UFV Today: Governor General’s silver medal 2022: Heather Kelly discovers a passion for healing through research

Article by Gerald Narcisco, June 14, 2022

Trying to catch Heather Kelly can be a bit tricky. It seems the UFV Biology standout student and soon-to-be graduate is always on the go, spreading her knowledge and passion for scientific research with the world.

Immediately after she was able to squeeze in an interview in early June, she was off to the UFV Undergraduate Research Excellence Awards, where she gave an inspiring speech on behalf of all students being honoured that night.

Kelly was recognized for a $6,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) award to fund her fall research and $1,000 research excellence award for biology. The next day, she flew out to San Diego to attend a conference to present the inventive fish cell line research she has been helping work on for the past three years.

And when she is not speaking at conferences or excelling in the classroom (she maintained a near perfect 4.32 GPA), she is busy with her multiple extracurricular hobbies. There’s the Biology and Chemistry Student Association where she is the academic vice president; the Student Leisure Outdoor and Wilderness Club where she is president and organized hikes regularly; and the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley where she is a mentor to a teenage girl.

Even Kelly doesn’t know where she finds the time.

“I don’t know! I find that I actually don’t have too much free time,” Kelly says with a laugh. “But I still make sure to do the things that I enjoy or that motivate me, whether that is volunteering, conducting research, or spending time outdoors with friends and family.”

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