Geary, Caitlin

caitlin geary

Caitlin Geary is an Indigenous alumnus who graduated with her BKIN in May, 2019. While she was an undergraduate student, she started to work in Professor Bill Sheel’s Health and Integrative Physiology Lab the summer before her fourth year, after receiving an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award. She chose to study Kinesiology because it aligned with her interests in health and exercise, and because she was an athlete most of her life. She was the lead author of a recently published peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Physiology that compared diaphragm fatigue between the male and female respiratory system.

Outside of her studies, Caitlin ran with UBC’s track and feld team racing in the 400m and 800m run. “I’ve always enjoyed track because it pushes you physically and mentally. There is always going to be a workout or a race that forces you out of your comfort zone and beyond what you think you are capable of,” she says.

She credits the mentorship and guidance that she has received in the lab as a key to her success: “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have had to work in professor Bill Sheel’s lab. Joseph Welch, one of Bill’s PhD students, mentored me throughout my entire KIN 499 project. I would not have been able to complete the study without his expertise and guidance… [Bill] keeps an open-door policy and is always available to help guide you through challenges.”

To give back to the community that has supported her endeavors, Caitlin is part of YWCA’s Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship Program, where she spends afternoons with Indigenous girls ages 12-18 at their school. When asked about the importance of this program, she says: “The program gives the opportunity for us to explore our culture and help them learn valuable life skills in a safe, supportive environment. There are so many societal expectations about what it looks like to be Indigenous and what you should be good at or interested in as a female…it’s important to me to show them there is no limit to what they can do. You can be Indigenous, do research, get a degree and be an athlete”.