Friday, November 30, 2012

Hi everyone. Sorry for the long delay in posting. I promise to get back to my regular posting schedule of bad chemistry puns and funny TOC graphics soon.

A few months ago, Camille Gregory, an undergraduate in our lab died (from cancer, unrelated to her work in the lab). Her story is very sad but also pretty inspiring, and has received a fair amount of attention online (here, here, here, here, and here. The best article I found was this one from the UBC student paper.)

I (and the rest of my labmates) were only tangentially connected to Camille through the brief time she spent in the lab, and I don't know if I have anything particularly meaningful to contribute that hasn't already been brought up on the links above. I applaud the actions and compassion of the Chemistry department and the Faculty of Science in being able to act so quickly to organize her graduation ceremony before she died.

Sometimes working with undergraduate students who are unmotivated and/or distracted can be a huge drain on your resources as a researcher. The flip side are the great students, like Camille, who are such a joy to work with even when asked to do the menial tasks of day-to-day labwork. Camille was doing experiments in our lab this summer to wrap up her thesis at a stage in her life when absolutely no one would have expected her to be anywhere near a fumehood. I'm very sorry that she isn't around to see the fruits of her labor, which should be published some time very soon.

Camille's family has started a scholarship fund at her high school to help young women achieve careers in science, and is accepting donations at this address:

Seaquam Secondary School attention Camille Gregory Scholarship Fund.
11584 Lyon Road Delta, BC, Canada, V4E 2K4

(MacLachlan group photo in November 2011. Camille is right in the middle.)

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