Pursuing a passion

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Image of smiling woman flanked by flowering trees.

Hanna Hofmeister has always had two main passions: science and the outdoors. She was also an exceptional high school student. It was a combination of these things that brought her to College of the Rockies.

“I knew I was not financially prepared to leave my hometown, where I had a job and the support of my family,” she said. “I was also extremely lucky to receive the Scholastic Distinction Scholarship from the College, which allowed me to complete my Associate of General Science Degree absolutely student debt free!”

Though modestly describing her receipt of the Scholastic Distinction Scholarship as lucky, this particular award only goes to students who have a minimum 85 per cent grade average in their grade 11 and 12 classes. It is the most valuable and prestigious scholarship awarded by the College.

Remaining in Cranbrook to complete her Associate Degree provided Hanna with the opportunity to combine her passion for science and her love of the outdoors. She selected courses like ecology, geology, and vertebrate biology, taking every opportunity she could to incorporate nature into her studies.

After completing two years at the College, Hanna moved on to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) to complete the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Immediately after graduation she accepted a full-time job at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, BC. where she has opportunities to specialize in different types of ultrasound such as obstetrics, musculoskeletal, vascular, and ultrasound-guided procedures. She has also applied to start her Bachelor of Health Science degree, majoring in Health Care Management in summer 2021.

“Life has not panned out as I thought it would, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “I originally planned to work abroad to gain experience before coming back to Canada to further my education and potentially work in research. Since the pandemic hit while I was in the middle of a practicum I decided to stay and reside in Victoria and do my part to reduce the spread of the virus. Though different than I had planned, I’ve found a fulfilling path that allows me to enjoy the adventure-filled lifestyle that Vancouver Island has to offer.”

Hanna aims to complete her degree by 2023 and to eventually work her way up to a management-level position.

Looking back on her post-secondary education, she’s grateful for her time at College of the Rockies.

“My years there were very influential to my personal development as a student, and now as a working professional,” she said. “I hope to inspire women studying, or planning to study, at the College to pursue a science-related field as I have found a rewarding, challenging, yet exciting and invigorating career through my love of science. Through my work, I hope to be a strong advocate of patient-centered care and to set a good example for other sonographers to remove our biases and treat every patient equally and with kindness.”

Learn more about University Studies at College of the Rockies.