Thompson Rivers University

Bright light and strong leader balances science and music

March 7, 2017

As an on-campus and community-based volunteer, fourth-year chemical biology major Braedon Paul has an action-packed schedule.  Much of Braedon’s connectedness with the community is through music. The singer and guitar player performs weekly sessions and takes requests for Johnny Cash classics at Chartwell Retirement Residence. Braedon also facilitates Music for the Mind at the Kamloops Brain Injury Association, which reintroduces music to those dealing with brain injuries.  “This program is flexible; some come for a guitar lesson, and others come for a music hang out ‘sesh.’ Either way, the therapeutic qualities of music remain steadfast.”

Musical interventions benefit both mental and physical wellness, and the educational aspects are undeniable. “I love science and appreciate the scientific elements behind the music.  There is an integral learning process—from rhythm to timing to learning a chord to hand placement to strumming—it’s a lot of multi-tasking.”

Braedon spends most Friday evenings at Nights Alive with the Boys and Girls Club. “It’s a cool, safe place for 13 to 17-year-olds. There are movies, pizza, games—and music of course,” he laughed.

With aspirations for a “career on the frontlines of medicine,” Braedon volunteers at Royal Inland Hospital. “I wanted to see if I could handle it and to see if I’d like it. I really did. I thrive on the challenges of medical problem-solving.”

As for his work with the Biology Undergrads Society (BUGS) and Supplemental Learning (SL), Braedon said, “Elizabeth Templeman always says ‘you learn what you teach,’ and it’s true. In SL there are opportunities to re-educate yourself and apply that knowledge in other courses. It’s quite humbling to relearn a subject.”

Elizabeth, the Supplemental Learning Coordinator, described Braedon as a “bright light and a strong SL leader.”

With a schedule like Braedon’s, organization and time management are essential. Braedon believes in taking advantage of every available moment often challenging himself with a flash card app on his phone while standing in line for coffee or waiting at the bus stop. “Every second counts,” he said.   “Also, it’s wise to vary learning styles and take pressure off the process. In SL, we have fun with learning through games such as Jeopardy, Head-bandz and Trivial Pursuit.”

The Study Abroad Ambassador also spent a year studying biology at Plymouth University in England. “I encourage others to take advantage of all available opportunities,” Braedon said.

Above all, Braedon loves to promote the love of science and music; he welcomes any opportunity to share the highlights and benefits of communicating, growing, learning, travelling and teaching.


For more information about Supplemental Learning

For more information about Science Clubs

For more information about volunteering

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