Health Sciences Alumni



Carmen Bennison - Bachelor of Health Sciences

Carmen is from Fort St. John, British Columbia. Here is what she says about UNBC and the Health Sciences program:

"I chose to attend UNBC because of the small classes, and the ability to pursue outdoor activities around campus.  The reason I chose the Health Sciences program is because I felt that it was important to pursue a degree that would provide a solid foundational understanding of what pertains to health in British Columbia, and the specific challenges of health care delivery within northern British Columbia.  Furthermore, the program offered a variety of courses to provide me with a diverse background as a health professional in the future. What I liked most about the Health Sciences program was the variety of courses I was exposed to as an undergrad.  The diversity of the courses provided me with a holistic outlook on the different influences on the health care system.  Furthermore, I gained insight into what contextual influences may be impacting different demographics that I will be interacting with as an Occupational Therapist.  The main contributor to my success is the professors I interacted with throughout my undergraduate degree.  Specifically , the time professors made for me to meet with them outside of class.  The time outside of class for me was crucial to increase my understanding of concepts and projects and increase my confidence in being a supported student throughout these interactions.  Both of which improved my ability to succeed within this program and my confidence to pursue a Master of Occupational Therapy."

Congratulations, Carmen!


Molly Brawdy - Bachelor of Health Science, Honours

Molly is from Smithers BC, here is what she says about UNBC and the Health Sciences Program:

"I chose the Health Science program and Biomedical Studies major at UNBC because I knew I wanted to pursue a career somewhere in the health care field (I just didn't know exactly what yet).  I originally came to UNBC because I was offered the UNBC scholar tuition waiver, but after coming I realized the high quality of the education, small class sizes, and amazing people that make UNBC such a great university.  I feel the Health Sciences program facilitated my development in a variety of skills, from test and academic writing, to public speaking.  I enjoyed the mix of 'hard' and 'social' sciences because it provided me with a more holistic view of health and healthcare.  Becoming involved in research through the HHSC Honours program was also an incredible learning experience for me. I presented my thesis on 'perceptions of physical activity among glaucoma patients in northern British Columbia', and I appreciated the opportunity to conduct research in an area of healthcare which I am passionate about.  I don't think there are any specific moments or events that stand out but the experience as a whole definitely does.  I am very thankful to the UNBC faculty for their willingness to provide help and guidance through out my degree.  I was also given the opportunity to become a supplemental instructor for first-year chemistry classes, which was instrumental in improving my confidence, speaking and ability to convey information.  The support of my church throughout my degree was also integral; relying on God and trusting his plan for my future was absolutely necessary to get where I am now.  Do fun things that you enjoy! During my undergrad degree I completed two half marathons in Vancouver and Prince George; training for and completing these helped me deal with the mental toll of school work and do something else that was non- academic.  I was accepted to the University of Waterloo Doctor of Optometry program upon my UNBC graduation;  I plan to become an optometrist and serve either overseas or in the rural north."

Congratulations Molly!


Julia Gyapay - Bachelor of Health Sciences, Honours

Julia is from Hay River, Northwest Territories. Here is what she says about UNBC and the Health Sciences program:

