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The stories behind our rising stars

Michael Gregory
Bachelor of Animal Ecology
Planet warrior and poet

"It's stimulating, interesting and exciting. We have already been on two field trips, which make it more real, giving you an upfront picture of what your future might look like.

"I thought it would be a bunch of formal essays and so on, but we use all sorts of technologies to present our work. One we are working on now is a mini-video documentary (aka David Attenborough).

"The lectures are small with about 50 people and tutorials are even smaller with around 20 people. You have easy access to the lecturer. Everyone is super nice, incredibly approachable.

"It’s pretty much animal specific, from segmented worms to blue whales. It’s about their interaction with each other, the environment and the impact of humans on the various species that we share the planet with, particularly threatened species.

"I would like to study an area of the environment that’s not been looked into. Labs are cool, offices are ok, but field work is where it’s at.

"I love everything to do with the outdoors…camping, exploring, and motorbike riding in the bush. I like visiting obscure outback locations too. And on the softer side of me, I also write poetry.

"When I was a little kid, my original dream was to be a Park Ranger or be like Jacques Cousteau. I really believe that we are never too old to realise our dreams.

"I’m a mature age student. So, I am now happy as a pig in a mud wallow."

Brittany Cooley
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
Shining bright, helping kids reach for the stars.

"At 15, we moved to Hong Kong for my Dad’s new job for a commercial airline. I lived there for four years and in the fifth year I moved to mainland China to help set up a school.

"I'd like to go back to Asia, It’s where my heart belongs. In particular, I have a heart for serving in the Philippines.

"I'm involved with an organisation called ‘Kids International Ministries that have children’s homes, schools and ministries in three different areas in the Philippines.

"I want to be able to make a difference in children’s lives. I value how very young children are educated. It’s important that as each child develops they get the love, nurturing and care they need to reach their potential.

"I love people… I love coffee… bring the two together and I love socialising. Some of my best friends I met at USC’s Welcome Party during Orientation while we were standing in line. That night we danced, ate and had heaps of fun.

"I love travel, the outdoors, rock climbing (indoors and outdoors), hiking and camping. I joined Activate on campus in Welcome Week and have already been on camping and rocking climbing adventures."

Christopher Bailey
Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology)
Youth Advocate and modern day Batman

"I always had a certain interest in what makes people tick, and why we do things differently.

"There was no defining moment. I’m a person who reinvents themselves after a mid-life crisis. When someone pointed out to me – a clinical psychologist I was seeing during my own crisis – that I should consider doing psychology because I would be good at it …I went away and really thought about it. That’s when I decided to come to USC.

"Everything I read in my chosen course outlines really excited me, and the required learning materials such as the readings, e-lectures and other recommended learning material I love.

"I would love to develop a drug and alcohol awareness program for the youth. Drugs are the scourge of society, I want the youth to be educated in the detrimental effects surrounding drugs. I want people - young people - to get the most out of their lives.

"I don’t know if I should say it at my age, but my hero is Batman. He is a crime fighter, philanthropist, and was there to help people…they’re good qualities to have. I just don’t want to wear a suit."

Emily Loader
Bachelor of Creative Industries, Major in Serious Games Development
Visual Artist, ready to take on the world…seriously

"I’m heavily into the art side of games…I like creating the worlds within the world of games. I have no prior art training, other than taking Art as a subject at school since Year 7.

"When I was looking into jobs within the gaming industry, I found that a lot of them needed a University degree, which is when I started looking into attending University.

"I came to USC specifically for the program, Serious Games. The tutors are always really good and eager to help. Even before tutorials, they will email saying, "Ask for help if you need it".

"I’m an introvert and don’t like going outside my comfort zone. I had to do a group task last week and I got to know a few people in the course…so I'm getting there.

"I would like to become successful in the Games industry and work as a Games Artist in some of the biggest companies in the world working on some of the biggest games. I’d like to leave my mark, I guess.

"There's a lot of sexism going on in the world of video games. That's something I would want to change."

Erin McLaren
Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Business
A love of Law… pushing limits…and all things musical

"I was, and still am, an extremely curious person by nature, so for me, going to uni was a natural progression. I was never not going to do it. I love learning new things.

"I knew since primary school I wanted to do Law. It fascinated me and presented a good challenge.

"I'm absolutely loving it. It feels so right being here with likeminded people…everyone’s lovely…the teachers are great…it has exceeded my expectations.

"I was worried I would be disadvantaged when it came to being employed, and now I think the opposite. If anything, the smaller class sizes are more efficient and flexible. People live different lives, I have to work…and USC recognises that…something the big universities don't.

"I do want to make a difference whether it be big or small. I don’t know how or where, but that is the end goal – to help others and give back.

"A lot of people don’t realise that as individuals we truly have the ability to do anything we want to do.

"I love simple things… and I love music. It's a whole other world and it takes you to other places. Music is beautiful and complex."

