VKURA 2022

Explore the 2022 student projects

We have asked each research scholar to answer the question: What was the most memorable part of your internship experience?” You will be able to see each students’ answer below, along with their biography and poster.

Xavier Agustines

Xavier Agustines

Civil Engineering

Being able to reflect on my internship journey and how much I had learned and experienced. I started with a vague idea of what I wanted to do, and it was amazing to now be able to trace the journey of that idea as it developed into the project I ended up completing.

Biography

Xavier hails from Muntinlupa City, Philippines, and his upbringing instilled in him a love for learning and the natural environment. Now a second year in UVic’s Civil Engineering program, he hopes that the program’s emphasis on sustainable built environments will enable him to become involved with initiatives that aim to reduce our society’s environmental footprint. Xavier was drawn to the VKURA internship because he saw it as an opportunity to use research to advance sustainability and to be exposed to the academic research environment. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing music, and spending time outdoors (particularly sailing).

Darius Amini

Darius Amini

Chemistry

Going to the Student Union Building and especially Felicita’s with the graduate students.

Biography

Darius Amini is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Victoria and will major in Biochemistry. He eventually wants to become a medical student following his undergraduate studies and pursue his goal of achieving a career in medicine. Some of Darius’ volunteer experiences include volunteer work at StartLine Physiotherapy and assisting seniors through the Better at Home Program. If Darius can’t be found on the University of Victoria campus he can be found playing soccer or wandering around Victoria’s downtown.

Anna Brinham

Anna Brinham

Psychology

When Dr. Lisa Surridge would prompt me to expand my research in detail and scope during our in-depth discussions to make me a more well-rounded critical thinker. 

Biography

Anna Brinham is starting her second year at UVic as a Psychology student in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Anna grew up in White Rock, B.C. and moved to Victoria 6 years ago, where she attended St. Michaels University School and graduated with the Governor General’s Academic Medal. As a French immersion student, Anna loves languages and studied English and Writing in her first year, including two electives in Victorian studies which sparked her interest in 19th-century culture. In her free time, Anna enjoys hiking, camping, and reading – preferably all in the same day!

Hoi An Bui

Hoi An Bui

Business

Reading about different people’s lives and career journeys. I found it very interesting and inspiring learning about various definitions of career success, as well as how one got through challenges and obstacles to become one of the top 1-2% performers in their fields.

Biography

Hoai An Bui is an undergraduate student at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, specializing in Service Management.

Sophia Burns

Sophia Burns

Engineering Science

The team at the Tremblay Lab is incredibly collaborative, and working with many dedicated researchers, allowed me to see that fostering a supportive, team-focused environment allows for the exchange of ideas and struggles that can be met with many perspectives offering new solutions. 

Biography

Sophia is in her second year at UVic pursuing a combined biology and psychology major. She thoroughly enjoys engaging in scientific discovery and hopes to study medical sciences in the coming years. During the VKURA internship, she had the opportunity of joining the Tremblay neuroimmune plasticity lab and working closely with graduate students. The experience has sparked an interest in pursuing research and she is excited to continue working in the Tremblay lab this coming fall. When she is not busy working in the lab or studying, she enjoys spending time in nature and letting her creative side out through painting and cooking.
Amélie Cazelais

Amélie Cazelais

Chemistry

Learning how to work independently in a laboratory and being able to gain experience in many different experimental settings, including training in many parts of the Chemistry department. I thank Dr. Matthew Moffitt and Liza Silverman for this.

Biography

My name is Amélie Cazelais. I am starting my second year studying at the University of Victoria doing a Chemistry and Biochemistry combined major. I love hiking and playing the piano. Chemistry is a vast field that explores the world itself at the molecular level, which I find fascinating. As a career, I would love to go to medical school after completing my Bachelor of Science. I am very grateful to have gained more laboratory and research experience this summer, allowing me to explore further in an academic field that I enjoy.

