Cape Breton University has been a part of Kaileigh Rowe’s life since she was a little girl watching Capers games, attending basketball camps over March Break and sliding down the ramps into the cafeteria. When it came time to go to university, Kaileigh said her choice was already made. “The moment I really knew what my future held was when I received the Chancellor’s scholarship,” she says. “That showed me CBU wanted me as a student as much as I wanted to be there!”
Kaileigh enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program at CBU, and will graduate this week with an honours degree in biology. “The biggest highlight for me has been the research I was able to undertake while doing my honours thesis,” Kaileigh explains. “Learning about lab procedures and the theory behind everything was fun, but it was even better getting to put that knowledge to use for my project.”
Despite her passion for the field now, Kaileigh didn’t always know biology was her calling. After her first year at CBU taking a variety of science courses, Kaileigh decided to adjust her schedule to become a biology major. Uncertain of her choice, she tried out a cell and molecular course offered by Dr. Michael Tanchak. “That course showed me that I had made the right decision, 100 per cent,” says Kaileigh. “The experience is completely responsible for kickstarting my love of molecular biology and I’m now looking to work in that field in my future career.”
Kaileigh says her professors at CBU have inspired and encouraged her throughout her program, playing an important role in helping her become the budding scientist she is today. In addition, she says she wouldn’t have made it through without her mom’s cheerful distractions and her dad’s chocolate deliveries.
As she looks toward the future, Kaileigh plans to attend the University of Prince Edward Island to pursue a Master’s in Human Biology. She says the foundation of skills she developed at CBU have made her feel prepared to take on this new chapter of her life. “I’m really excited to see what the future holds but Cape Breton will always be my home,” says Kaileigh. “And the Capers will always be the team I root for!”
To those considering a degree at CBU, Kaileigh’s advice is to take advantage of the close-knit community and get to know your professors. “One of the best things about CBU is being more than just a student ID to your professors,” she says. “They can be so helpful and really make the university experience much better and easier.”
As Kaileigh prepares to cross the stage on Thursday, she says she is proud of each and every one of her fellow graduates for continuing their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have successfully made it through one of the strangest university experiences ever. Nothing can stop us now!”