When Dr. Jon Doan (PhD '06) moved to Lethbridge in 2002 to pursue his PhD in neuroscience at the U of L, he never imagined he'd found a permanent home. Now, 10 years later, he's so much a part of the U of L community he can't imagine being anywhere else.
"I came here because of the neuroscience department," explains Doan, who is originally from St. Thomas, Ont. "The PhD program was new at the time and I was excited about the research opportunities presented by a multi-disciplinary approach."
What started in his PhD program has evolved into a rewarding career.
Combining his interest in neuroscience and kinesiology, Doan's research centres on movement and has practical implications in areas ranging from Parkinson's Disease research to occupational health and safety.
"As a student here, I developed effective relationships and worked on really interesting research questions," says Doan, who accepted a faculty position at the U of L in 2005 in order to further pursue these opportunities. "I have a strong network of patients, caregivers and colleagues here, and I can see my work being applied in meaningful ways."
The rest, as they say, is history. Doan teaches classes in the department of kinesiology and physical education and he continues to expand his research program. He is also an active member of the campus community.
"I have really benefitted from the opportunities to get involved on campus," says Doan. "There are so many ways to meet people and be part of a community here that if you're willing to get involved, you can do just about anything."
Doan's engagement started when he was a student but he argues that his university experience didn't end there.
"I loved being a student and still enjoy being on campus and getting involved in campus life," says Doan, who is a proud supporter of Pronghorn Athletics. "I think it's important for people like me who have enjoyed and continue to enjoy their involvement with the University to find simple but meaningful ways to help others enjoy it too. That's why I give to Supporting Our Students."
Maybe it's his background in kinesiology, but Doan likens the U of L community to a team and argues everyone is a key player.
"We all have a responsibility to support other members of the team," explains Doan, who shows his team spirit by contributing to SOS, the annual internal campaign to raise money for student awards.
"I enjoyed my time here as a student and continue to enjoy my association with the U of L. I want to help other people to come out and get involved."
Doan sees the impact of his support extending beyond the University.
"The SOS campaign is an opportunity for me and my family to contribute to the broader community," says Doan. "By supporting students now, we're helping them become better citizens later."
For more information on Supporting Our Students, or to make a donation today, visit www.uleth.ca/giving or call 403-329-2582.
This story first appeared in the December 2011 issue of the Legend. If you'd like to see the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.