I have had a lot going on in my work and personal like this year and have not been able to fully dedicate myself to this project this winter term. I did however interview some additional science students in the last few months and will post these profiles before closing the books on this chapter. Today’s post is about medical physics student Krislyn.
Krislyn came to Canada with her parents and older brother from the Philippines when she was eight years old. They arrived in December – she talked to me about her fascination with the snow and remembering the huge difference in the climate from her home country. She currently lives with her family in Toronto and commutes to school by subway. Her parents were insistent that she attend university in the city and although she first thought she wanted to go to Queen’s University, she ended up making them happy by staying in the city and attending Ryerson, even though she didn’t visit the campus before making her decision. The key factors that influenced her decision really were that it was in the city and on the subway line. She started in the chemistry program and at the end of her first year she switched into medical physics mainly because the demands of the ongoing chemistry courses with labs seemed too great when she wasn’t sure she wanted a career that needed a chemistry degree. She spoke with so much energy and enthusiasm about the things that she is learning and about her interest ultimately in working in the medical field. She is pretty sure that she will go to graduate school of some sort when she completes her undergraduate degree.
I asked her about what students who study medical physics are generally preparing to do. She talked about diagnostic and therapeutic medicines including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, ultrasound, medical imaging, MRIs, etc. Basically the program is about the use of physics in medicine, a much more specific program than chemistry where she started. She determined this past fall that she is more interested in diagnostics and in particular the use of ultrasound in obstetrics. She also expressed interest in nuclear reactors. The world really is wide open for a student in second year given the amazing things that they are being exposed to and learning about.
Outside of class, Krislyn was very involved in high school but it took her a year at Ryerson before she started to get involved in student activities and organizations here. She actually had a hard time managing having too much free time in first year given how busy she had been in high school. She has found being more involved this past year has made it easier for her to manage her responsibilities in a way that she has wasted less time than she felt she did last year. She much prefers being busy all the time and it took her a year to get used to the big differences between high school and university.
She went to an event in the summer that was run by a student organization and learned for the first time that there were involvement opportunities outside of classes at university as well. She attended the Science Society student leadership retreat and she learned the importance of networking with other students. This year she joined toastmasters at Ryerson (an organization that encourages members to improve their public speaking skills) and got involved with the Science Society. She described senior students who she met in the Ryerson Science Society as her mentors. All of us who work in student affairs only hope that students find mentors and fellow leaders they can learn from among the senior students that they meet when they start to get involved on campus. Her second year started during Orientation week when she served as an Orientation leader to help us welcome new students. She was also involved in planning the first student run conference for science students at Ryerson which took place in January 2017.
Krislyn manages a full course load, extensive involvement on campus in student organizations and has had a part time job, although she decided to give up the job this winter in order to manage everything. This student has a great deal of energy and with two more years here to contribute that energy and commitment to student life at Ryerson I expect that she will accomplish a great deal. She said that before she leaves Ryerson she would like to get some of her writing published, maybe take a semester or a year off to travel and continue to speak to other science students to help them be successful.
I asked her how her friends would describe her and she told me that they say that she attracts people to her because of her energy. Not a surprise to me as she talked a lot about how she loves meeting and talking to all different kinds of people. Her friends would also say that is very honest and…..busy, very very busy.