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Class of 2018

Group Photo 17/18 (Resized)

Meet our current students, the class of 2018! All photos taken by the talented Cassidy Jean McAuliffe, a member of this year's cohort!


Catherine Crawford-Brown

Hailing from Toronto, I attended McMaster University and graduated with a B. Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics. I discovered my passion for cancer research very early on in this degree. I took this passion and pursued a Masters in Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen's University, where I developed a blood test for detecting breast cancer. While cancer research is my first love, I discovered that most of the extra-curriculars I enjoyed involved science communication. While looking for my next step, a friend suggested that science communication would be a better fit than a research-based Ph.D., so here I am! When I'm not in the lab, I enjoy binge-watching Netflix, hanging out with my fat cat Garfield, and daydreaming about my next trip to Australia.


Shahana Gaur

Hello there! My name is Shahana Gaur, and I am from Pickering, Ontario. I graduated with a BSc in Biology at York University, with a particular interest in conservation and environmental science. During my undergrad, I realized that not only am I fond of practicing science, but I also love talking about it just as much, if not more. I first came across the Science Communication program while scrolling through Twitter under #SciComm, a hashtag I frequently search. Over the past four summers, I have worked at the Ontario Science Centre where I was immersed in science communication through various forms, such as exhibits, film, and live demonstrations. In my spare time, I enjoy editing personal vlogs, overusing gifs in presentations, and playing tennis (very poorly). I always try to live life to the fullest since stressing about the Toronto Maple Leafs has shaved years off my life.


Leah Hodgson

I recently graduated from Algoma University in my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with a BSc in Biology. Having chosen a broad major, I got to experience many different facets of science - and I loved them all! I've spent the past two summers working in an ornithology lab and recently completed my undergraduate thesis exploring the timing of dawn chorus singing in temperate songbirds. Throughout my degree I discovered that while I love learning all things science, I'm even more passionate about sharing what I've learned. I'm excited to jump into the Science Communication program and look forward to finding my niche in this field!


Torben Halbe

I grew up in Schmallenberg, a rural town in Germany. My scientific background is in Biology, which I studied at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. My BSc was focused on Biochemistry; my MSc on Neuroscience. After graduation, I returned home and taught Biology, Chemistry and English at a high school for a year. I also published a book about trees and forestry as a critical reply to a very successful other book. Said other book glorifies old-growth forests, claiming trees would possess human-like emotions, language and thought. It argues to reduce logging in Germany. To me, this constitutes emotionalized "not in my backyard" environmentalism because doing so would only result in more illegal logging in other contries to satisfy German demand. Writing my critical reply made me realize the importance of communicating responsible usage of natural resources to counteract the growing belief that any human use of nature was inherently bad. I came to Sudbury to improve in that.


Meerna Homayed

Originally from Sudbury, I returned home after completing my bachelor's degree in Genetics and French Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Throughout my studies, the importance of accurate and accessible science communication became apparent and developed into a strong interest of mine. I have a long-held enthusiasm for science, language and writing, and I'm excited to combine these passions in the Science Communication Program. Since returning home, I've also garnered a new appreciation for the natural beauty of our city. In my spare time, you can catch me strolling around town, grabbing coffee with friends or discussing potential plot points of Game of Thrones.

Lisa J

Lisa Jones

After completing my undergrad in biological anthropology and science education from the University of Toronto (2005), and three children later, I acquired a taste for doula work briefly in my 20s. I then jumped back on the educational bandwagon by completing a post graduate diploma in Environmental Monitoring and Impact Assessment at Cambrian College (2016). I now find myself seeking to research current topics such as podcasting and science education and am intrigued to study the most effective adult teaching strategies to explain diverse controversial issues from climate change (many baby boomers remain in denial) to various current sexual health topics. I anticipate this task will be seriously difficult but hopefully entertaining and empowering to whomever I cross paths with on this inquiry. Looking forward to hearing opinions, and sharing viewpoints, along with factual and updated evidence overall.


Elizabeth Kleisath

I grew up in Waterloo, Ontario, and discovered early on that I loved learning... I was always the child asking impossible "why?" questions and remembering random details about things that I had read. I knew that I wanted to spend my life learning about the world around me, but it took a trip across the country to the Vancouver planetarium to finally inspire and solidify my love of science in particular. At the planetarium, I saw a demo which used different ions to change the colour of fire. After this, I was hooked! My interest in spectroscopy (the science behind this colour changing fire) led me to the University of Waterloo for a BSc in chemistry, and then to the University of Ottawa for an MSc in materials chemistry. Near the end of this master's degree, I was confronted with the reality of needing to find a "real person" job, and after much contemplation, realized that my passion lied not within the research of chemistry itself, but in sharing the discoveries with others. After a year working as a chemistry outreach assistant at the University of Waterloo, I found myself back in school again to learn more about the world of science communication! In my free time, I also love baking, cake decorating, traveling, and dancing.