"I chose to attend UNBC because of the Bachelor of Health Sciences program.  During my second year of studies in a Biology Major program I became increasingly interested in studying health from interdisciplinary perspectives, combining both the natural and social sciences, immersed in a northern environment. The UNBC Biomedical Studies degree program matched my interests well due to it's unique, multidisciplinary approach to health and the availability of courses grounded in the natural, physical and social sciences.  So I decided to transfer into the Biomedical Studies Program at UNBC! What I liked most about the Health Sciences program was the diversity in the required courses and electives.  The multidisciplinary nature of the program allowed me to develop a holistic perspective of health with a strong foundational knowledge in numerous disciplines, ranging from physiology and biochemistry, to psychology and First Nations studies.  As a transfer student from a larger university I also quickly came to appreciate the smaller campus size, which allowed me to easily engage with my peers and professors, as well as the UNBC community, ultimately providing me with a stimulating undergraduate experience. Receiving a UNBC Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) award is an event that stands out in my mind which contributed to my success throughout my undergraduate degree and present endeavours.  I applied for a URE award during my first semester of studies at UNBC after learning about it from a peer mentor with the Health Sciences Student Society club.   It was through the URE award that I conducted a research project under the supervision of Dr. Shannon Freeman.  This applied research experience sparked my interest in further engaging in research and provided me with faculty mentorship, which enabled me to submit a manuscript for publication, work as a Research Assistant at UNBC and present my findings at the Canadian Association on Gerontology's scientific conference in Vancouver.  During my final year of studies in the Health Sciences Program I completed my Honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Margot Parkes and Dr. Chris Buse.  My Honours research addressed climate change and health in resource-dependant communities by exploring frameworks and perspectives for northern British Columbia in collaboration with two national research project partners.  The knowledge and skills acquired from my Honours thesis, building on previous research experiences at UNBC, has motivated and enabled my success in further scholarly pursuits.  I am now beginning an MSc program in the School of Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo.  I am excited to engage in eco-health research  in my home territory, applying and expanding upon the wealth of knowledge and skills gained from my courses, research projects, and extra curricular experiences at UNBC to support the health and well being of northern residents."

Congratulations, Julia!


Allison Inderbitzin - Bachelor of Health Sciences

Allison is from Smithers BC, here is what she says about UNBC and the Health Sciences Program:

"I knew I wanted to attend UNBC pretty early on because I wanted to stay in the north and close to home.  I also knew I wanted a career in the health sciences field but I wasn't ready to make a decision on what that was quite yet.  When I found UNBC's Health Sciences Program I thought it was the perfect fit as it would introduce me to many different health disciplines and allow me to fulfill the prerequisites for many different graduate programs very easily.  Lastly, I knew some people who were in the program and they had very positive things to say!  I liked that the class sizes were small and the support and encouragement from the Health Sciences Department.  It seemed like all of the faculty and instructors really wanted their students to succeed, and by the end of the program it felt like we were all a big family!  I think rather than a specific moment or event that stood out, it was just the continued motivation and guidance from the department, as well as the course offerings that pushed me to my limits and gave me confidence to succeed. "

Allison has been accepted into a Master of Physical Therapy program. 

Congratulations Allison!



Robin Keahey -  Bachelor of Health Sciences, Honours

Robin is from Prince George BC, here is what she says about UNBC and the Health Sciences Program:

"I consider Prince George my hometown as I grew up here. I wanted to attend UNBC both to stay close to family and friends, but also to stay in beautiful Northern BC.  The Health Science Program appealed to me as it sets up students very well to pursue many different professional programs, making the possibilities endless!  The small class sizes, personable professors, and interesting courses made the 4 years fly by.  For my thesis I piloted an intervention to decrease sedentary behaviour in students at UNBC.  Talking with, and getting to know professors opened up so many opportunities and definitely aided in all my success.  I have now been accepted into the Master of Physical Therapy program at UBC to become a physiotherapist, and hope to further specialize in pediatrics and work in the north!"

Congratulations Robin!


Erica Koopmans, Bachelor of Health Sciences

Erica is from Prince George, and here is what she says about UNBC and the Health Sciences Program

