Beaverbrook scholar excels in unusual first year | UNB
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Spring/Summer 2021

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Beaverbrook scholar excels in unusual first year

ALUMNI NEWS MAGAZINE | Spring/Summer 2021

Rose He takes a lot of walks. The Beaverbrook Scholar, who has just completed her first year in the engineering program, has found walking around Fredericton to be an ideal way to cope with an unusual school year. “I typically start my day by going out for a quick walk in my neighbourhood in order to really clear my head and get a fresh start to the day,” she says, adding that she often takes multiple walks throughout the day to help her reset between classes. 

Rose has found several other ways to make the most of COVID-era virtual learning. She finds time to chat online with close friends and relies on her day planner to keep track of her daily tasks. Still, the transition to university life without on-campus interaction had its challenges, and she credits her professors with helping her adjust. “I struggled quite a bit with virtual learning at first, and it was especially difficult for me to reach out to people since I hardly knew anyone in my classes,” she says. “When I reached out to my math professor, she was incredibly welcoming and understanding.” 

With her first year now under her belt, Rose says her favourite thing about UNB is the community she’s found. She is grateful for the guidance she’s received from upper-year engineering students, especially via online platforms like Discord, and for the virtual study sessions she takes part in. “I find that COVID has created a strange situation where we’re all socially distanced, yet the Internet has the ability to nonetheless connect us together,” she says. “Although interacting with others would definitely be easier in person, I’m still lucky enough to have made friends this year through social media and various activities.” 

“I find that COVID has created a strange situation where we’re all socially distanced, yet the Internet has the ability to connect us together.”

Those activities are plentiful. She was the first-year representative for the Diversity Within Engineering Society, outreach director of the Engineering Undergraduate Society, and co-events director for the Atlantic Student Research Journal, where she helped to organize ENGspire 2021, a virtual mini-conference focused on engineering research.  

In January, Rose was part of a team that competed and placed second at the Atlantic Engineering Competition, earning them a chance to compete at the Canadian Engineering Competition, where they placed second again. 

Rose has a busy summer and school year ahead. Thanks to the Beaverbrook Scholars Award, she met a former scholar who helped connect her to Dr. Jon Sensinger at UNB’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME). She has since received funding from the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research awards to allow her to work with the IBME for the summer. She has been named vice-president communications for the Atlantic Council of Engineering Students (ACES) and vice-president internal of UNB’s Engineering Undergraduate Society. And through it all, she will still be taking time for her daily walks. 

“After a long day of spending hours and hours on my computer,” she says, “my favourite thing is to walk to a small park right by my neighbourhood, sit on the swings and look at the clouds and the river while the sunsets. That’s my favourite part of the day.” 

Learn more about Rose He and her first-year UNB experience.