Science career on fast track for OP2 student

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Science career on fast track for OP2 student

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Published on 13 February 2014

A Peregian Beach teenager who topped her Year 12 Biology class last year is set to fast-track her scientific career after gaining a place in an accelerated Honours program at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Makeely Blandford, who turned 17 in December after gaining an OP2 from Sunshine Beach State High School, said she was excited to be accepted into USC’s Deans Scholars Program to condense a four-year Science Honours double degree into three years.

“I’ve always had an interest in science, particularly biology and chemistry, and I heard this program offers fantastic opportunities and can lead to many fields,” she said.

“Because it’s accelerated, I can begin a career early. At the moment I’d like a career in medical science but this program will allow me to explore subjects.”

USC Senior Lecturer Dr Mark Holmes said each student in the program was mentored in their area of interest. Disciplines included Biomedical Science, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion.

“Makeely will be one of four Deans Scholars enrolled at USC this year,” he said.

Makeely said she had attended events such as Open Days at USC and chose to enrol at the University because of its good reputation and facilities, quality lecturers, wide course variety, relaxed atmosphere and location close to home.

Makeely, who was second in Year 12 chemistry, said getting an OP2 and her preferred degree were rewards for studying for hours every night of high school.

At Sunshine Beach State High School she received awards for her academic achievement, diligence, cultural and service contributions.

“I was concert master in the school concert band and I play piccolo, flute, violin and piano. I’m involved in community charities to clean up beaches, care for turtles and look after needy people. I also teach dance and music to children.”

Julie Schomberg

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