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Darby Goodall, Science alumni, standing in front of the Administration Building in a black dress holding photos of her running accomplishments

Darby Goodall, 2023 Faculty of Science alumni

Science on track: the inspiring journey of a recent statistics graduate

Embracing the unknown and finding community at UM

June 12, 2023 — 

Thinking you have to figure out every step in the first term at university? Think again! Darby Goodall, a recent graduate student in department of statistics from the Faculty of Science, talks about her journey at UM and how she found community through UM track and field team. 

Congratulations on your graduation! Could you share a pivotal moment or experience that inspired your passion for your field of study? 

There have been so many experiences throughout my undergrad that have inspired my passion for statistics. The combination of wonderful, caring professors, welcoming classmates, becoming a teaching assistant, mentoring younger students, and enjoying the learning process have all shaped me as a student and inspired my passion. 

Which resources, such as laboratories, libraries or specialized equipment, have been particularly beneficial to your learning and growth?

I often found myself studying on the 4th floor of the science library. This quiet space made it easy for me to stay focused. 

Professors play a crucial role in students’ academic development. Can you highlight any professors who have had a significant impact on your journey?  

Dr. Leblanc has been an incredible mentor for me throughout my undergrad. He was always willing to help me understand concepts and played a huge role in helping me figure out that statistics was my passion. I am so thankful for everything Dr. Leblanc has done for me thus far and I am very excited to continue studying with his guidance for my Masters’s degree.

Portrait of Darby Goodall science alumni in a mauve dress

Darby Goodall 2023 Faculty of Science alumni in Statistics

Have you been involved in any science-related or University-related clubs? If so, how have those experiences impacted your time at the University as a student?

I was a member of the University of Manitoba track and field team throughout my undergrad. Being a part of this team gave me a support system of like-minded people who could help me balance the stress of school and competing on the track. The Bison track and field program has shaped me into the individual I am today, and I will forever be grateful to all the people who make that program possible.

Can you discuss any specific challenges you faced during your academic journey and how you overcame them?

When I started university, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study so I got direct entry into science and took a variety of classes. It took me a while to figure out what to study, which was really challenging since many people I knew seemed to have everything figured out. Eventually, I realized that I was most interested in my statistics classes and that’s how I settled on my degree.

Have you had the opportunity to collaborate with students or researchers from other science disciplines? How has this interdisciplinary experience influenced your understanding of your field?

I took a few computer science courses which gave me some much-needed experience with coding and allowed me to interact with professors and students from that department. This experience helped me better understand the amount of detail and effort that goes into computer programs.

As you prepare to embark on the next phase of your journey, what advice would you give to incoming students at the Faculty of Science?

The biggest thing I would say to new students is that it’s okay to not know what you want to do. Explore and try to find something that you are passionate about even if it’s something different from your friends or different from what you originally thought you would study.

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