Meet Jeanna McCuaig

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Jeanna McCuaig earned her Honours Bachelor of Science with Co-op from the University of Waterloo, and her Masters of Science in Genetic Counselling from the University of Toronto. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science, and is a Genetic Counsellor at the University Health Network. In her spare time, she participates as an endurance athlete in marathons, and ironman competitions, and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

When did your love of STEM begin?

As a kid, I remember being OBSESSED with logic problems. I would go through books of logic puzzles for fun. In math class, when other kids dreaded the unit on "word problems", I got excited. I loved being able to pick out the important details and methodically use them to answer a bigger question. So in high school, when I finally learned about genetics and how one small detail could cause a whole genetic syndrome, I knew I was hooked.

What is the best part about working in the field of STEM?

It is never boring! There is always something new to learn and a new problem to solve. Advances in genetic technologies have improved our understanding of genetic diseases and at the same time forced us to question what we thought we already knew.

What advice would you give young women interested in a career in STEM?

 Don't be afraid to say yes. Don't be afraid to try something new. Don't be afraid if you realize you don't like it and don't be afraid if you realize that you do. I thought I wanted to work in a lab, until I worked in a lab. I didn't think that I wanted to work in a hospital until I did.

ScienceMathuri Mayakrishnan