HEATHER BAKER, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND CHEMISTRY
What is your program of study?
I am currently a third year Science student pursuing a double major in Biological Sciences and Chemistry.
What are some fascinating experiments/research you've done throughout your undergraduate career?
I had the opportunity to take a research class in my second year and it was probably the best decision I have made so far in my undergrad. I was able to conduct research on fluorescent proteins in Dr. Robert Campbell’s lab. Going in, I had limited knowledge about research and the techniques used. However, as the year progressed, I learned incredibly valuable skills related to biochemistry and molecular biology which I will be able to apply to future research. Most importantly, I really enjoyed being able to carry out research and see results. It sparked my love for research and I can’t wait to continue it in the future.
If you could give an advice to a younger student interested in pursuing the STEM field, what would it be?
My advice would be to keep an open mind about the opportunities available at the university. In my first year, I would have never predicted the path I am now. There are so many resources available for students - whether it’s a research opportunity, field work, or an internship. Talk to advisors, talk to profs, and gain as much insight as you can. There are many other people who have been in the same place as you or can guide you in the right direction. Try as many things as you can, get involved in different ways, and most importantly pursue things that you enjoy!
Why did you decide to pursue a double major?
I decided to pursue a double major in my second year. I had initially declared a Chemistry major with Biology minor, but realized I was only a few classes away from a double major. There were quite a few courses that interested me in both Chemistry and Biology, and I knew I would have gone beyond the credit requirement for a biology minor. I thought about pursuing a specialization or Honours degree in Biochemistry, but found that it limited my options. This way, I found I could pick and choose what classes interested me the most in areas of chemistry, biology, biochemistry, immunology, physiology, etc. I've definitely come to realize and appreciate how intimately things are connected and that you can’t discuss aspects of biology without touching on things at a molecular level.