Sophie Lamoureux

Hi! My name is Sophie and I was born and raised in Sudbury, ON. I graduated from my BSc in Forensic Science at Laurentian University back in 2016 and have been working at the Northeast Cancer Centre since 2013 in research in several departments, including radiation oncology, epidemiology, and dental oncology. My dream job is to be a physician, where I would get to do a bit of everything such as research, teaching, and helping people of course. I am a proud northern girl who loves going out to our family cottage camp, playing sports - especially hockey, soccer, and softball, and being around my family, friends and dogs. I also love run-off-at-the-mouth sentences.


Cassidy McAuliffe

I grew up on the outskirts of Sudbury Ontario, in a small town called Whitefish. I spent a lot of time on the lakes and with the land, so I was inevitably drawn to the environmental sector. I completed my Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Indigenous Studies, and my post-grad in Environmental Visual Communications at Fleming College. I'm passionate about using storytelling to communicate environmental issues through photography and videography. I've been working in the environmental not-for-profit sector for the past two years, and look forward to completing my Masters in Science Communication. In my spare time, you'll typically find me in a canoe with a coffee and camera in hand.

Lisa M

Lisa McDonald

Growing up in the United States, I was greatly aware of the disconnect between scientists and the general public, especially in my small Iowa town. It became my mission to help bridge this gap in understanding, and the first step on my journey was completing a BA with double majors in Physics and Communication this past May from Coe College in Cedar Rapids. This is my first time ever in Canada, and after spending all summer working for the American Institute of Physics in D.C., a great change of pace to a much greener and quieter world. I'm so proud to be a part of the science communication program at Laurentian, and can't wait to sharpen my writing abilities while taking advantage of the beautiful (if soon-to-be-cold) outdoors. In my free time, I do Taekwondo, tutor math, and practice my operatic singing.


Jamie Mistry

I always had an interest in health sciences and arts but it wasn't until university that I decided to combine my interests and explore possible opportunities in the field. The thought of finding a career that used graphic design to assist in educating audiences in health and medical information always excited me. I completed my undergrad at the University of Toronto in Biology and Communication Technologies, and went on to work for a pharmaceutical advertising agency on the creative team. As my interest in the industry continues to grow I have become curious in other methods of communicating such as writing and conferencing. When I am not studying or working, I am usually outside hiking, running or travelling.


Brigid Prouse

After graduating with a BSc in Biology, minor Geology and unable to land a job in Canada, I got a position as an assistant at Osa Conservation in Costa Rica. I loved helping the scientists and delivering presentations to the local ecolodges about the research being done at our biological station. For the past year, I've worked on the science investments team in the New Zealand government. Being surrounded by dedicated public servants and learning about the amazing science projects being funded was the final push I needed to return home to pursue my Masters in Science Communication. I've attempted being athletic, speaking Spanish, learning sign language and existing as a beer snob. I'm excited to be back in Canada - and not just for the maple syrup, all dressed chips and caesers!


Elizabeth Vickers-Drennan

I started out studying the unconventional pair of Renaissance College (a programme filled with leadership studies, broad perspectives, social entrepreneurship in the non profit sector and public policy) and a B.Sc in Physics at the University of New Brunswick. The odyssey that followed included work in employment counselling, non-profit program development, Earth Education, and many kinds of science outreach (with, of course, a few dreaded service jobs on the side!) I absolutely believe that we're continually discovering amazing things about our world, our universe and that there is no better way to reconnect people with the natural world around us than by making this knowledge accessible and tangible. Creating this bond, this feeling of stewardship is more important now than ever in our society and this programme is my next step in doing my part!


Jeremiah Yarmie

I was born on Treaty 1 Territory at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Like most Winnipeggers, I grew up sleepwalking through blustery winds with minus forty chills. These cold winters were softened by human connection - expression and exchange of collective stories. This relationship with narrative, individuals, and community has followed me into science. While I was studying genetics and biochemistry I was also understanding what it means to have a voice - as a writer, artist, and member of society. The awe people like us feel in learning the secrets of the natural world lies in how magnificent and terrifying the truth can be. Humans are drawn to things that are like ourselves - beautiful, terrible - and like any of our inventions science has the capacity for both. I want to share with the world the joy I feel whenever I hear something awesome about our universe. And I want to give voice to the people science has let down and left behind. There still remain biases roped into the very core of modern scientific study. I hope to play a part in changing the narrative to one that looks past our Eurocentric and normative understanding of scientific knowledge. By working alongside different ways of understanding I believe we can make a better world for all, especially as we face huge collective problems like climate change.

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