that statement… Unfortunately that reason isn’t always clear at first. If you asked me when I was 5 years old what my dream career would be I’m sure that answer would vary from what I would say if asked when I was 10, 15 or even today at 20 years old.  The truth is this question enters my head everyday and I still have trouble coming up with a concrete answer. But I’ve learned that’s okay, if I had everything figured out from the start I wouldn’t have any surprises and new experiences in my life or ultimately be where I am today.

 

Coming from a family where both of my parents are teachers, when people would ask me this question of what I wanted to be when I grew up their expectation was always well of course, I want to be a elementary teacher like my mom. It made sense… I love kids, snow days, summer vacation it sounds like the perfect fit doesn’t it? I tested out the waters over the years and spent many days in mom’s class with her students and realized this profession wasn’t for me.

 

So where to next? What was I meant to do? People often ask me how I ended up in Chemistry and a science program in general. I think this path I’m on now all started back in my days at Memorial High School and my encounters with my female science teachers. My Chemistry teacher specifically had this passion, and enthusiasm for something she loved—Chemistry. I remember walking into class on the first day of Grade 11 and thinking wow… I want a job where I love every minute of what I’m doing everyday. To me she wasn’t coming to work everyday, she was sharing her knowledge of something she truly loved and was enjoying every minute of it (except I’m sure when us teenagers had our… lets call them “moments”) She made Chemistry fun!  We weren’t just learning new material and looking for a passing mark we were learning about everyday life and how Chemistry surrounds everything we do.

 

In my Grade 12 year I decided I might as well go to CBU and take science.  What was my reason? Well, again I still don’t have a simple answer.  Maybe I wasn’t ready to move away or maybe I liked the idea of a small close-knit university or maybe it was the fact that I was going to get to sleep in my own bed every night… The real answer doesn’t matter because everything happens for a reason and I’m glad that reason allowed me to choose CBU.

 

I have no regrets. Walking across the stage at my high school graduation wondering what next, I don’t think I could have predicted I would be where I am now… but that is part of the excitement! I’m currently in my third year as a Chemistry major at CBU and loving every minute of it.  Finally, I’ve found something I truly, thoroughly enjoy. I’m not going to school everyday, I’m building a foundation of knowledge and skills that will lead me to the next chapter in my life. How did I choose to major in Chemistry? Again, who knows… maybe part of it relates back to my high school experiences. Another large contributing factor was the inspiring women in science I met in high school were present in a university setting too! These teachers and professors become your mentors and role models. What I think as students we sometimes forget is they were in our shoes not long ago. Listen to their advice! In my first year at CBU I got to know Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie and she hired me to work in her research lab. That was all it took and I was hooked! Chemistry has turned out to be the right path for me.

 

Now, as my third year is quickly coming to a close I again find myself asking what next? I surely by now should know what I want to do for the rest of my life right? Wrong, I’m still trying to figure it out. Medicine has always been in the back of my mind since I was a kid.  Maybe 10 years from now I will be a doctor or maybe I’ll find myself somewhere I never could have imagined but that is all part of the surprise! The truth is, I’ve learned you don’t need to know, you only have to be happy. Just keep your head on your shoulders and follow where your heart takes you; it hasn’t failed me yet.  You can do anything you put your mind to and hard work pays off. Remember things can change in the blink of an eye and everything happens for a reason–we just have to find it!

 

 

 

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Women in Pharmacy

Jodi Skinner, BSc PharmIMG_00001146

Pharmacist Manager

Wal-Mart Pharmacy 3101

Pharmacy has often been touted as a “female-friendly” profession.  Is this actually the case?  The CIHI (Canadian Institute of Health Information) states that 69.1% of community staff pharmacists and 75.7% of hospital pharmacists, in 2009, were female.  Wal-Mart Pharmacy employees 1,047 pharmacists across Canada, of which, 620 are female.  These statistics prove, without a doubt, that there are more women pharmacists than men.  However, it does not address whether the profession is “female-friendly.”

Why did I choose pharmacy?  Well, I didn’t give it much thought in the beginning.  While in junior high school, my family travelled to Florida to visit relatives. They were both pharmacists.  We visited their home on a lake and I thought; “Wow!  Pharmacy must be a good career choice.”  From that day on, I set my career goal as pharmacy.  I made sure I had good grades.  I met with resource councillors to make sure I had all the correct courses. I also volunteered at local pharmacies to ensure I had an exceptional resume.  If it hadn’t been for that family vacation, I don’t think I would have known that pharmacy was a career option.  It certainly wasn’t presented to me as a possible career choice during school.

I graduated from Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy in 2000.  The majority of my class was female.  Was there a feeling of inequality among us?  Not in my opinion.  We were encouraged to excel in the profession.  We were taught to set our sights high and take leadership roles.  During the 4 years I attended the College of Pharmacy, many of our guest lecturers were females.  Among these women were leaders in pharmaceutical care in the community, managers in both the community and hospital clinics, drug information pharmacists, doctors of pharmacy and clinical pharmacists at local hospitals.  There are many female mentors in the profession.  Looking back, in my opinion, I was given a unique experience that I undervalued at the time.

So has my gender hindered my career?  Absolutely not!  I love my job (most days).  Over the years, it has changed with me. During my 13 year career, I have worked in different provinces, travelled, taken 3 maternity leaves, managed two community pharmacies and worked in a hospital pharmacy.  My job allows me to help people with their health.  I love to talk to people, answer their questions, help them with their medications and hopefully, positively affect their overall heath.   I enjoy holding community presentations, health clinics, school presentations, medication reviews and most recently, administering immunizations.  Of course, every day is not rosy, but what job is?  The important thing is to focus on those moments where you know you`ve made a difference in someone`s life.