GRADventure Specialist profile: Nyasha Gondora

Nyasha GondoraWho are you and what do you do?

I am a PhD candidate at the School of Pharmacy and co-supervised in the School of Public Health and Health Systems. Broadly, my research is in the field of neuropharmacology. Specifically, I am investigating Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK) signalling in neurons, as well as investigating the impact of early life adversity on the expression of key brain receptors.

What do you want to do following graduate school?

I hope to pursue a career that will allow me to merge my passion for science and research with my love for communications and public speaking.

Describe the kinds of professional development activities you have taken part in (e.g. volunteering, professional skills workshops, student association, GSA).

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to take part in a variety of professional development activities on campus. I have worked with the Student Success Office as a graduate facilitator, this role entails co-ordinating, facilitating and speaking at various orientation events. I have served in various capacities in graduate associations at the School of Pharmacy, both as the Vice President, Student Affairs of the Pharmacy Graduate Association (PhGA) and then as PharmClub President.  I have also taken part in the Three Minute Thesis Competition, which partners with GRADventure, and this year I was the Faculty of Science winner. Taking part in 3MT was such a great experience, I encourage everyone to participate in the future! Outside of the academic context I have pursued various volunteer and community-focused interests.  For instance, In 2016 I had the privilege of partnering with the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (Washington, DC), to deliver the official video pitch for a 100 million dollar grant application.

Describe the value of these professional development opportunities and how they have complimented your academic experiences.

Pursuing professional development has such value, and in my personal experience I find it has enriched my graduate experience. The various activities I have been involved in have enhanced my leadership skills, helped me polish key skills like public speaking and overall have given me the opportunity to actively engage on campus and in the community. I would encourage every graduate student to get involved on campus, the University of Waterloo has so much to offer and you, through your involvement, have so much to offer UWaterloo!

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I love to travel and have used educational opportunities as a platform to explore different countries and cultures. I am from Zimbabwe (Southern Africa), I did my undergrad at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and here I am in Waterloo, Canada! I hope to have more opportunities to travel and learn!

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