Sunday, May 22, 2022

Virtual Fall Preview Day 2020 – Western Science & Medical Sciences Presentation – Western University

Hi everyone, welcome to Virtual Fall Preview Day2020. I'm Denis Maxwell, Assistant Dean for the Faculty of Science and it's great that you wereable to find some time and spend it with us today, even though we can't meet and chat in person.Now before we get started, I'd like to introduce my colleague, Brad, from over in the MedicalSciences. Thanks Denis. I'm Brad Urquhart, I'm the Associate Dean in the Medical Sciences Programat Western and so happy that you can be with us today. We've got some great programming to tellyou about the programs that we offer in Science and Medical Sciences and to get started Denisis going to tell us about the Western Student Experience and I'm going to be back a bit later totell you about the Medical Sciences Program. Take it away Denis. Thanks Brad. As a grade 12 student,you have a lot to think about and we know that .

Deciding where to go to university is pretty highon that list. The decision is not an easy one, especially considering that Ontario alonehas 21 excellent schools to choose from. Now some, like OCAD and The Royal Military Collegeoffer very specialized programs and size-wise some schools like Laurentian and Nipissing haveless than about 10,000 undergrads, while at the other end of the spectrum The University ofToronto has over 60,000 undergraduate students and now you would think that differences inthe cost of the school would help you decide, but as you can see here, across all 21 schoolsthe tuition is within a pretty narrow range. Within these schools, Western itself isconsidered a large research intensive institution, similar in size to Guelph and McMasterUniversity with about 25,000 undergraduates. .

Now, one of the key facets ofthe Western Undergraduate Degree, is that it gives you a lot of flexibility,enabling you to customize your degree based on your own particular interests. Now,in the presentation right after this one Kathy and Sarah will be going over how degreesat Western are structured, as well as they'll provide key information on admissions. Part ofthe flexibility of Western Undergraduate Programs means that it's easy to combine say a minorwith your major in physics, for example. As well, concurrent degrees are very popular,especially those with the Ivey Business School. Now at Western, we definitely seeundergraduate learning as a continuum and we don't expect you to come in as a first yearstudent and to know exactly what you want to do, .

And so part of this is giving you time infirst year to discover your passions and you know try out different things and then giving youopportunities to engage in the learning process and ultimately, getting you to thrive. Not justthriving as an undergraduate student at Western, but also as a valuable member of society as well. Now we recognize five aspects of studentthriving. First, we want to foster the development in all students, of a positiveperspective regarding their own abilities and sure you need to have thedetermination within the academic sphere. You're going to have to put in the workin order to succeed and reach your goals. But it is on us as Western Instructors to ensurethat you are engaged in the learning process .

And we all realize the importance of both diversecitizenship and social interactions, which have been particularly challenging to meet due to theisolation of the past few months. Now remember in the introduction I mentioned that Western is aResearch Intensive Institution and you might think so they spend so much time on research, theyprobably don't care that much about teaching. But in reality, nothing could be further from thetruth. Both the Faculty of Science and Medical Sciences have attracted outstanding instructors,some of whom shown here, have won national and international recognition for their achievementsin the classroom. Now, for sure the past eight months have been particularly challenging asour faculty have worked to transition what they know leads to success in the classroomand teaching lab, to an online environment .

And many have arrived at novel and innovativeways to keep students engaged. Now of course it's really hard to match online the level ofengagement that comes from in-person activities. So man, you know, we all hope that come next fallthings are going to be back to normal. But whether it's online or in person, Western Facultyare focused on a range of what we call high impact teaching and learning practices. Sogone are the days, for example when I was an undergrad and used to sit in a giant lecturehall with 400 fellow students and you just used to write like crazy as the prof just rambled onand then just cram for the midterm. Note, today it's all about high impact practices and the fivemajor one in Science and Med Sci are shown here. You know it's really important that we teachstudents how to collaborate, how to work in teams, .

How to write well and effectively becauseof course the ultimate goal of all of this is to better prepare ourstudents for their chosen career. Now arguably the best way to prepare for acareer comes from our Internship Program. This is an elective program, open to all studentsin Science and Medical Sciences, that offers actual job placements. Now these last between 8and 16 months and later this morning, there'll be a presentation on the internship program byour careers team led by Patricia and Lauren. Now here's a picture that I think illustratesreally well the kind of large-scale science that's carried out at Western. On the left sideis the Biotron, an experimental research facility, used to study climate change and on the right, .

Is the new Interdisciplinary Science Building,that is home to the Brain and Mind Institute. With both of these facilities and the hundreds ofindependent research laboratories across campus, undergraduate students, throughvolunteering, student research fellowships, and honours thesis projects, are a key facetof the research endeavour of the university. So absolutely, at Western you might seeyourself rubbing shoulders in a research lab with graduate students and and post-docs fromaround the world, doing ground-breaking research. Now we know that for many incomingstudents, the transition from high school to university will be pretty straightforward.But for others and for a wide range of reasons the change will be harder to navigate. AtWestern we've put tremendous resources into .

Developing our Science and basic MedicalSciences Academic Counselling Team, which is here to help, not just with first yearbut over the course of your undergraduate career, helping you decide which courses to take,moving in and out of areas of specialization and being able to help you in areas that you'restruggling with, including more personal issues, and over the course of the past few months ourcounselling team has been at the forefront of helping students manage during this especiallychallenging time and whether it's our academic counselling team in science and medical sciencesor an array of additional services campus-wide, Western Faculty and Staff have worked tirelesslyto put in place resources to help you succeed. Thanks Denis. It's now my pleasure to give youan overview of the Medical Sciences Program .