Summer Johnson
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Champion athlete, passionate about learning…and cupcakes

"I specialise in the 100 metres and the 100 metres hurdles. My coach and I have decided the biggest goal is the Commonwealth Games in 2018 on the Gold Coast. I train six days a week for one to two hours a day.

"I chose Occupational Therapy because it is a type of rehab and thought it would be good. I want to meet people. I want to learn and learn new things – every day. I love that.

"You get a new assessment each week. I found it really hard to start assignments. I just thought, "I don’t know what to do!"…but then when I see examples…I think, "Oh, that’s how you do it."" It’s getting easier…I get help to make sure I know how to include the content and in the right way.

"On Mondays and Tuesdays we have our little study group. It’s good so long as I ask questions…the lecturers are very approachable. It’s different to what I expected…but it’s good.

"I love the cafes at USC. It’s good to chill out after lectures and tutorials. I always have a lot on. I like to cook when I get the chance…I like baking and in particular, making cupcakes. I also love socialising."

Shining examples of success

Rowan

Craig

Alise

Anne

Rowan Schindler
Bachelor of Arts 2014
Flight Centre Graduate Program, creative thinker, cricket star

"I don’t like formal education that is by the book because not everyone learns that way. I’m a lot more of an alternative or creative thinker, which means I like to go ahead, wreck the place, make mistakes and go back and learn from my mistakes rather than get it right the first time. So, I had a rough time at school.

"I chose USC because I like a more hands on personal approach where you can talk to lecturers, have coffee with them and call them if you need help.

"I did a lot of research. I saw overseas that universities were a lot smaller and I think that that creates better education.

"I was asked to do an industry project on entrepreneurship at USC. I was in journalism and I had no right to be in it, but the teachers obviously said, “Let’s try something different.” I launched an App there. It was the coolest part of my university education, being in a project as part of things being studied.

"USC really brought out my outgoing side out a lot more. A friend and I created the Outdoor Club at USC and I think that really helped.

"On the educational side, I got a lot out of it. I got a lot of opportunities I probably wouldn’t have got given at other universities. I made my best friends and my best contacts as well through university."

Craig Brauer
Actor, student and humanitarian

"The best day of my life was the day I got the USC offer. I didn't even recognise I had this ahead of me. If you dream about the biggest thing you want to be, it'll be the choices you make that will lead you there. I wake up each day and wonder what the day will bring.

"In my USC course I get lots of feedback from lecturers that has helped tweak and fine tune my work and who I am. I have become someone I didn't think I'd become, in a very positive sense. I am more confident, out-going. It's unlocked who I am, shown me my potential.

"I have met and hang around with people who are my people, people I want to know for the rest of my life. I had trouble at school, trying to fit in, always thinking of what image I had to have. At USC, that's stopped and I don't care anymore about the negative things people think.

"I met my wife here at USC and she does Biomedical Science and is learning about diseases and I have learnt things from her. It's funny how I married someone interested in that. I would like to build disease research centres in third world countries where they really need it."

Alise Thomas
Maths wizard and Quidditch Captain

"I came to USC wanting to be a High School maths teacher and made the realisation that I could be a University Lecturer in Mathematics.

"It was a great moment to teach my first tutorial, but even better when I got a one-off chance to do my first university lecture a couple of weeks ago. I taught first year trigonometry at USC.

"This was the first of hundreds of lectures ahead of me that I will give ... a real milestone.

"This is why I love USC. It's a smaller university, a special place, where more opportunities are made available to you, where you are nurtured and have a chance to stand out from the crowd.

"My hero is Brian May, the lead guitarist from Queen. He’s also an astrophysicist who has devoted himself to animal welfare. He’s Vice President of the RSPCA, does research, and writes books about astrophysics and the history of the universe ... he has an incredible life.

"I also love Leonard Euler – he’s my favourite mathematician. I have his formula tattooed on my wrist. It’s called 'Euler’s Identity' and it's known as the Famous Five Equation because it brings all of mathematics together. They are the 'bad ass numbers of mathematics'."

Anne Rees
Professor of Law

"I was contemplating retirement but the opportunity to set up a new Law School was irresistible. We want to bring law to life by showing students what it really means to be a lawyer.

"Clinical law is what this university seeks to create skills and knowledge in. Clinical law means knowing what to do when you actually see the whites of someone's eyes: knowing what questions to ask. So we put our students in front of real people as soon as possible.

"We have chosen to be a small school so we can give students access into the legal community. No other law school in Queensland does what we do, and we do it in our first semester. Clinical law is a foundation subject and every student needs to attend the Sunshine Coast Community Legal Centre.

"For us it is about connecting with the profession. The Sunshine Coast Community Legal Centre has extraordinarily deep roots into the community. It provides legal advice to people who can't afford it, who don’t know where to go, don't know their rights. Our students may take on a whole matter. There are around 300 lawyers on the coast and each of them has, at some time, committed to the centre."

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