Academic excellence and volunteerism lead to prestigious recognition of Pushor Mitchell
Winners graduates with double major in biochemistry and molecular biology and history
As far back as Rebecca Chadney can remember, she loved both the arts and the sciences.
When she decided to pursue a career as a doctor, she knew that her path to medical school would depend on her success as an undergraduate science student, but she was not ready to let a passion pass him. move away from another.
This week, Chadney is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, double specializing in biochemistry and molecular biology (medical and molecular biology option) and history. She is celebrating the end of her undergraduate career as a recipient of the Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Leadership Award.
The $ 10,000 prize, now in its 12th year, is the largest donor-funded prize available to graduate students of the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science. The award recognizes an individual who has excelled academically and demonstrated leadership while graduating.
Andrew Brunton, Managing Partner at Pushor Mitchell LLP, says the firm is proud to recognize the accomplishments of another outstanding UBC Okanagan student.
“We are thrilled to support Rebecca as she pursues her goal of becoming a physician, and we hope that she can continue her great work in the community,” said Brunton.
“We are proud to support UBC Okanagan and are delighted to add Rebecca to the distinguished list of recipients of the Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Leadership Award. “
Originally from Langley, British Columbia, Chadney moved to Kelowna in 2016 to study at UBC Okanagan.
“I knew I wanted to move to a new city, challenge myself, meet new people and broaden my view of the world,” she says. “But, at the same time, I was from a small high school in the valley, so I didn’t want to feel like a number or a little fish in a big pond.”
Chadney focused exclusively on the sciences in her freshman year, but often thought about pursuing a minor in history once she was more suited to college life.
“At first I felt a bit under-prepared because even though I was in a great high school it wasn’t STEM-focused so I didn’t have the lab experience that many of my peers have. had, and it was a little stressful. she explains.
“I was able to get out of it because I love science. I love learning more about the body and luckily was able to familiarize myself with the labs pretty quickly.
As a science student, Chadney was able to take an elective arts course in her second year and enrolled in a history class with Associate Professor Dr Jessica Stites-Mor. She immediately hooked.
“The course was amazing, everything started to click for me, and it was exactly what I thought college would be,” Chadney recalls. “Dr. Stites-Mor encouraged me to pursue a minor, but after taking two more classes with her, I was like, okay, I have to double the major.
Chadney went on to study history alongside biochemistry and molecular biology, and eventually applied for an undergraduate research award with assistant professor of history, Dr. Tim Paulson in 2020.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t receive the award, but Dr Paulson contacted and asked if I was interested in doing an honors thesis with him – and I said yes.”
Chadney’s thesis explored the role of women in Okanagan agriculture from 1890 to 1930.
“I love farming, gardening, and plants, so it was a really interesting opportunity to look at these things in the context of history and feminist studies,” she says.
In addition to her academic activities, Chadney is dedicated to community service, serving as president of the UBCO Unicef Club and volunteering for many organizations including the Kelowna Gospel Mission Dental Office, a clinic providing dental services to the Kelowna’s most vulnerable population.
Chadney also worked as a teaching assistant in chemistry, research assistant in history, residency counselor, and practiced intramural sports throughout his studies.
Now, she’s looking forward to a much-needed break before embarking on her next business.
Although UBC’s medical program tops Chadney’s list, she’s open to others as long as she gets closer to the career of her dreams.
Chadney is grateful for the strong support system she has had over the past five years, including mentor Dr Paulson and his family. Especially his mother.
“My mom has been there for me through thick and thin – from my very first semester to my very last final, she was always there to encourage me and remind me to strive for progress, not perfection.”
“I would like to thank Pushor Mitchell LLP for funding this award – their recognition and generosity gives me the financial freedom to prioritize my education,” she says.
As Chadney reflects on the past five years, she takes great pride in how she has grown as a person.
“I arrived at UBCO feeling really nervous and small, and now I’m leaving with a double major in my two favorite subjects, a major prize and the confidence that I can do whatever I think about – and that ‘ is a stimulating feeling. “
About UBC’s Okanagan Campus
UBC’s Okanagan Campus is an innovative research and learning center founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, on whose territory the campus is located. As a member of UBC, ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, the Okanagan campus combines globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit, entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from all over the world. in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.