Taylor Bujaczek is one of nine students being recognized with a Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence – each school or faculty’s highest academic honour.

Grad looks to science to transform heartbreaking situations into hopeful ones

November 16, 2018 | Science
One of my third-year profs said he thought I had the chops for research, and that I should at least try an independent study. Until then, I hadn’t even considered research. I didn’t think I was smart enough for it.

It was definitely challenging, but I pushed through and realized I could do it. And that experience started a whole chain of events – researching microplastics in the North Saskatchewan, stormwater ponds in Edmonton and stormwater drains in Calgary. It was exciting and challenging and rewarding. I learned a ton, I presented at conferences and even figured out what I want to study for my master’s thesis.

I’m interested in how we, as humans, affect the organisms in our environments – organisms we might not even know are there. What happens if a tiny invertebrate ingests a tiny piece of plastic? Does it matter? What if those tiny pieces of plastic have absorbed toxins? What are the implications for the rest of the food chain? There isn’t a lot of research into this in freshwater environments. They’re big questions, and the answers matter.

I would love to play a part in changing things for the better – to take something I find so heartbreaking and find a way to make it hopeful.

– Taylor, Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences and Dean’s Medal of Academic Excellence recipient 


Fall 2018 Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence recipients


The Dean’s Medal is each faculty or school’s highest academic honour. Each dean may award one medal to a graduating student in a certificate or diploma program and one medal to a graduating student in a degree program. Medal recipients are recognized by the dean for their exemplary success in meeting the learning challenges and academic requirements of their programs of study.

  • Taylor Amanda Bujaczek, Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences

  • Mackenzie Ann Brown, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care

  • Tia Lise Ginet, Perioperative Nursing for Registered Nurses Post-Diploma Certificate

  • Alexa Fay Golden, Bachelor of Communication Studies, Professional Communication

  • Madeline Judith Hubbard, Accounting and Strategic Measurement Diploma

  • Jimmy Tran Pham, Hearing Aid Practitioner Diploma

  • Warren Derek Lu, Bachelor of Commerce, Management

  • Kia Valdez-Bettcher, Design Studies Diploma

  • Bobbie Marie Voigt, Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing



Meet the Fall Class of 2018

Studying microplastics, blending history and theatre, reducing reoffending, dreaming of a Nepalese gallery – these are just some of our grads’ big plans. Meet more members of the  Fall Class of 2018.  

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