By David Garvey
Catherine Nado knew from an early age that her love of science and desire to one day work in the medical field would require post-secondary education. Growing up in La Broquerie, Manitoba, a town of just over 1,000 residents about 70 km southeast of Winnipeg, she also knew that this meant having to leave her rural home to pursue her studies.
After careful consideration of her post-secondary options, she realized she needed a university that offered both high quality science labs and small class sizes, to help ease the transition from a small K-12 school of 300 students to university life.
Catherine chose the University of Winnipeg, starting her first year as a Biopsychology major, which combined her love of science and her emerging interest in psychology. Even in the first term she was able to take advantage of the state-of-the-art teaching labs at the Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex, which keeps the lab classes capped at 24 students each – a nice small class where you can easily get to know your professor and fellow students.
The commute to the UWinnipeg from La Broquerie takes about 45 minutes, so for her first year she decided to live on campus, at McFeetor’s Hall Great-West Life Student Residence, rather than make the drive every day. As a self-described shy person, Catherine was suddenly socializing with other students from around the world while in residence. UWinnipeg currently hosts over 500 international students from 63 different countries, and many of those students choose to live on campus. She also enjoyed the cultural opportunities that the downtown offers, in particular the live music scene.
This past fall, Catherine started working as a student ambassador for UWinnipeg’s Student Recruitment office, helping with campus tours and other big functions. Just recently she also started working as a research assistant for one of her professors.
Catherine credits her professors with helping her discover her future career options, and with making sure she had the right undergraduate study program to meet those career goals. Now in her third year of studies, she is more than halfway towards her 4-year Honours degree in Psychology. She credits Professor Vesna Miloševic-Zdjelar as being particularly helpful.
“In my opinion, UWinnipeg’s best quality is its abundance of opportunities,” she says. “Hands-on labs, work-study programs that allow me to gain research experience, a downtown location that makes exploring the city easy, and a smaller, more communal campus that facilitates getting to know other students.”