Science Career Talks - 2021

Computer Science, Statistics and Data Science - November 2021

Jayde Eustace: Data Scientist, Intact Data Lab
Jayde completed a B.Sc. in Pure Mathematics and M.Sc. in Statistics at Memorial University. She has been working with data for 9 years. Jayde began her career in 2012 at the provincial government's Economics and Statistics Branch. She developed an interest in the growing field of data science and decided it was time for a career change. After 2 years as a business analyst with Johnson's Insurance, she was able to transfer to their Analytics Research and Development Team. Jayde currently works as a data scientist with Intact Data Lab, mainly building customer retention and pricing models for auto insurance.

Gillian Mensah: Software Developer, Verafin
Gillian completed a B.Sc. in Computer Science at Memorial University. She has a keen interest in helping women become involved in the tech space. Her first move towards realizing that goal was to move from Ghana to St. John's to begin her educational journey at Memorial. Gillian's passion for coding landed her an internship at Verafin, which bloomed into her current full time position post-graduation. Gillian has also opened her own business (GetChildrenCoding), coached with GetCodingNL, and serves on her church's Media team. 

Brooke Snow: Software Developer, Celtx 
Brooke completed a B.Sc. in Computer Science, with minors in Business Administration and Mathematics, at Memorial University. After completing a 12 month internship as part of the Computer Industry Internship Option during her Bachelor's degree at Celtx, Brooke was hired for a full time position at the same company. Brooke is currently pursuing a Masters of Technology Management at Memorial University's Marine Institute. 

Biology and Chemistry Career Talk - October 2021

Watch presentation:

Sara Cheema - Lead research chemist, 3F Waste Recovery

Sara Cheema has completed a B. Sc. in Chemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland (May 2020) for which she completed an undergrad project under the supervision of Dr. Graham Bodwell. Sara started her career at 3F Waste Recovery as a marine protein product development scientist in January 2021 and was promoted to lead research chemist in July of 2021. Sara is responsible for coordinating various research projects at various lab facilities in Canada for 3F to meet project requirements and customer specifications. She is also a graduate student at Memorial University where she hopes to complete an M. Sc. in Organic Chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie (adjunct professor) and Dr. Francesca Kerton.  

*Another representative from 3F, Jonathan Yick, will join Sara to speak about opportunities at the company. Jonathan is a recently graduated Mechanical Engineer (B.Eng) from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Jonathan has taken a somewhat atypical path from a standard Engineering student. In 2020, like most other graduates of the time, he was left in a strange position due to COVID-19. Faced with large uncertainty with his career, Jonathan opted to work various jobs ranging from retail work, being a pharmacy assistant and even working briefly with the Canada Revenue Agency. Throughout his engineering career, Jonathan has always had an interest in working in either a biomedical or environmental field. As of July 2021, he now works with 3F Waste Recovery, as a Natural Product Bioengineer, working closely with other like-minded individuals who wish to improve waste management and sustainability in communities across Newfoundland and Labrador.

Greg Curtis - Research and development scientist, The Very Good Food Company

Greg holds a B.Sc. (Chemistry) and M.Sc. (Green Process Engineering) from University of New Brunswick and a M.Sc. (Green Chemistry) from Memorial University. Greg worked as a Research Chemist after completing his Bachelor's degree and before beginning his first M.Sc., which focused on converting waste cooking oil into chemically identical gasoline, jet-fuel, and diesel with transition metal catalysts. He then completed a second M.Sc. here at Memorial as part of the Green Chemistry group. Greg will share his career journey, which was not initially what he had hoped for, and how he stayed motivated when things just didn't seem to be going right.  After spending some time working in restaurants and breweries, Greg has been in his preferred industry since 2017. Greg worked in the medical cannabis industry before pivoting into botanical beverages. After needing a change, Greg now works in the plant-based meat industry at The Very Good Butchers as a Research and Development Scientist. Greg's professional interests are renewable energy, medical cannabis, natural health products and biomaterials.

