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What makes UNB shine?

The people who study, work and teach in our community! In this series, we invite you to take an authentic look at the lives of our students, faculty, staff and alumni as we share why #WeAreUNB.

Hannah Wallace

PhD Student at Memorial University, BSc'17, 4 years at UNB

March 2020

When I applied to medical school and didn’t get in, I really felt like a failure. Like everything had crumbled. And now looking back, that’s probably one of the best things that ever happened to me because I had to think, ‘OK, what am I going to do next year if I’m not going to medical school?’ And that’s the reason I found research. I don’t even think about going to medical school anymore because I’m doing exactly what I love and I just know so much that virus research is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

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Samantha Stewart

Canadian Wrestler & RBC Olympian, BRSS'13, BA'14, MEd'19, 10 years at UNB

March 2020

If somebody tells you you can’t do something, don’t listen to them. I couldn't tell you the number of times I’ve been told I can’t do something and I’ve said, ‘watch me.’ It started when I played football in Grade 9 and they told me there was no Girls' team, so I said ‘I’m going to play for the Boys' team then.’ And anytime somebody has told me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl, I was like, ‘watch me do it.’ And it’s that sense of seeing it as a challenge rather than a threat and rising to the opportunity. Because I think those are actually beautiful opportunities to show people not just what you’re capable of, but what women are capable of.

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Peyton Juhnke

Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Leadership Student, 2nd year at UNB

February 2020

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But reconnecting with my indigeneity, this part of myself that I didn’t really know before, has not only given me a clearer path, but also a purpose. It’s that whole spiritual piece of connecting you to something bigger than just yourself. The cultural disconnection I experienced is a consequence of colonialism. But knowing this motivates me everyday to do something meaningful and worthwhile with my life so my children and their children don’t ever have to wonder where they came from. They will know and they will be so proud.

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Tyler Johnson

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology Student, 3rd year at UNB

February 2020

When I first got accepted to UNB Saint John, and they asked me to come play down here, I never thought in a million years that I’d be playing university volleyball, at all. So it was kind of surreal for me to have my first practice and just sit there and be like, ‘Wow, I actually made it. I’m playing for a university, I’m getting my degree.' I’m doing everything I wanna do right now and it’s perfect.

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Sandra Byers

Human Sexuality & Psychology Professor, Faculty of Arts, 42nd year at UNB

February 2020

Sexual well-being is important to people. And yet, many people aren’t as sexually satisfied as they could be. This is because they have knowledge gaps, comfort gaps, negative attitudes and anxiety about sex, their sex life is influenced by too many “shoulds” that don’t really fit for them, or they have difficulty communicating their sexual likes and dislikes. To enhance their sexual well-being and sexual satisfaction, people need to learn to accept themselves for who they are. They need to be properly educated, make decisions based on their own values, and learn to communicate openly and positively about sexuality.

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Victor Szymański

NB SPOR PIHCI Knowledge Translation Officer, BSc'18, 5th year at UNB

February 2020

Success to me is cultivating integrity, never compromising compassion, and helping create a society that nurtures those who are marginalized. Having survived conversion therapy that I was pushed into as a minor, the harms of that abuse linger - despite the trauma, plus a brief period of homelessness, I’m here only because of those who loved me in the darkest seasons of my life. I credit my supportive network, some of whom I met at UNB, like my caring thesis supervisors, Dr. Alison Luke and Dr. Shelley Doucet. Everything I am is thanks to the love I received from my family - biological and chosen - therefore, success is extending that love, creating a society built on integrity and compassion.

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Cormac Stewart

Renaissance College & Computer Science Student, 4th year at UNB

January 2020

Thinking that what you’re going through is not valid of an emotional response, I think that can be way more damaging than people realize. Just kind of slowly, but subtly, pushing and pushing something down until eventually it can manifest into something more. It’s OK to not feel OK. Good mental health doesn’t mean you’re just always happy all the time. It means you’re able to navigate and are aware of your emotions, and can cope with the ups and downs that come along with them.

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Kate MacNeill

Bachelor of Nursing Student, 5th year at UNB

January 2020

What you put into it is what you get out. I feel like if you just go to school and you grumble and you complain just to get through it, to get a degree, then that’s what you’ll get. But if you really take ownership of the experience and follow your heart and do stuff that you enjoy, it will pay you back. 

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Tomi Gbeleyi

Lighthouse Labs General Manager & Founder of MFMG Cosmetics, BA'13, 4 years at UNB

January 2020

You can’t do it all on your own. I think a lot of people, especially now that owning your own business is so over-glorified and sensationalized, there’s this impression that you’ve got to be this superstar who knows everything, but it just doesn’t work that way. It’s OK to not know everything. You’re gonna need advice. You’re gonna need other people who are experts to tell you what to do.

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Shawn McKay

Sodexo General Help, 35th year at UNB

January 2020

We know that for all these kids, when they’re going to school, it’s pretty stressful for them. Between exams, projects, and so on and so forth. So when they come up to the counter, if we can put a smile on their face, then we’re doing something right.

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Hillary Nguyen

International Student Transition Advisor, BAA'17, 5th year at UNB

December 2019

I was an international student myself and, I’ve gotta admit, it is one of the biggest advantages that really contributes to my job as a Transition Advisor. I’ve always wanted to make changes and would bring everyone together when I was younger; now here I am, advocating international students from personal matters to professional development. My favourite part of the job is being able to provide cultural awareness to the UNB campus and the greater New Brunswick community.

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Patrick Reynolds

Mathematics and Statistics Professor, Faculty of Science, 7th year at UNB

December 2019

I've struggled with math a lot. That feeling of ‘I can’t get this, I’m not good at this,' and 'I’ve learned about as much math as my brain can handle’ - I know that feeling. I see it in my students. They don’t think I know that feeling, but I do. I've overcome it, and so can they.

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Sohan Kobiri

Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Student, 2nd Year at UNB

November 2019

The best part about being here at UNB is that you could get involved in so many ways to get the best of experiences and bring out the best version of yourself, no matter which faculty or program you are in. From being a TEDxUNB delegate to a RedShirt, each and every single experience I have had helped me evolve as a person and put me a step closer to achieving the things I always wanted to pursue.

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Reid Sutherland

Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts Student, 3rd year at UNB

November 2019

It feels like every day that I’m at UNB, I’m changing. It’s very cheesy to say, but I feel like the best version of myself when I’m here because there are so many opportunities, and so many people to share them with. The people that I choose to surround myself with are constantly pushing themselves to be better; the peer mentors, my fellow proctors, my team, my friends. They motivate me to do better.

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Nadia Wysote

Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Student, 5th year at UNB

November 2019

When I came to UNB, I was really shy and quiet and didn't think anybody really knew who I was. Now I'm in my fifth year and stand in front of my peers educating them about who I am. 

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