meet donovan wyand, fourth-year kinesiology student
upei's students are making an impact on campus, here in canada, and around the world!
why did you choose the kinesiology program at upei?
lots of reasons, really. i didn’t have the income to move off-island, i wanted to stay close and connected to my friends and family, i was going to play for the upei men's soccer team, and because i knew upei had great science programs.
i chose kinesiology because i've always had a passion for how the human body functions through physiological and mechanical processes. some say all you learn in kinesiology is how the body moves, but upei's program teaches you how various body systems work, how exercise impacts organ systems on a holistic level, and really explains the science behind it all, which i really enjoy.
what kinds of experiences and opportunities are provided in the program?
upei has provided me with lots of opportunities! i've been able to help out with research projects and get involved in the greater community by speaking with my professors or by reaching out to other groups. in my first year, i approached a professor and was able to volunteer with the upei concussion awareness program, special olympics pei, and the "walk with a doc pei" project. when another professor (travis saunders) began the kinesiology pei association, i was able to connect with him and become the student representative for the group, and created a student chapter of this association on campus.
i've built connections with staff, classmates, and others from all around canada. i performed a directed studies class with copd patients, helped design the exercise portion of a community-based copd program with weekly exercise plans, and attended meetings with other program developers. and, i've worked as an anatomy/physiology lab teaching assistant throughout my degree.
another noteworthy experience has been the opportunity to participate in my honours thesis. my thesis deals with changes to physiological biomarkers in military veterans diagnosed with ptsd related to equine assisted psychotherapy (eap). the goal of this thesis is to identify if the use of eap in treating ptsd has promising results and should be encouraged to be administered as a ptsd treatment option.
how has being a panther athlete contributed to your time as a upei student?
being a panther athlete has taught me a variety of life skills. acquiring time management skills to stay on top of school, juggle daily practices, travel on weekends while also making time for friends and family is an important skill to have and one that i can attribute to being a panther athlete.
i've met some of my best friends and shared some of my fondest university experiences with my teammates. lifelong relationships are fostered through teammates, coaches, and management staff. i’m sure all athletes can agree with me when i say it is an honour to represent upei and a blessing to have the privilege of being a part of the panther family!
i've built connections with staff, classmates, and others from all around canada.
what's the best thing about the kinesiology program at upei?
the best thing about the kinesiology program is probably the professors. they each bring unique attributes to the table: some specializing in sport psychology, others in exercise physiology, biomechanics, health promotion, and laboratory techniques. they're a truly unique cohort of professors—all full of energy and available for anything to help you succeed—i've been able to get to know some of them quite well throughout my time in the program.
what are your plans after graduation?
i have aspirations to attend medical school at some point in the next five years and am looking into potentially obtaining a master’s degree in epidemiology or biomedical engineering first. the next couple of months will shine light on what i do after graduation.
what would you tell a upei student who might be considering the program?
if you're interested in learning about the science of the body, and how exercise, nutrition, and health promotion can impact a person’s life for the better, kinesiology is for you. you'll also learn about how you can impact the community for the better through working within it and using science to help solve every day health issues.