Rushaan Chawla

Rushaan Chawla

Computer Science

The creative freedom given to me by my mentors and how I was allowed to do trial and error and always learn in my way rather than sticking to a niche

Biography

I am a second-year Bachelor of Computer Science student who wants to become a data scientist in the future but is really into digital creative art and storytelling.

Colton Clarke

Colton Clarke

Economics

Learning how to run regressions and seeing how accurately the regression could predict pre-pandemic births. I found it really interesting how different regions reacted differently to the pandemic and how the births differed by city, even though their restrictions were similar.

Biography

I am a second year student at the University of Victoria, majoring in Financial Mathematics and Economics. In my free time I enjoy working out, reading, drawing, hiking, the beach, or any other sort of adventure. I am a former Team Canada luge athlete and I enjoy most athletic activities and sports. I also have a passion of traveling and would love to visit at least one country on each continent in my lifetime.

Lillian Crowder

Lillian Crowder

Business

I absolutely loved the process of interviewing informants as they are all doing my dream job!

Biography

My name is Lillian Crowder, I am 21 years old, and I am heading into my second year of the BCOM program at the Gustavson School of Business. I am passionate about absorbing as much information as I can about the world of entrepreneurship and plan to be a founder some day soon. In my spare time, I am a creative and active person. I love to ski, swim, hike, and camp, as well as paint using oil pastels and sculpt.

Savannah Dam

Savannah Dam

Physics and Biochemistry

Receiving the email stating that I was selected for the award, and realizing I was being given the opportunity to spend my summer working on a project that I loved.

Biography

Hello, my name is Savannah Dam and I am student reading Physics and Biochemistry, at the University of Victoria. Before entering post-secondary education, I was a home-based leaner, completing all of my education outside of a classroom. In addition to my major and the arts, my passions lie in aviation and aeronautics. I am currently working on my PPL and hope to pursue aviation in the future. I love the Welsh language and my favourite word to date is cerddoriaeth, which means music, and is pronounced as ‘k-eh-rr-th-o-ee-eye-th.’

Theo Davis

Theo Davis

Fine Arts

Watching the footage of music getting created in a foreign language. It changed how I view the song writing process because I could still follow the process despite the language barrier.

Biography

My name is Theo Davis. I’m a UVIC student studying Music and Computer Science. I was born and raised in Toronto.

Sky Dragushan

Sky Dragushan

Greek and Roman Studies

Going swimming with the EBAP team during a heatwave. It was so refreshing!

Biography

My name is Sky Dragushan, I’m 19, and I’m an English major and Greek and Roman Studies minor. I enjoy reading fantasy novels, and hiking with friends. My VKURA Internship involved working on site in Greece with the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project (EBAP), while being supervised by Dr. Trevor Van Damme. This international experience aligns well with my future career goals – curating museum exhibits through a social justice lens.

Luca Gaffney

Luca Gaffney

Business

Searching through the law library at the University of Victoria for late 19th and early 20th-century legislation relating to drug regulation in British Columbia and Canada. It was almost like a treasure hunt to try and obtain these pieces of information published more than a century ago.

Biography

Luca Gaffney was born and raised in Victoria British Columbia. He grew up loving all things creative. In high school, Luca realized he enjoyed mathematics. While taking part in the IB Diploma Program he took an Economics course. This course was what sprouted his love for the subject of Economics. Luca began studying at the University of Victoria in the fall of 2021. He aims to obtain a BSC in Economics and move on to graduate studies. In his spare time, Luca likes to spend time with family and friends, read, and play ultimate frisbee as well as basketball.

Faith Grant

Faith Grant

Sociology

Watching the website grow from having one entry to many entries… I remember in the early days of this project I felt nervous about each entry and as time went on and with support from Bruce I became very confident in my abilities and very proud of my work.

Biography

My name is Faith Grant, I am going into my second year here at UVic and am studying sociology and I’m from North Vancouver. In my spare time I love exploring Victoria’s beaches and beautiful downtown. I love listening to music, spending time with family and friends, and am a bit of a foodie.

