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2024 BSA Award Recipients!

Updated: May 6

This year, the BSA awards recognized outstanding Biological Sciences students in four areas of achievement. These excellent individuals were selected amongst several other competitive applicants for their exceptional work in their respective categories. Keep reading to learn more about this year's award recipients and their stories!

Katie Moyes

Undergraduate Research Award Recipient

Katie is an undergraduate student at the University of Calgary who will be entering her fourth year of her degree in biological sciences in the fall of 2024. She is passionate about research, specifically in the field of animal health and wildlife, and hopes to continue research beyond her undergraduate degree. Last summer, she completed a project in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine assessing the factors associated with the variation in strongyle parasite infections in Alberta's domestic horses. Since then, she has continued as a part-time research assistant, where she has had the opportunity to complete tasks related to various projects ranging from equine health to wildlife genetics. During the upcoming summer, Katie intends to take on a full-time role as a research assistant/ lab technician. She will be engaged in several conservation and wildlife projects, one of which involves conducting fieldwork on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, throughout the month of July. Her focus will be on collecting data for the long term study on the ecology, evolution, and conservation of the island's horse population.

Karnik Gupta

Innovation Award Recipient

Karnik is a first-year honours Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology major and this year's recipient of the BSA Innovation Award. Over the past few years, he has dedicated countless hours to supporting diverse communities across Alberta. From the Indigenous community at the Eden reserve, a part of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, to seniors and vulnerable individuals at local hospitals in Calgary, and through programs like the Canadian Red Cross friendly callers and the local food bank, Karnik has demonstrated a deep commitment to helping those in need.

Through his experiences, Karnik identified a common challenge faced by many - affordability, affecting people's quality of life, particularly those with mobility or health issues unable to work and provide for themselves and their families. To address this issue, Karnik took a personal initiative and developed an app "Medidonate" to improve access to medical supplies for those in need. As a solo founder, he has already partnered with local medical supply stores to support his initiative. The app is currently in the beta testing stage and undergoing necessary legal processes for publication on the App Store, with availability already on the Google Play Store.

Karnik's vision extends beyond the app's launch; he aims to build a team and expand "Medidonate" into a national not-for-profit platform. His goal is to create a space where people can freely exchange medical equipment without financial constraints, enabling individuals to manage their health needs more effectively and live without unnecessary pain or limitations, improving everyone’s quality of life.

Aastha Sharma

Leadership Award Recipient

Aastha is a 4th year student concentrating in the Biological Sciences program under Natural Sciences. Throughout her degree she's contributed in the international and science mentorship program, helping students navigate through their degrees. Her engagement as a Science Ambassador for the past two years, a role facilitated by the Faculty of Science, has allowed her to give an opportunity to support her peers through mentorship and community building opportunities.

During her initial year as a Science Ambassador, Aastha contributed to the Experiential Learning Team, assisting to student professional development, and supporting the Science Internship Program; alongside undergoing data analysis to advance the science student experience. This year, she is involved with the Community Engagement Team, focusing on student life and well-being. Notably, she played a vital role as student panelist at the You at UCalgary event, answering questions from over 150+ prospective students, showcasing her dedication to supporting others.

Outside university, Aastha has contributed significantly to the local community, particularly as a Community Relations Administrator at a therapy center in Calgary, facilitating connections with special education institutions. She balances her academic commitments with active involvement in university clubs, ranging from humanitarian/non-profit to academic and cultural and as well as partaking in volunteer activities in non-profit organizations. Aastha believes in the importance of helping and supporting others. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to make a difference in her community and is committed to continuing her efforts.

Paige Babin

Community Involvement Award Recipient

Paige Babin is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology. Within the university community, she acts as Vice President for Unload UCalgary, a club that addresses mental health and eating disorders. She is also Junior Executive of the Pre-Veterinary Students' Association (PVSA), and is a member of the Ambassadors Club, which focuses on community volunteerism and scholarship outreach. Paige is also involved in a Scholars Academy Service Project, which is bringing a Little Free Library initiative to university students. In her community, Paige volunteers as a Dog Caregiver at AARCS, and brings her figure skating passion to learn-to-skate and wellness initiatives around Calgary. Paige hopes to attend veterinary school in the future.

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