" Attending UNBC allowed me the opportunity to study in my home community close to family and friends.  I chose the Health Science program because of its interdisciplinary nature.  In addition to core science classes, the program covered other topics critical to work in the health care sector.  I knew that courses on epidemiology, economics, health promotion, ethics, First Nations health, and rural issues would help prepare me with important knowledge and skills for graduate studies in Public Health and my current work in the healthcare system.  I really valued the relationships built with peers and faculty, as well as with clinicians and leaders in the healthcare sector in Northern BC through the Health Sciences program.  The smaller class sizes, particularly in the community and population health stream, encouraged collaboration and I got to know my classmates very well.  It also allowed fo genuine connection with faculty.  The program supported strong relationships with faculty, and this facilitated opportunities to become involved in research projects and receive recommendations for graduate programs.  I found that the Health Science faculty and the Health Research Institute had a genuine interest in helping me get the experience I needed to be a strong candidate in applying to graduate programs.  In my 3rd and 4th year of the BHSc program I became involved with several research projects, providing me with the chance to apply my learning and develop my research skills in the 'real world'.  One collaborative project with Northern Health focused on programs to support families with additional needs during early childhood (from birth up to school entry)  in northern communities.  This project introduced me to several child health leaders in Northern BC who I now have the privilege of working with regularly and has led to ongoing research opportunities.  This project also inspired an interest in early childhood development.  I am now a Health Sciences PhD student, and my doctoral research is focused on the delivery of early childhood health services in Northern BC.  Currently, I support pediatric health service planning and delivery as the Child Health BC Regional Coordinator for the Northern Health region with the Provincial Health Services Authority.  Child Health BC is a provincial health improvement network focused on building an integrated accessible system of health services for children and families in the province.  I love getting to work with the health care providers across Northern BC and the Child Health BC team across the province to support this work to improve healthcare for families in our northern communities.  I am also honoured to be a part of the project team that has developed the SEED BC network.  SEED stands for Sharing to change Early childhood Experiences and promote healthy Development. in northern BC. ( We are a small group of health care providers, educators, researchers, policy makers, community leaders, and parent partners who have drawn together to explore how, through collaboration, we can promote positive change for early childhood experiences and promote healthy development in Northern BC.  In 2021, we hosted a virtual summit with over 100 front line staff and leaders across Northern BC.  It is very rewarding to be a part of this work that is continuing to engage in research and activities focused on optimizing early childhood experiences in Northern BC." 

Congratulations Erica!


Andrew Schulz - Bachelor of Health Sciences, Honours

Andrew is from Fraser Lake BC, here is what he says about UNBC and the Health Sciences Program:

"I have always known I wanted to pursue a career in a health related field with this aspiration solidified through experiences I had during high school. Through participating in science fairs and volunteering and training as a First Responder with my local Volunteer Fire Department, I developed an interest in rural and remote healthcare.  UNBC was a natural fit to continue to build my knowledge.  I have always wanted to work, learn, engage and stay in the North, and UNBC provided the opportunity for this with supportive and committed faculty who, like myself, are interested in issues pertaining to northern rural populations facing unique challenges when accessing healthcare.  The Health Science program offered a variety of opportunities including the Honours program, through which I was able to complete a research project in collaboration with Carrier Sekani Family Services.  I feel as though the small class sizes at UNBC offer a unique opportunity to truly engage in learning.  The Health Science program explores a full range of topics all related to individual health, which allowed me to develop a broad knowledge base of healthcare. The opportunities to collaborate with fellow colleagues and faculty, both within and outside of the Health Science program are a definite highlight and likely not available outside of the close-knit community of our university.  There are many opportunities for research experiences at UNBC, working as a research assistant for a project in my field of interest helped me to develop my research skills and make connections which in combination with my coursework, contributed to my success in the Honours program.  I feel that the project I completed for my Honours degree was relevant and practical, and will hopefully make a difference in diabetes care in northern British Columbia.  During my time in the Bachelor of Health Science program, it was great to engage with a variety of groups and organizations, whether through volunteering, collaboration on projects, or pursuing research interests, all of which helped to build my skills and truly enjoy my time spent in the program.  With this solid foundation, I feel well prepared to step into the Masters of Health Science Program at UNBC, and I look forward to continuing my academic journey."

Congratulations Andrew!


Kirsten Ward - Bachelor of Health Sciences, Honours

Kirsten is from Prince George BC, here is what she says about UNBC and the Health Sciences Program;

"It's my hometown university and I've grown up around it so it was a natural choice.  I chose the Health Sciences program in particular because it offers the science courses that I find so fascinating; it is great for setting you up to go into the health care field.  The professors are incredible!  They are all so knowledgeable and helpful, they really want you to succeed in whatever it is you're pursuing.  Asking professors about research work was key for me because it helped me find opportunities to engage in research and broadened my experiences working with topics that I love such as physical activity work in northern BC."

Kirsten has been accepted into a Master of Physical Therapy program.

Congratulations Kirsten!