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Made by finding my thing

Jessica Ford, BSc’17

President and co-founder, Graduate Student Association of the Redpath Museum (GARM)
Chair and co-founder, STEMM Diversity @ McGill

Jessica Ford

Early in my undergrad, I wasn’t sure I fit in at McGill, and felt rather lost. Once I started taking classes for my Natural History minor, however, I really found a home and a community in the Redpath Museum.

I felt supported and welcomed, and was able to thrive and jump on new opportunities. It seemed like everyone in that building had a thing – a subject that they passionately knew almost everything about – at least that’s how I thought it worked as an undergrad – and I wanted to be part of that.

I was fortunate to undertake many museum-related opportunities, volunteering at the McGill Herbarium, volunteering and interning at the Ecomuseum Zoo, doing research in the Redpath Museum basement and the Canadian Museum of Nature, and doing an undergraduate research project in Long Point, Ontario. I loved it all so much that I stayed, and my undergraduate research grew into my master’s research, which I fast-tracked into my PhD.

I’m having the time of my life doing my research and am proud to say that I have found my thing: herpetology, ecosystems, and conservation. I’m equally passionate about promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in science – I want science to be accessible to all.