Vic Stories: Vic One

chris lee Photo: Christopher Lee

Vic One’s focus on depth was really refreshing. Vic One prides itself on some of the best instructors and researchers in the field, and that was certainly true for my Pearson stream classes. Each professor brought something new to the table, and all my friends from other streams say the same about theirs. My classmates were equally amazing. Taking Vic One courses with 24 bright minds gave me new perspectives and showed me what was possible. A lot of them today are still friends I talk to on a regular basis. Ultimately, all this helped me build my self-confidence and challenged my boundaries as a young scholar and as a person. It was my kick-start to developing a critical mind and it was an academic experience I genuinely enjoyed.

-Christopher Lee, Vic 1T8



I came to Vic with the plan of majoring in Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies & Canadian Studies. The Vic One Pearson stream cemented my interest in an interdisciplinary program with small classes. In my Vic One class, Cultural Memory with Professor Urbancic, we were assigned an archival research project at EJ Pratt library. My project focused on the archives of Earl Toppings. Mr. Toppings is the creator of the program Canadian Writers and Poets on Tape. This project was an excellent connector to my Canadian Studies major, because [it] contributes to Canadian culture, nationalism and a sense of self & place.

This project turned into a greater research opportunity through the Northrop Frye Centre.  The NFC award was an excellent introduction into collaborative research with professors and other students. I had the opportunity to present at a colloquium and submit my work for publication. My NFC experience encouraged me to pursue other research opportunities, which is why I did a UofT [summer] research excursion course at the Salmon Coast Field Research Station on Gilford Island, BC.

-Griffin Kelly, Vic 1T8


Imindu Liyanage2Photo: Imindu Liyanage

As a first year undergraduate, I entered Victoria College more interested in graduating rather than conducting research or exploring any alternate modes of education. In fact, it wasn't until my first orientation for the Vic One program (with Professor Andrew Baines) that I realized that there is something beyond the immediate classroom education available. Specifically, it was the first time that I heard of the possibility of a student doing research. Before then, I imagined only old scientists in distant labs could make any meaningful contribution to the body of scientific knowledge; but at this orientation I realized that not only can an undergraduate conduct research, but that Vic affords student remarkable opportunities to actively participate in it. 

One tremendous asset, in this respect, was the chance to participate in the Stowe-Gullen stream of Vic One. This program offers direct instruction in concepts of scientific methodology, statistics and takes great effort to ensure that students can understand and critically appraise the scientific literature. It also allowed me to explore a topic of current scientific research in great detail with the assistance of a personal faculty mentor. This course, beyond any other in my first year (and perhaps in my entire undergraduate training) introduced the world of research and undergirded the framework from which I would view science. 

Using this instruction, I entered the dynamic world of transplant nephrology (or kidney transplantation) research in my second year. In essence, the work of this field centres around how we can best augment and extend the life of a transplanted organ. This is an area of intense research as all transplants will eventually fail because the body’s immune system cannot distinguish the lifesaving graft from any other foreign matter. The first work I received the Milne research award was for examining a complication occurring after transplantation called new-onset diabetes after transplant. My work tried to determine what the specific outcomes of this complication are and what may be done to abate the risk of developing this special form of diabetes.

-Imindu Liyanage, Vic 1T7

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