Ames honoured with national award

Mar 21, 2002, vol. 23, no. 6
By Carol Thorbes

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Christina Ames is excited about spending most of her next three summers indoors even though she loves the outdoors.

The former member of Simon Fraser University's varsity cross-country running team is one of only three recipients in B.C. of a 2002 Women in Engineering and Science award.

Under the National Research Council (NRC) program, Ames will spend her next three summers working at the NRC's Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology, Ottawa General Hospital and the Ottawa Eye Institute.

The second year SFU biology student will earn $33,000 to help world class researchers conduct tissue engineering experiments aimed at regenerating non-self repairing living tissue.

Fascinated by medical research, Ames is only too willing to give up outdoor fun to be mentored by biochemists, cell biologists, surgeons and mechanical engineers.

“I'll discover how to contribute to the scientific community through research efforts, team collaborations and effective presentations of new findings,” says Ames. “It'll be very satisfying to know my efforts could have positive, wide-ranging medical benefits.”

As an award recipient, Ames could also have a huge impact on fellow students. She will tour schools, and attend job fairs and information sessions on behalf of the NRC, promoting its career advancement opportunities for young people in the sciences and engineering.

Ames, who holds a 4.22 cumulative grade point average out of a possible 4.33, will encourage women to follow in her footsteps.

The aim of the award program is to boost female representation in science and engineering careers. The program accepts 25 female university students from across Canada annually.

They must be second year university students with at least a 3.5 grade point average in science-related studies, and have proven leadership skills.

Ames has previously been awarded a summer fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the B.C. Premier's excellence award and a Canadian Millennium scholarship.

She is also a co-chair of the SFU pre-medical society.

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