Chemistry student Emily Lieuwen wins the 2015-16 Provost Award

Emily Lieuwen wins the 2015-16 Provost Award

From left to right: Valerie Kuehne, VP Academic and Provost; Tracy David, Head Coach of Women's Soccer; Emily Lieuwen; Rob Lipson, Dean of Faculty of Science

Chemistry student Emily Lieuwen takes the Provost Award Last week, UVic held its annual Vikes Honour Roll Luncheon to celebrate student-athletes who achieved a GPA of 6.6 or higher during the 2015-16 school year. We are proud to see so many Science students on the Vikes Honour Roll!

Emily Lieuwen, a third-year Chemistry for the Medical Sciences student, received the additional honour of the Provost Award. This award is given to the UVic Varsity athlete with the highest academic average for the year. With an 8.8 GPA and a mid-fielder known for excelling on defense, Lieuwen balances academia and athletics extraordinarily well. We caught up with her between classes and practice to learn more about how she maintains such high standards in both of her passions.

Congratulations on winning the Provost Award! What was your reaction when you found out?

Emily: I found out when everyone else did at the luncheon, and I was shocked. This campus is massive and even among the varsity athletes there’s so many of us, so to actually have won – that is pretty crazy. It’s one thing to see my grades on a piece of paper, but to be acknowledged in that high of a fashion is amazing. I’m super thankful and excited that my hard work paid off.

Why did you decide to come to UVic?

Emily: I had a lot of financial support at UVic through academics and athletics, so that helped me make my decision. Also, I like that in Victoria I’m just far away enough from home that I can live on my own, but if I want to go home to Ladner, I jump on a ferry. I love my decision. I would not have gone anywhere else. UVic feels like a community. I see people I know walking from class to class in a way I don’t think I would in a bigger university.

And How did you decide on the Chemistry for the Medical Sciences Program?

Emily: I started my degree in Biology, because I love learning about human systems and how the body works. In high school, I never got super excited about Chemistry. But when I took Organic Chemistry, I really enjoyed it. That might seem weird, but I loved the reactions. I have lists of all the different reactions and I enjoy memorizing them and drawing the molecules. I love knowing what’s going to happen in a reaction.

The Chemistry in the Medical Sciences Program lets me take chemistry, but it gives me the prerequisites that I need to get into veterinary medicine, which is my end goal. I can take courses that I am interested in like microbiology, and then take electives on top of that.

With exam time around the corner, what are your study tips?

Emily: I kind of knew in high school that I’m a visual and hands-on learner, but I had to really apply it in university. I like to annotate on the slides during lectures. Then when I go to study, I rewrite all my notes and redraw everything. This year I’ve been using flashcards, which I’ve never done before. It’s one thing to write out your notes and read them over, but with flashcards, you can go back and test yourself.

What are your favourite spots on campus?

Emily: For studying I like the third floor of ECS. The quiet blocks are so nice for studying. Other than that, CARSA.

What do you find is the toughest thing about being a university student?

Emily: There’s so much that I want to do, but I can’t fit it all in. When I have soccer and am taking 5 courses every term, there’s not a lot of time. There are so many student clubs and co-op and events, but I don’t have the time. It’s hard to be a part of all of the things that you want to be a part of, because there aren’t enough hours in a day.

Emily Lieuwen playing soccerWhat advice would you give to a first-year student?

Emily: I would say the number one thing is time management. I know a couple of people who didn’t play sport at university even though they had the opportunity, because they didn’t think they could manage the two. But if you managed to do sport at a high-level in high school, you already know time management. I find that soccer keeps me on track, because there’s not a lot of free time to Netflix and procrastinate. I try to fit all my classes and labs during the day. Then I head home, get some food and head out to training. Then it’s home, dinner, homework and bed basically. There is some downtime, where I just need to just relax. But mostly, I’m always on it.

More generally, I think you just need to be kind of open and say, 'I think I like these things, but I’m going try other things as well.' I did well in certain classes that I didn’t think I would have. Even if you think you know what you like, you are here, you might as well expand your horizons, you might as well try it out.

Thanks for your time and congratulations!