Mentor, volunteer, conference organizer, workshop leader and girls in STEM champion. These are just a handful of titles that LMP’s Judy Tran has held outside of her work on the bench, and as of last week, the accolades continue.
On Thursday, March 14, Judy was awarded the CSMLS David Ball Award, dedicated to laboratory professionals who volunteer their time and talent to make a difference in their communities.
“Despite being the youngest recipient to date, Judy has amassed an impressive list of volunteer activities,” says Christine Nielsen, CEO, CSMLS.
Over the last few years, Judy has been actively involved in engaging and mentoring young women in science as well as first year international students at the University of Toronto. She helped fundraise to provide opportunities for vulnerable peoples, has coordinated educational and summit-style events, has participating in community building projects, and serves on multiple committees and Boards alongside volunteering for CSMLS.
“It appears that Judy’s infinite energy has not subsided,” says Michele Allsopp-Downie, Professor, Medical Laboratory Sciences, and one of Judy’s nominators. “Outside of the profession her dedication to education and young people is evident.”
Despite how busy it keeps her, Judy says the more she gets involved, the more encouraged and inspired she is to keep going.
“It’s good for skill development, but it also connects you with people who are different and allows you to learn from them. It exposes you to different stories and perspectives,” she says. “Whenever I hear one of my students/mentees say, ‘I didn’t know that [career path] was an option for me,’ it really is inspiring to know that I’m making a difference.
“The most rewarding part about volunteering has been the human interactions and relationships. Caring about the lives of others reminds you that you are not the centre of the universe,” she adds.
In the constant juggle to balance work, school, teaching, community service and more, Judy says it wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support system she finds wherever she goes.
“Wherever I work or volunteer, I am extremely grateful to be surrounded by people who encourage me and support what I do,” she says.
Congratulations on this well-deserved acknowledgment, Judy! You are truly an example of the impact even one person can have on our community, in the labs and beyond!