Rising Star – Certificate of Excellence

Introduce yourself: who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I’m Liisa, I’m a PhD candidate in the Translational Integrative Physiology Lab. I’ve also taught anatomy, neuroanatomy, and histology to first- and second-year medical students at the Southern and Frasier Valley campuses of UBC medicine. I am also a kindergarten to grade 3 science teacher at the Balsam school and a wrestling coach.

What is CAME Rising Star award?
The Canadian Association for Medical Educators Rising Star Certificate of Excellence Award is an award given to a medical student, resident, and graduate student from every medical school for demonstrating passion and commitment to medical education. I have been fortunate enough to be nominated and win for UBC across all 4 campuses.

What about educating youth in medicine speaks to you?
I originally started teaching because I thought it was a great way to make myself learn neuroanatomy in great detail for my own work. While I certainly had to do that to be an effective teacher, I wound up being more excited when students would ask me questions, I didn’t know the answer to because it’s an opportunity to learn something new I had never considered before. This actually happens just as often when I teach kindergarteners as when I teach medical students!

What does this recognition mean to you personally and professionally?
I try to do my best at every task I am given, but for the effort to be noticed by your boss is always a good feeling! Dr. McCorquodale is an important role model in teaching and leadership for me. To be her nominee for this award is the highest honour to me. I am very proud to represent the CCDPM, SMP and UBC as both an educator and grad student.

What are your future aspirations?
I’d really like to finish my PhD! I think I will always do something that has to do with science communication and education, whether that be in academia, industry, or government.


Story and video by the CCDPM Trainee Engagement Committee.