2019 BPK Undergraduate Award Recipients

Stephen Harold Edward Herring Award Recipient

This award is offered to a student conducting research projects in physical disability areas.

Olivia Hutchinson, a fourth-year Biomedical Physiology student, has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since she was young, which has inspired her to help others who may feel powerless in terms of their health. This past summer she began working as an undergraduate researcher at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI) in the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology (CPEP) Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Jordan Guenette, where she had the privilege of being part of an innovative exercise intervention study in patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). She is constantly inspired by her patients, as they work to improve their exercise and mobility capacity. Going forward she will continue studying respiratory and neurophysiological responses to exercise at the CPEP laboratory as she begins her undergraduate thesis under the guidance of Dr. Guenette and Dr. Dave Clarke. Olivia is thankful for the generosity and support of the Stephen Harold Edward Herring Award and will continue to further her training and education in rehabilitation sciences to better serve patients with chronic diseases.

Dr. Reza Nouri BPK Undergraduate Award Recipient

This award is offered to a student demonstrating commitment to the well-being of rural or suburban communities through community engagement, leadership, volunteerism, research, and/or work experience completed anywhere in BC.

Emily Castle is a third year Biomedical Physiology student, originating from Quesnel, B.C. She has an enthusiasm for leadership, musical theater, and mini street bike racing. Throughout her time at Simon Fraser University, she has faced the many struggles that come with moving out and starting at a post-secondary institution; but with the support of loved ones and the determination to complete her Bachelors of Science, she is happy to say that every struggle has been rewarding in its own way. She hopes in continuing her education by achieving a medical doctorate to help rural northern communities. Emily looks forward to returning home and giving back to her community.

BPK Overcoming Adversity Award Recipient

This award is offered to a student who has overcome medical, personal or financial adversity.

Taking care of mental health is just as important as paying attention to our physical health. Over the years, Emaan Abbasi has been on a continuous journey of learning how to balance life and face the tribulations that come with it. For her, winning this award is an affirmation of the importance of focusing on yourself and growing emotionally and mentally just as much as it is important to develop intellectually. With the help of this scholarship, and by pursuing her studies, Emaan wants to continue breaking down stigma around mental health. Most importantly, she wants to send the message that going to therapy is like “going to the gym for our mind — we talk, we decompress, and we come out feeling better.”

National Bank Financial Award Recipients

This award is offered to students interested in developing a career in a health-related field.

Chiara Piccolo is honoured to receive the National Bank Financial Award in BPK. She has an undeniable passion to work in the health-related field since learning about the intersection of social justice and health in high school. She began volunteering with Big Sisters as a mentor to young girls, in which she realized the importance of positive body image, mental health, and physical activity in this impressionable demographic. During her second year at SFU, she secured a position with Science AL!VE, where her leadership abilities were refined and she grew within a community on campus. Teaching scientific topics to children gave her the confidence needed in this field to become a leader amongst peers. As an anatomy tutor, a BPK TM, and a mentor to students with autism, she is continuously grateful for the opportunity to gain new perspectives on accessible learning and the personal challenges individuals face at SFU. Working as a Behaviour Interventionist for children and adults with autism was another stepping stone to solidify her passion for working with vulnerable populations as a healthcare provider. Throughout Chiara’s undergraduate journey, she never expected to become involved in research at SFU; however, after volunteering in a lab, a USRA, a directed study, and an Honours project, her perspective on how research relates to hands-on clinical experience has changed. She is excited to move forward into a career that can merge important research with individualized healthcare. To future applicants, she says: “Try a little bit of everything! You never know which experiences will define your career.”

They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, yet a task as trivial as watering a plant seems to escape the best of us. Studies are important, yet Galvin Huen, a Biomedical Physiology student, argues that it is even more important that you spend your degree discovering what you are truly passionate about and to consider the time being spent. For Galvin, it was not until BPK 205 with Dr. Tom Claydon, and his signature dry humor, that his interest in heart dysfunction sparked. This curiosity led him to ask Dr. Claydon about a heart channel that the textbook had briefly mentioned. Unbeknownst to him, this channel was also at the heart of his research. After this serendipitous encounter, Dr. Claydon offered him a research position at his lab where he would develop a suite of new techniques to cultivate his own curiosity. Thankful for Dr. Claydon’s kindness and his team of students, Galvin has finally unearthed a well of passion that will be used to water the blossoming interests in his life.

The Craig Asmundson BPK Engagement Award Recipient

This award is offered to a student who demonstrated positive contributions for the SFU and BPK community, including engagement, leadership, volunteerism, team work and/or ambassadorship of BPK to the external community.

As a final-year Kinesiology student, Isabelle Chan-Emery has grown to appreciate the interaction of different physiological systems in creating the human body and is keen on sharing this passion with others! This inspired her to incorporate what she has learned from her university courses into her lesson plans where she taught the Medicine Camp at SFU Youth Programs this past summer. Having the ability to spark the interest in 8 to 16-year olds through classroom experiments were rewarding for her, as she emphasized that science is about exploring curiosity in finding answers to questions, big or small.

More recently, Isabelle had the incredible opportunity to volunteer at a medical clinic in Nepal. Her goal was not only to share the skills she had acquired through BPK courses with their health professionals, but also to raise awareness on campus about the current issues facing in a developing country. Through promoting this awareness, she and her partner raised funds for two Health Camps that collectively provided 673 impoverished Nepali individuals with free healthcare. To her delightful surprise, this not only provoked an emotional response from her peers, but also motivated them to involve themselves to similar initiatives in the future. These moving experiences have inspired Isabelle to continue creating positive change in the field of healthcare, internationally and within the community!