Governor General’s Medal winner has always loved science

Adrienne Lisa Manders has always enjoyed discovering things. Now, with her honours Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry behind her, the 21-year-old is living and working in a tenting community on a mountain side north of Terrace, B.C., examining samples for a new mining exploration company.

Winner of Carleton University’s Governor General’s Medal and the University Medal in science, Manders learned of her achievement, then emailed her parents from B.C. to tell them, adding only an exclamation point after her news.

Unreachable for comment on this story, Manders is generally a very humble person, says her mother Anne. “She is a hard worker, put in a lot of dedicated hours, and it wasn’t always easy for her.”

Manders, says Anne, enjoyed her time studying at Carleton and “gained experience beyond the degree.”

Her father Chris notes that Manders was attracted to Carleton’s science program after researching various universities. “When she was in grade school and high school, she was always participating in the science programs, and won contests. She didn’t like physics, but she liked calculus and algebra, and anything to do with biology and chemistry.”

The biochemistry degree would have been challenging for her, her mother admits, “but even as a youngster, she enjoyed science. She was gifted in many things. She considered business, but was always intrigued with science.”

Manders is driven, adds her father Chris, and even though she loved sports – basketball, volleyball, soccer, rugby and more – she had to let them go in favour of her academic career. “She’s pretty focused and knows how to maximize her time. She’s always been that way.”

Now that Manders has completed her four-year degree, she has taken a job “to collect her head and get a rest from studies,” says her mother. Ultimately, she may decide to pursue her master’s, but time will tell.



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Susan Hickman

By Susan Hickman

For nearly four decades, journalist Susan Hickman has written about every imaginable subject for sundry newspapers and magazines in Canada and abroad, as well as for CBC TV and CBC Radio. She has also managed various publications, including academic newspapers and technology magazines, and was recently commissioned to write a guide for foreign missions serving in Canada. Currently, she is working on a couple of personal memoirs.

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