5Q: Loewen Health Intern Victoria Rust
Victoria Rust is a third-year student from Brandon, MB majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry.
1. What is your summer internship?
I am working as a research intern at the Upper River Valley Hospital under the supervision of Dr. Gurpreet Singh-Ranger (URVH) and Dr. Vett Lloyd (Mount Allison Department of Biology). This opportunity was made possible by the Loewen Health Internships which were recently established by the University’s new Chancellor, Lynn Loewen. Through this internship I have been a part of two research projects — one evaluating biomarkers in chronic inflammatory diseases and one an audit of patient consent forms, as well as writing up a case report of medical interest. I have also taken part in patient consults and observed minor surgeries which were not opportunities I expected to have with this internship and I am extremely grateful to the patients, nurses, and doctors who have allowed me to experience even more of what healthcare is all about. Over the course of the summer I hope to speak to professionals from every area of the hospital about their respective careers and why they chose to get involved in medicine as I seek to realize what my future role may be in healthcare.
2. What is the best thing about spending the summer on location for your internship?
I grew up in Manitoba and had only been to the East Coast once before moving here to attend Mount Allison. I haven’t had many opportunities to travel during the school year but this summer I’ve taken advantage of my free time and done some sight-seeing in rural New Brunswick which is really quite beautiful!
Moving to Woodstock for the summer was initially a challenge as I didn’t know anyone here, but everyone I’ve met so far has been extremely helpful and always has a suggestion for something to do to make the most of my time here.
3. What are you involved in on campus?
During my first two years at Mount Allison I’ve been a member of the women’s rugby team, the Biology Society, the recreational dance program, the University chorale, Global Brigades, Music in Care, and was academic advisor for my residence, Hunton House.
This coming year I plan to continue playing rugby and will be a member of the executive for Healthcare Outreach as well as the S.M.I.L.E. program co-ordinator. I also plan to get involved in Orientation this year as a crew member and become more engaged in the Biology department by being a TA and joining the TSLGBTQ+ in STEM society.
4. What are you looking forward to in your final years at MTA?
In my last two years at Mount Allison I’m looking forward to taking more in-depth courses in the Biology department and building stronger relationships with my professors now that class/lab sizes are much smaller. I hope to do an honours project in my last year and am excited by the possibility of being involved in research again next summer. My first two years at Mount A have flown by and I would really like to try slowing things down and enjoying these next two years on the East Coast.
5. What is one piece of advice you would give to your first-year self?
Get involved! For such a small university Mount Allison has so much going on and there really is something for everyone. Not all the clubs I joined in my first year were the right fit for me but along the way I’ve discovered what I’m really passionate about and I’ve been able to contribute even more to the organizations I’m proud to be a part of. Being involved is also a great way to meet students in different years and programs who become a valuable resource in those first few months of university which can be so overwhelming.