While he may be new to the staffing directory list, alumnus and Biology lab manager and instructor, Dr. Andy Hudson (BSc ’09, PhD ’15) is no stranger to the University of Lethbridge. A witness to the evolution of campus as both an undergrad, graduate and post-doctoral student, Andy brings his passion and enthusiasm for teaching and asking ‘what’s next?’ into the classroom.
“It’s funny to think of myself as ‘new’ to the University. I started my education at the U of L when the finishing touches were being put on the 1st Choice Savings Centre. Then it was the construction of Turcotte Hall followed by Markin Hall and now the new science and academic building. It’s an amazing time to be a part of the University community as it opens these cutting-edge, world-class facilities we will learn, teach and conduct research in.
“I came to study at the U of L because I knew it had an impressive undergraduate reputation. Given that I had no real plan or road-map when I first started post-secondary education, it made sense to go to a university that was one of the best at helping undergraduates discover their path. I knew I liked geography and chemistry and so environmental science seemed like a good place to start.
“What I came to discover was this untapped passion for biology. I fell in love with it and then the more I learned and explored, I discovered the same love for cellular and molecular biology. I just enjoy knowing how things work together and then thinking about what I could ask next to build on that knowledge.
“Part of my enjoyment in watching life happen is my other passion, being an aquarist. I set up an aquarium during my graduate studies and have recently brought it into the lab to share with students and colleagues. You can learn so much by just sitting and watching this tiny ecosystem at work. I’ll often come into the lab and see empty stools that have been moved in front of it, so others are obviously enjoying seeing life at work too.
“I had the incredible opportunity to complete three co-operative education placements during my undergraduate studies. I was a research intern for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada where I found real-world applications for what I was learning in class. That experience as a student made a significant impact for me so I try to show my own students how they can apply the concepts they learn in the lab out in the world.
“The reason I chose to stay at the U of L for my post-graduate studies was simply because I was so engaged with what I was learning and the research I was doing. Obviously your home and family life also play a role in those decisions but what it really came down to was the experiences and opportunities I’d had at the U of L. What started out as two-years of study in a masters program, transferred into a PhD program and now full-time position where I have such a great feeling of satisfaction in the work I get to do everyday.
“Working with and guiding students is something that brings me a lot of joy. Seeing them get excited over ideas they’ve generated by asking ‘what’s next?’ and how they can use that newly acquired knowledge is so rewarding and motivating. As a graduate student I was an advisor to the iGEM team and was consistently blown away by projects students came up with. The next generation of scientists are well on their way to creating a brighter future for us all, that’s for sure.”