At Western. So what is Medical Sciences? Well,Medical Sciences is the study of the human body, how it functions, what goes wrong in diseaseand how we intervene to treat those diseases. At Western, we have several options forstudents that have diverse interests in the variety of fields within Medical Sciences.On this slide alone, you can see some of the options for our programs. For example, if you'reinterested in infectious diseases that include things like bacterial and viral infection, youmay want to study Microbiology and Immunology. If you want to study medical imaging and howdiseases are diagnosed, maybe Medical Biophysics is more up your alley. Some students really can'tdecide what area of medical science interests them most and they tend to gravitate more towards ourInterdisciplinary Medical Sciences Program, that .

Looks at medical issues from an interdisciplinaryperspective, that involves many or sometimes even all of these disciplines. We also have otherInterdisciplinary Programs such as Neuroscience, which is a collaboration between the SchulichSchool of Medicine and Dentistry, The Faculty of Science and the Department of Psychology.Neuroscience or the study of the brain, is really an area of strength at Western and manyof our faculty members are leaders in this field. You come to university to have success. The path,well it's not always straight and it's not always easy and you will definitely have lots of choicesto make and I'd like to tell you a little bit about my path. Giving this presentation is reallynostalgic for me as I remember being in your situation. I'm from the GTA and I did my undergradright here at Western and to tell you the truth, .

I had no clue what I wanted to do, but Iwas drawn to Western for three reasons. The first is that I knew that they had a greatScience Program and I was really into science. The second is that my friends had older siblingsthat were very happy with their experience at Western, both with the courses they took, butother positive areas of the student experience, and third I got to tell you the truth here, itwas far enough away from my mom and dad which is something that I wanted, but at the same time, itwas also close enough to my mom and dad which is also something that I wanted. So really I had noclue what I wanted to study, I was planning on a General Science Degree and plan to graduate,move back to Toronto and live in a cool loft apartment downtown and drive a Porsche becausethat's how it goes and it's that easy, right? .

Well neither of those things really happen,but I did find my path. In third year, I took a pharmacology class for the firsttime, the study of drugs and how they worked to treat disease completely fascinated me.It hooked me and it really changed my life. Today I'm a pharmacologist and spend my lifethinking about drugs in a good way. I love teaching the next generation of scientists andaspiring professionals and have a passion for research into making therapeutic medications saferfor patients. Your path may not seem obvious now, but you'll find it in university and I reallyhope that Western is the university you choose. We mentioned that you come to universityfor success and we really do care about the success of our graduates and where theyend up after their undergraduate degree, .

And we're really proud of our students and thepast that they end up taking. Here are the results from our graduation survey from the class of 2020.These are just the respondents to our survey. So 46 percent of the survey respondents last yearwent into professional programs, such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, or pharmacy, and 32 percentof our graduates went on to further training in graduate school doing masters or doctoral degrees.Collectively, this is not different from previous years, it's usually two thirds to three quartersof our survey respondents go on to higher level education and our programs prepare studentsvery well for these opportunities. For those that decide not to pursue further education,our program also provides critical thinking and problem solving skills to help students who decideto go into the workforce directly after undergrad. .

Dr Maxwell showed this slide earlier. We recognizeyou have a lot of choices, 21 schools in Ontario alone. If you're interested in medical sciences,that number is a lot smaller but we do recognize that there are other good programs out there foryou and we'd like to take a couple of minutes to tell you what we think is really great about ourprogram and provide a few examples. We were the first Medical Science Program and we started thisprogram in 2001. This was a great success and many other universities have followed our lead becausethey see that it's an area that students want. As medical science continues to evolve, so do we.We're always listening to student feedback to continually improve our program and adapt to themost cutting edge technologies. So let's go over just a couple of examples of things that I thinkwe do really well at Western in Medical Sciences. .

Our program offers both breadth and depth. Youcan really specialize in one discipline or take an interdisciplinary approach. The same can even besaid for organ systems. For example, some students are really passionate about learning about thebrain. You can focus your program in the senior years to take courses that are more focused onhow the brain works, what goes wrong in disease, and how to treat diseases of the brain. We feelthat our labs and our lab experience are really unique. Many undergraduate teaching labs areconsidered cookbook, you just follow the recipe, like baking chocolate chip cookies. In our labs,we like to have students involved in the process. Students help to design the experiment, theywork in small groups to generate a hypothesis, an experimental plan, and and then often experimenton subjects, like themselves. Our award-winning .

Faculty create engaging teamwork exercises. Forexample in the lower right corner of this slide, one lap employed escape boxes, similarto the concept of escape rooms, that highlight teamwork and science together.Our undergraduate students are engaged in translational medical research and we're veryfortunate to have our Medical Sciences Building, where many of your senior classes and labs areheld directly connected to University Hospital and Robarts Research Institute. Here is ourMedical Building tucked in the back here, which is directly connected to UniversityHospital and our major research institute Robarts Research Institute. Discovery starts inbasic science, but is accelerated by applying lab findings to the clinical situation. Some ofour student research projects involve working .

With patients to solve complex problems andthis can be accomplished simply by walking through a set of doors to the Clinical ResearchFacilities. Thanks everyone. That wraps up our overview presentation on the programs in Scienceand Medical Sciences. Stay tuned as we have lots of great programming later this morning andthis afternoon on the rest of our programs. Coming right up, we have a presentation by Kathyand Sarah, who are going to give you details about how Western Undergraduate Degrees are structured,as well as important admission information, for both Science and Medical Sciences, anddon't forget throughout all of this programming, both this morning and this afternoon, that youhave the ability to ask questions of faculty staff and students. So I really hope you enjoy therest of the day. See you later Brad. Bye Denis. .

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