Naomi Harris

Naomi Harris

Music

Working under challenging and unconventional circumstances and making new discoveries along the way

Biography

From Spokane, Washington Naomi Harris is a versatile Japanese-American musician who specializes in accordion performance. Harris currently studies Accordion Performance at the University of Victoria. In their free time Harris enjoys weightlifting.

McKayla Hood

McKayla Hood

Mechanical Engineering

Watching my colleague’s cardiac cells beat.

Biography

McKayla is going into her second year of mechanical engineering at the University of Victoria. Over the summer she worked as a VKURA intern for Willerth Labs. She aims to land an international co-op next spring and specialize in biomedical engineering and advanced materials. After undergrad, she has plans for pursuing graduate school in biomedical sciences. During her free time, she enjoys reading comic books, playing sports, and hanging out with friends.

Oliver Hopewell

Oliver Hopewell

Political Science

Studying the European Semester framework was a rewarding project, and getting to work directly with trans-national scholars on academic works surrounding environmental policy was especially memorable.

Biography

My name is Oliver Hopewell, and with the support of the VKURA internship network, I have been studying the workings of the European Semester, a policy coordination tool within the European Union. I am in the department of political science, with an interest in international politics. I am going into my second year at the University of Victoria, where I hope to continue studying academic work and data related to the functioning of differing political systems.

Eamonn Irwin

Eamonn Irwin

Biology

Working in a professional lab environment for the research of proteins.

Biography

I am Eamonn Irwin I am 19 years old and am pursuing a degree in Biology with the hope to get into medical school.

Marco Joly

Marco Joly

Biochemistry

Facing the spiders against each other in the arena. It was memorable because I got to know the spiders personally after having seen them face off multiple times.

Biography

I was born in Victoria and have lived my whole life here. I have been practicing Taekwondo since I was 7. I learned to solve the rubik’s cube at the age of 10. I studied science in high school and now have moved on to biochemistry at UVic, my long term goal is to become a medical doctor. I enjoy cycling, driving, hiking, skiing, and swimming. I am currently studying and training for a private pilot’s license.

Dave Jung

Dave Jung

Software Engineering

Talking to my mentor every day. It was encouraging to have someone that could keep me on track and that was always available to answer my questions.

Biography

Dave Jung is a 2nd year Engineering student at UVic with a discipline in software. He has an interest in backend programming, machine learning, and expert systems. Away from the computer, he enjoys playing fingerstyle guitar, playing tennis, and photography.

Denaisha Kraft

Denaisha Kraft

Chemistry

Every member of the research team was driven and motivated to partake in their research projects, and it was evident that they all had a passion for science and learning. It was very inspiring to see and learn about the research that the other group members were doing.

Biography

My name is Denaisha Kraft and I am originally from the small town of Sylvan Lake, Alberta. Although I have enjoyed many of the courses that I have taken, my current plan is to major in physics. I was also the recipient of the Schulich Leadership Scholarship for science at UVic. I also have a twin sister, and outside of school I enjoy playing various sports such as badminton and tennis.

Andrew Lane

Andrew Lane

Mathematics & Statistics

When I first started working on the Ramsey problem I researched. At first it seemed very difficult, but I found that I was able to apply what I had learned about graph theory, and I got some nice results just by working with simple cases.

Biography

Andrew Lane is a mathematics student at the University of Victoria from Portland, Oregon, U.S. He is interested in theoretical mathematics and enjoys the puzzle-solving aspect to it. Andrew loves to learn, and his hobbies include learning languages, playing musical instruments, hiking, gardening, playing games, browsing Wikipedia, and more.

Jayda Lauzon

Jayda Lauzon

EPHE

When I first walked into this lab, I thought I walked into a different country, I felt as if I was speaking a foreign language. I now can speak their language and get excited over a middle cerebral artery during my breath hold test study.

