Denman Moody smiles while standing in front of green ferns.

Achieving excellence

July 27, 2021
Author: Rachel Stern

Meet this year’s recipient of VIU’s Governor General’s Academic Bronze Medal

Denman Moody was working in Victoria in an industry she didn’t love, and was considering returning to university when a chance encounter with a family friend during a summer camping trip changed the direction of her life.

Her family friend had graduated from Vancouver Island University’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology Diploma program and told her how much he loved the industry and how many opportunities the training opened up for him.

“Originally I didn’t know much about the Fisheries and Aquaculture program, but after looking into it I thought it sounded interesting. I reached out to admissions only 10 days before the course started, and they told me they had one seat left. I took that as a sign that this was something I should do, so I ended up applying and getting in,” says Denman. “My partner, Will, and I packed up our place in Victoria and made the move to Nanaimo. The program has given me so many incredible opportunities and I’m so happy that I did it. I’m so lucky that it worked out the way that it did.”

Denman is this year’s recipient of VIU’s Governor General’s Academic Bronze Medal. The bronze medal is awarded annually to the student who receives the highest academic standing in a two-year diploma program. Denman received bronze for achieving a perfect GPA in her Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology Diploma program.

“It’s really overwhelming to receive an award like this. It’s such a huge honour, and I’m so grateful for it,” she says. “It’s very validating to know that the University recognizes the work I put in, but I wouldn’t be here without the help I received from my friends, family and professors.”

The diploma program also gave Denman the opportunity to work on research with Dr. Timothy Green, Canada Research Chair of Shellfish Health and Genomics and VIU’s Director of the Centre for Shellfish Research. It made Denman realize that she wants to pursue research about our coastal marine ecosystems and how climate change is affecting them. She will be returning to VIU this fall to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree.

“I’ve been really lucky to have been able to work for Dr. Green for the past year and am hoping to continue to work for him periodically throughout my degree,” says Denman, adding that she’s also had the privilege of working with researchers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “I definitely would like to have a future career in marine research, but I’m going to continue to keep my options open and gain as much experience in different areas as I can while in school.”

When she’s not studying, Denman is chasing the waves and enjoying one of her favourite hobbies – surfing. She got into the sport last year and says she plans on spending a portion of her summer in Tofino. 

“I just bought a new board, so my partner and I are really hoping to get out to Tofino soon to spend some time camping, surfing and just relaxing. It’s been a busy year for both of us and we’re really looking forward to some downtime together,” she says.

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