OP1 student to fast-track science degree at USC

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OP1 student to fast-track science degree at USC

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Published on 4 February 2013

4 February 2013

Mountain Creek teenager Veda Malpress is fast-tracking her scientific career in helping endangered animals by enrolling in an accelerated Honours program at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Veda, 16, gained an OP1 at Mountain Creek State High School last year and is keen to begin her Bachelor of Science (Accelerated) at USC later this month.

She has been accepted into the University’s Dean’s Scholars Program for high-achieving science students and is likely to finish her Honours degree well before she turns 20.

The prospect of doing four years of study in three years does not faze Veda, who earned the Principal’s Commendation Award at her school for maintaining the highest academic achievement across Years 11 and 12.

Veda said her childhood desire to become a veterinarian changed recently when she decided that threatened native species in the wild needed her help more than pampered pets in suburbia.

“Animals are my passion,” she said. “Ever since I was five I wanted to be a vet. But then I realised that I wasn’t as interested in looking after cats and dogs as being outside studying native animals.

“The Dean’s Scholar Program at USC offered the perfect doorway into the field of work that I want to get into. There are so many options and field opportunities, especially in helping save the environment and endangered species.

“I’d also like to contribute to the eradication of feral species and maybe assist in the conservation of endangered species worldwide through the World Wildlife Fund.”

Veda said she chose to study at USC so she could continue enjoying the laid-back Sunshine Coast lifestyle and because of the university’s reputation for having academics who care.

“I didn’t want to be just a number at a bigger university,” she said. “I like the fact that USC is a smaller university, that it’s easy to navigate around and is close to home.”

USC’s Orientation Week will be held from 18-22 February before Semester 1 starts on Monday 25 February.

Terry Walsh

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