Susan Squires - Assistant deputy minister (Climate Change), Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Dr. Susan Squires began her career with the Provincial Government in 2009 as a plant ecologist with the Biodiversity and Endangered Species program of the Wildlife Division. She has served as the Director of Parks and Natural Areas, as Manager of Operations for the C.A. Pippy Park Commission, the Director of Environmental Assessment, and the Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment. In 2020, Dr. Squires was appointed to the position of Assistant Deputy Minister, Climate Change Branch, and is responsible for wilderness and ecological reserves and climate change policy and programs. Dr. Squires holds a Ph.D. and Bachelor of Science (Biology - Honours) from Memorial University and is a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies of Memorial University.

Psychology & Behavioral Neuroscience Career Talk - February 2021

Laura Hoffe, Policy Analyst, Central Health

Laura Hoffe is a Policy Analyst at Central Health in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador. She graduated from her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology (Memorial University (MUN)) in 2016. She also holds a Certificate in Business, International Relations and the Political Economy, London School of Economics and Political Science and is a Masters Degree in Public Health (Candidate), University of Saskatchewan.

During her time at MUN, she worked with Dr Ken Fowler on a research project focused on the social support programs on mental health. This sparked her interest in the importance of health policy and planning. Following graduation, Laura attended Law School at the University of New Brunswick. Upon deciding that law was not the path for her, she moved to Ottawa for an internship with a Member of Parliament. Following her internship, Laura returned to St. John’s and took on the role as Policy and Research Analyst at the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Here, she put the research skills she gained during her science degree to work on various projects related to enhancing women's economic and social standing in the province. Currently, Laura is a Policy Analyst with the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Authority. In this role, she manages the Policy Office and works with internal and external stakeholders to develop, implement and evaluate organizational policies. Laura's primary focus is on creating a policy system which is based on research and best practice to support the transfer of knowledge within the healthcare system.

Outside of work, Laura is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Health Association and is an advocate for food accessibility and sustainability as a former member of the St. John’s Food Policy Council.

Career History
2020-Present Policy Analyst, Central Health
2019-Present Started Masters of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, SK
2019– Completed Certificate in Certificate in Business, International Relations and the Political Economy, London School of Economics and Political Science
2018-2020- Policy and Research Analyst, Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, NL
2018- Summer Leadership Program Intern, Ottawa, ON
2016-2018- Law School, University of New Brunswick, NB
2016 – Competed a Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Memorial University, NL

Jacqueline Higgins, Director, NL Francophone Health Network

Jacqueline Higgins is the newly appointed Director of the NL Francophone Health Network. Equipped with a diverse background in health sciences, Jacqueline oversees the development and improvement of quality health services for the Francophone and Acadian populations of Newfoundland and Labrador. While working toward her Bachelor of Science in Behavioural Neuroscience at Memorial University, Jacqueline worked on an Honours project with Dr. Jamie Drover that focused on the development of the visual system in children. Meanwhile, Jacqueline took on various roles outside of school in an ocular surgery clinic, including an optometric relations coordinator position. Motivated by her interest in the visual system and her newly discovered coordinating skills, she completed her Master of Science in Vision Science at one of the two optometry schools in the country, Université de Montréal. Under the supervision of Dr. Elvire Vaucher, Jacqueline managed various research projects and clinical trials in collaboration with Health Canada, Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille, the Vision Health Research Network, and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal. Jacqueline then continued in the field by taking on a surgical coordinator role, coordinating one of highest volume intraocular lens surgery programs in the country.

Returning to Newfoundland in early 2020, Jacqueline continued to coordinate programs in ocular surgery until she branched out of eye care to take on the role of Director at the NL Francophone Health Network. Here, she uses her communication and project management skills to work on improving French-language services in mental health, healthcare access, child development, any many more.

Ashley Butt, Clinical Lead, Direct Home and Autism Service Program, Eastern Health

Ashley Butt is a Clinical Lead in the Direct Home and Autism Service Program at Eastern Health. Ashley completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. During her time as a student, Ashley also worked as a home therapist for children with Autism. Working with these children inspired her to focus her Masters’ research on reading comprehension and decoding ability for children with Autism, it also inspired her motivation for her career path. Upon graduation, Ashley began her career with Eastern Health working in a supportive role for families and children with Autism. In the Direct Home Service Program at Eastern Health she has been selected for further specialised training and is currently a clinical lead in the Autism Program. Ashley overseas the training of Child Management Specialists and Senior Therapists in the Applied Behaviour Analysis and (ABA) and Joint Attention Symbolic Play Engagement and Regulation (JASPER) programs.