Biography

My name is Jayda Lauzon, I am starting my second year of kinesiology studies at the University of Victoria. I was intrigued by Dr. Smith’s research, and was excited to participate this summer in the CHEERS laboratory. Through my many years participating in school and club soccer and other various sports I found a passion for the function of human anatomy, and sparked my interest in a kinesiology degree. Prior to the VKURA internship I was passionate about sports medicine, but now i have another new found interest to become a exercise science researcher.
Jaden Law

Jaden Law

Mechanical Engineering

Securing a shoulder joint implant to a hard-foam scapula model with Dr. Giles and two other graduate students.

Biography

My name is Jaden Law and I’m a 2nd-year Mechanical Engineer. I was born and grew up in Vancouver and enjoy spending time outdoors with my family. For example, swimming, biking, walking my dog, skiing, and snowboarding. My family sometimes spends Christmas in Whistler and we ski together. In school, I was always interested in the mechanical aspects of technology like robotics, planes, cruise ships, high-speed trains, submarines, etc. I enjoyed using my high school’s 3D printer and using a laser cutter to engrave wood.

Nathan Leonard

Nathan Leonard

Chemistry

The first time I successfully produced an alginate bioplastic film. It blew my mind that it was made of kelp.

Biography

Nathan Leonard is an undergraduate student studying Chemistry at the University of Victoria, bussing in all the way from Esquimalt! Nathan loves coffee, plants, and cool weather. His interests lie in the development of new materials, and how they can be used to improve daily life and safeguard the health of our communities and environments.

Ana Galicia Lozano

Ana Galicia Lozano

Physics & Astronomy

The opportunity to participate in the ongoing conversation on merger-induced star formation from such a young age. Additionally, the privilege to contribute to a research paper on the subject feels very exciting to me.

Biography

My name is Ana Paula but I go by Ana. I was born and raised in Mexico City and last year I came to Victoria to start my undergraduate studies in mathematics and astronomy. I love nature and spending time outdoors, and I have always been passionate about understanding the world around me as well as getting out of my comfort zone and seeking new experiences. In my free time I like to read, draw, cook, play the guitar, and do yoga, among other things.

Omar Madhani

Omar Madhani

Computer Science

Trying new coffee shops with my professor and applying my programming skills to design simulations.

Biography

I am Omar Madhani, currently a second-year computer science student at the University of Victoria. I was born in Santa Clara, California and grew up in Bellevue, Washington, a city just outside Seattle. My current programming experience includes Java, Python, and C. I also have experience using UNIX and Jupyter Notebooks. I enjoy playing basketball frequently and volunteering. A couple of years ago, I was a member of Global Encounters, a service-learning program for Ismaili Muslim youth across the globe, where, in India, we improved a primary level school and collaborated with AKDN institutions.

Ellis Martiskainen

Ellis Martiskainen

Humanities

Being able to identify highly fragmented bones and recognize the shapes of various joints; it was very rewarding.

Biography

Ellis Martiskainen is a Humanities student at the University of Victoria. His areas of focus are gender studies and anthropology. He is a member of the UVic Humanities’ Scholars Program, as well as a recipient of the UVic Excellence scholarship. In spring 2022, he volunteered with the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory, editing transcripts and writing blog material. Ellis is interested in how stories shape people’s worldviews, and loves to learn! When he isn’t writing a poorly structured essay, you might find him at fencing practice, playing Minecraft, sitting on big rocks, or putting much smaller rocks into his pockets.

Paige Mckenzie

Paige Mckenzie

Business

The weekly meetings with the other professors where we got the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas.

Biography

My name is Paige Mckenzie and I am a uvic student about to enter my 4th year of studies at the Gustavson School of Business. I am specializing in Entrepreneurship and am studying abroad in Germany for a semester.

Chloe Mee

Chloe Mee

English

It was inspiring to work closely with my supervisor Dr Janelle Jenstad and learn from her wealth of knowledge and expertise. I also enjoyed working with the LEMDO team and collaborating to refine encoding practices for old-spelling texts.

