David graduated from high school in Lethbridge, and knew how appealing university life would be in a place he was comfortable, so ULethbridge was the perfect option. He loves working with numbers and learning how to apply data in the real world, but his talents don’t end there; while he was taking a computer science course, his professor invited him to participate in an exciting research opportunity. For the past two summers, David has been paid as an undergraduate student researcher, funded by a major federal grant (NSERC). While his program and research certainly keep him on his toes, he is also a middle-distance runner on the Pronghorns Track & Field team.
What would you say the benefits are of coming to ULethbridge versus larger institutions?
"Being a relatively small university, opportunities and connections are a lot easier to form here because you see the same people so often. I'm usually the kid sitting near the back of the class just kind of coming in, getting the lecture and leaving, I was shocked the first time I had a professor address me by name – I assumed that never happened in university because there were too many students to remember and maybe this happens at larger institutions where students can potentially slip through the cracks. Additionally, opportunities and connections are a lot easier to form here than I envision they would be at larger institutions, simply because you see the same people very frequently. There are so many opportunities at ULethbridge for students."
The track team is amazing! It's taught me how to juggle multiple responsibilities and achieve better balance in life. I'm pretty sedentary and introverted, so practices allow me to get moving and train with people who are unique, talented, and fun. It's helped me become a more complete and confident student.
What is your dream job after you finish school?
"After I graduate, I hope to get a master’s degree in statistics. Eventually, I would love to work for a sports team doing their data. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve just loved math and sports; they’ve been my two favourite things. So, after watching Moneyball and seeing that it’s something that I could actually pursue, that was it."
What are some of the classes you've enjoyed taking for your Liberal Education requirements?
"I took French as one of my Lib Ed requirements, and those classes are so much fun. They're a ton of work because you're learning a new language, but because French isn't super popular, my first French class, there was eight of us. We just hung out, spoke French the entire semester, it was such a relaxed environment; to this day it has been one of my favourite classes I've taken. Also, I took the History of Rock & Roll; I don't know a lot of pop culture things, so hearing the songs is interesting because in the music I listen to they use samples of these older songs. I hadn't heard the original songs before, it was a cool connection to make."
How have your experiences enhanced or complemented what you're doing in the classroom?
"I was never a researcher, I never even gave it a thought until my professor approached me. I'm a big software and computer science enthusiast; all the programs I run on my computer, I didn't even know existed. Now I can use them to do other things outside of my research."