Aaron Dhanda (Class of 2008) is pursuing a Ph.D in Biological Sciences from Simon Fraser University.
I graduated from Southpointe in 2008 and when I left, it was with a lot of good experiences and memories. Playing sports was an important part of my Southpointe experience, so some of my fondest memories of Southpointe were being a member of the Senior Boy’s Soccer and Basketball teams, winning a team MVP (Soccer) and being a part of the 2007 Senior Boy’s Basketball League Championship team. Outdoor education was definitely a highlight for me, as was having had the opportunity to be around great teachers and staff. And of course, just having fun with school friends during my time at Southpointe.
After graduating from Southpointe, I joined Simon Fraser University where, inspired by my time at Southpointe, I did my B.Sc (Hons) in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Following my undergraduate studies, I started my PhD in Biological Sciences. Each year of my Ph.D studies, I have been given a fully funded opportunity to attend Experimental Biology in the USA. This multi-day conference is attended by thousands of scientists from around the world. This experience has allowed me to present my own research to my fellow colleagues. At these conferences I have been able to meet many exciting scientists from many different fields who have shared their valuable life lessons and advices with me. These trips also provide me with an opportunity to take a break from research and explore the various cities I have had the pleasure of travelling to such as Boston, Chicago and San Diego.
I have also been fortunate enough to have been the recipient of several Scholarships and Awards such as the C.D. Nelson Memorial Graduate Entrance Scholarship, the SFU Provost Prize of Distinction, the SFU Biological Sciences Student Travel Award, the American Association of Anatomists Student Travel Award, the SFU VPR USRA – Sciences, totaling over $54,000. I was also invited to speak at the AAA Cell Biology Award Hybrid: Experimental Biology 2016 in San Diego.
My time at Southpointe provided me with a positive, challenging and competitive environment. My teachers at Southpointe helped enormously in laying the foundations towards my aspiration of wanting to pursue an academic career in the Sciences, and most notably in biology.