TWU science student receives grants for her excellence in research

Langley, B.C.—The mission of NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) is to make strategic investments in science and technology throughout Canada. That’s why they selected Langley student Jillian Vanderwoude out of hundreds of eligible students across Canada for a $4,500 grant. They know that helping this Canadian continue her studies in scientific research at Trinity Western University is a good investment.

This is the first year that biology students at TWU have been selected for the prestigious award. “It’s such a blessing to be able to use my interest in environmental research to help pay for my education,” says the senior student.

While Vanderwoude has always enjoyed growing up on a farm, this small-town native of Nobleford, Alberta has come a long way. She came to Trinity Western for an education and new social climate, but soon discovered her passion for environmental science and botany through her classes, and mentor Dr. David Clements.

“In my first year I took a lot of biology and ecology courses that just pushed me to discover more about the environment,” reflects Vanderwoude. “My advisor played a key role in helping me determine that environmental science, not just biology was where my deeper interests lay.”

All TWU students who are recipients of the award will be supervised by TWU professor and scientist Dr. Eve Stringham, who has taught at the University for the last six years and holds her own research grant from NSERC. “These students will gain critical experience in research that will motivate them to decide whether they want to pursue graduate studies or future research as a career. Therefore this kind of opportunity is invaluable,” reflects Stringham.

And this isn’t the first time Vanderwoude has been rewarded with a great opportunity because of her ability. After her first year at TWU, she accepted an offer to go to Iceland as a part of a Yale University research team, where she served as a field assistant.

“I found the experience both challenging and rewarding; it gave me a great background in understanding how research works and some of the expectation that comes with it.”

During her four years at TWU, Vanderwoude has maintained her interest in the environment using opportunities on campus to serve on student council as the first environmental council member and as present chair person on the ecological committee.

This semester she is completing her thesis on the Langley bog, where she is conducting a research study on the piece of land that has been a part of Langley’s heritage for more than a decade.

Three other TWU students were also awarded this year’s NSERC grant: David Yousef, a biology major from Surrey; Ardelle Stauffer, a biology major from Vancouver; and Samantha Grainger, a biology major from Burnaby.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,200 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-13
Author: Keela Keeping