Alumnus Matthew Glover bugs out over a world-class education in animal biology that’s right in his hometown
August 22, 2016
Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)
Master of Science in Biology, UBC Okanagan (2015)
Bachelor of Science with Honours in Zoology, UBC Okanagan (2013)
“I went from feeling like ‘I have to go to that class’ to ‘I get to go to that class!’ ”
THERE IS SOMETHING TO BE SAID about being in the right place at the right time.
Matt Glover can certainly attest to that. The self-professed bug fanatic was living in Kelowna and on the verge of graduating from high school when Zoology was added to UBC Okanagan’s academic programming.
Glover says the program was a perfect fit and the university’s location, just a few kilometres from home, was ideal.
“I’d always had a passion for animals so it was either going to be bugs, sharks, or dinosaurs I studied and there aren’t any sharks here—or dinosaurs, for that matter—so I worked with what I had,” he says.
Six years later, Glover graduated from UBC with a Masters of Science (MSc) in Biology and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Zoology with Honours and is now poised for a fulfilling career doing what he loves.
But he admits that university was more challenging than he first expected. After graduating in the top of his graduation class in high school, Glover had to “step up his game” at UBC Okanagan and apply himself in ways he hadn’t before. By the second half of his second year he was taking Zoology classes. It made a profound difference.
“It was easier to stay focussed and learn because I was taking something I was passionate about as opposed to a course I wasn’t that interested in. I went from feeling like ‘I have to go to that class’ to ‘I get to go to that class!’ ”
EMBRACING EVERY OPPORTUNITY
Attending a close-knit campus where small classes are the norm made all the difference, he says.
“One of the advantages of a small campus is, once you get up into third and fourth year and are in a 20-person class, you can have a totally different relationship with your professor—you can learn so much more.
“Having one-on-one conversations with professors in and out of the classroom is common.”
Having the opportunity to teach labs and take part in research into pesticide resistance in mosquitoes while still an undergrad was another unique opportunity that Glover enjoyed.
“I loved teaching, especially when its something I’m passionate about.”
Glover spent summers as an undergrad in the Rheault Lab for Insect Molecular Physiology, working under Associate Professor Mark Rheault.
He continued working with Rheault and Chemistry Professor Susan Murch while completing his master’s degree, and won several awards and fellowships including the NHPRS Water’s Award and University Graduate Fellowships valued at more than $10,000. Glover also placed first in a research poster presentation category at the Undergraduate Research Conference.
—by Anne-Rachelle McHugh