Biography

Chloe Mee is an English Honours major who is starting her second year at the University of Victoria in the Fall 2022 Semester. She is a part of the Scholar’s Program in the Faculty of Humanities. In her first year, she took courses in English, French, linguistics, psychology, philosophy, humanities research, and encoding. Chloe attended Collingwood School in Vancouver for high school and took first-year courses in calculus, French, sciences, research, and English literature and language during this time. Outside of UVic, Chloe enjoys running and hiking in her home province of BC, as well as reading and writing.

Rebecca Meitz

Rebecca Meitz

History

Getting to work alongside the other amazing research assistants who are a part of Perfecta and talk to the other VKURA interns. It was a really valuable experience to get to discuss my research with peers and get different kinds of feedback.

Biography

Rebecca Meitz is entering her second year of studies at the University of Victoria working towards her Bachelors of Arts in History. She is a recipient of the UVIC excellence scholarship, a humanities scholars program student and a 2022 recipient of the Valerie Kuehne Undergraduate Research Awards. Rebecca has been a research assistant for the project “La Perfection du corps féminin, entre discours anatomiques et défense des femmes 16-18” since November 2021.

Seth Messier

Seth Messier

Software Engineering

I enjoyed learning about new aspects of my field that I would normally not get to learn about until much later in my degree. I also enjoyed working on projects that were much more applicable to the real world compared to most of my classes.

Biography

Seth Messier is passionate about how software tools can be used to both entertain and improve the lives of people. Seth was born in Calgary AB, and was homeschooled his first years, allowing him to pursue his love of creating and building. He finished elementary school in Vancouver and attended middle school in San Diego, CA. Seth attended high school in the technology center of the world in Silicon Valley and graduated from Cupertino High School. This is where his love of computer science was nurtured and grew. Seth is currently enrolled in second-year software engineering at UVic.

Jessica Milum

Jessica Milum

Commerce

Nearing the end of the internship David identified colleagues who were willing and excited to work on this project with us. Having never participated in a project like this before, it was really interesting to meet and learn from academics all around the world!!

Biography

My name is Jessica Milum, I am currently a fourth year standing student at the University of Victoria, working towards a bachelor of commerce. I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC before moving over to the island for school. This is my first research project undertaking, which I am thrilled to be a part of. My father is a quadraplegic and my mother works with patients who have suffered brain injuries, so I have a vast understanding of the difficulties of receiving and retaining employment while living with a disability.

Connor Monk

Connor Monk

Geography

Definitely the people I met and became friends with during my time in the lab.

Biography

Connor Monk is an undergraduate Geography student interested in learning about GIS and Remote Sensing. He is an Intern and Research Assistant for the SURREAL Lab. His work is mainly focused on the Sooke Hills Wilderness Project, which analyzes human-wildlife interactions through the use of cam-traps located in the Sooke Hills Wilderness Area and the adjacent Greater Victoria Watershed Area.

Sam Nelson

Sam Nelson

Software Engineering

Meeting other likeminded students and making connections was very valuable. Learning about different fields and other students’ research and interests made me much more interested in doing research in the future.

Biography

Sam Nelson is a Software Engineering student attending the University of Victoria and comes from Pitt Meadows, BC. He has an interest in coding, programming, problem solving, academics and athletics. Outside of school he is very active and tries to exercise and explore whenever he can. He likes to play intramural basketball and make new friends.

Lana Rummel

Lana Rummel

Psychology

The opportunity to work in a team setting, as my degree does not offer many chances to work in groups. The chance to discuss my tasks- and how they fit into the bigger scheme of the research- really made me excited to be working on something beyond the scope of myself.

Biography

Born and raised in Victoria, BC, Lana Rummel is a first year bio-psychology student attending the University of Victoria. She has many hobbies, her main one being golfing for Uvic on the women’s team; others include rock climbing, roller skating, and music. Over her highschool and university career, Lana has experience working in customer service as a barista, taking care of kids as a summer camp leader, and giving back to her community by volunteering at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. She hopes to one day pursue a career in medicine after finishing her undergraduate degree.

Liam Shatzel

Liam Shatzel

Computer Science

The opportunity to be a part of a research lab, working in the same environment as other researchers. I especially appreciated the guidance of Professor Haworth, who provided the framework, and ongoing insights for this research project.

