Making connections in and outside the lab
The B.E.S.T. Project Fund has supported Bishop’s University students from a wide variety of programs in their efforts to carry out projects close to their hearts. Over the years the Natural Sciences division has produced quality candidates that have travelled around the world to further their careers, and this year is no exception.
Eastern Townships native Charles Rumsby is a Biochemistry Honours student who has spent lots of time in the laboratory working alongside past B.E.S.T. recipients Ananya Srivastava and Amanda Corkum, both from the Chemistry department. Last year Charles travelled with Amanda to the 99th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and experienced a bolt of inspiration.
“When I went to the conference in Halifax, I realized the potential for meeting and connecting with people at other universities,” recalls Charles. “It’s part of the reason I want to go badly this year.”
The 100th edition of the conference is Canada’s premiere chemistry event and features plenary, invited and submitted lectures, jointly organized international symposia, poster sessions, panel discussions, and other special events. Scientists from across the country converge to present their latest breakthroughs in both fundamental and applied chemistry, as well as emerging topics in chemistry.
This time, Charles will take his conference experience one step further: he will present a poster on a research project he participated in last summer. He insists, however, that he’s not there to win. Instead he’ll be using the conference as a relationship-building platform.
“I plan on doing a master’s degree in medicinal chemistry or pharmaceuticals after I graduate from Bishop’s, so I need to network and shop around to find which graduate school I’d like to go to and who I’d like study underneath,” says Charles. “It’s important to me that I feel comfortable with who I am going to work with. I want to work in an environment where I get along with the professor, where the professor believes in me and I believe in him and his research.”
The 3rd year student sees himself as a future mentor to the students who will be under his wing, working on their own research projects.
“I would like to be in charge of a research group one day,” he confides. “I would like to provide students with opportunities to do research. I feel lucky that my professors are mentoring me and helping me achieve my goals now as a student. I believe that the best way to feel fulfilled and happy once I achieve what I want to do is to give back to someone else, recognize their potential, and help them achieve what they want to do.”