Biography

I am a second-year Computer Science student at the University of Victoria with a research emphasis on crowd simulations and software development. Through the VKURA internship, I was able to thoroughly explore the field of crowd simulations. I enjoyed the creativity that this research allowed because of the numerous possible solutions to solving different problems. With the skills I’ve learned from this internship, I hope to continue research and software development related to AI and crowd simulations. In my spare time, I enjoy indoor bouldering and working on programming-related projects.

Sam Shipley

Sam Shipley

Economics

Learning the programming language STATA from scratch and using it to run regressions and come to my own conclusions with the raw data.

Biography

Sam Shipley is a second-year economics student from Victoria, BC. Coming from a diverse, multi-ethnic household, he is passionate about diversity and inclusivity. He chose to study at UVIC for its pleasant atmosphere and welcoming community. He is enthusiastic about research and hopes to use the knowledge he gained from this internship to pursue further research in undergraduate and graduate studies.

Juliette Sones

Juliette Sones

Psychology

Witnessing a general idea get pieced together into an exciting project. Discovering what the research process can look like in my field has been particularly intriguing!

Biography

My name is Juliette Sones, and I am a third-year Psychology student at UVic. I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. I like to think that my passion for psychology stemmed from my grandmother, who loves psychoanalysis, and my mother, an elementary teacher. Whether we were talking about a strange dream or a troublemaking student, I always searched for an explanation. As I plan to complete the Honours program, I am very grateful for the opportunity to partake in the VKURA internship and discover what research is like within my field.

Yaël Stevens

Yaël Stevens

Psychology

When I received keys to the door of the psychology lab, which reads “Authorized Personnel Only.” That’s when I knew that during this internship I was about to experience the inner workings of scientific studies and learn in-depth about clinical psychology.

Biography

My name is Yaël Stevens and I am a second year Psychology student at UVic. I was born and raised in Brentwood Bay, BC, with my three older siblings and parents. I enjoy spending time with my dog, Bertie, hanging out with friends, travelling (I recently returned from Portugal!), and studying!

Liam Tarry

Liam Tarry

Business

Submitting my first paper to the Hawaii International Conference (and being accepted) on System Sciences as having helped research and write the paper myself was a greater satisfaction to submit than any paper I have previously submitted for school myself.

Biography

Liam Tarry is a fourth year Business student at the University of Victoria specializing in Entrepreneurship. Having been born in Calgary but lived in Vancouver for a majority of his life up to attending the University of Victoria, he has learned a lot about the differences in Canadian industries, especially in technology. His passion for technology in both the business world and for personal use has encouraged him to start his own business in the field of cybersecurity and information systems alike after graduation.

Olav Thyvold

Olav Thyvold

Civil Engineering

Writing the script I needed to extract and process climate data. It was far beyond my abilities when I first attempted it but after taking a number of courses the satisfaction I got from completing it was great.

Biography

Olav Thyvold is a second-year Civil Engineering student from Victoria, BC. He hopes to further sustainability within civil engineering by specializing in either moisture management, passive heat management or timber construction. He first realized the potential of all three while living with his father on a small sailboat. Once he graduates he would like to use this knowledge to help his father build a ship that can face open waters. In his free time, Olav likes to practice both creative and technical drawing.

Tunay Uyaniker

Tunay Uyaniker

Biology

Applying knowledge, learning new concepts and incorporating the scientific method all while adapting to the process of handling experiments.

Biography

Tunay Uyaniker is a bachelor of science student at the University of Victoria. He is doing a combined biology and psychology major along with a data science minor with the ambition of pursuing medicine. Tunay is currently working on facilitating a path in which he can pursue a medical degree focused on research to help find new ways to improve wellness and health. Tunay is also a recipient of the BC achievement scholarship. Tunay was a violinist at the Okanagan symphony orchestra for four years. Outside of school, Tunay is generally found hiking, reading, playing the saxophone or ultimate frisbee.

We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.