Student journey: Mathieu Chin, research-integrated EL
Mathieu Chin's story
Growing up playing hockey, Mathieu Chin was familiar with sports injuries, experiencing his first of many concussions at 12 years old. At the time of his injury, Dr. Carolyn Emery, MSc'99, PhD, and other researchers from the Sports Injury Prevention Research Centre (SIPRC) at the University of Calgary were studying concussions in youth ice hockey. Emery invited Chin and other players from his team to participate in the study, which sparked an early interest for Chin in learning more about sports injuries and how to prevent them.
Several years later, Chin started his Bachelor of Kinesiology program in biomechanics in 2016 and experienced initial uncertainty in where he wanted to focus his studies and what kind of career he wanted to pursue.
As Chin was experiencing confusion about his degree path, he remembered his previous connection to SIPRC and reached out to Emery, who invited him to take a research assistant position with the Centre. As a research assistant, Chin was responsible for collecting data and, as his tasks unfolded, he learned that he wanted to become more involved in different aspects of conducting research, specifically designing research studies. With Emery’s guidance, Chin examined body-checking policies in ice hockey, and the pair would go on to develop a study to evaluate youth hockey games and the effectiveness of body-checking policies.
The study paved the way for Chin to receive his first studentship from the Markin Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP). He later received an Alberta Innovates studentship and a grant from the National Basketball Association, enabling him to continue his research with SIPRC.
His experiences with conducting research during his undergraduate degree sparked a keen interest in sports-medicine research. Throughout his undergraduate degree, Chin engaged in the Scholars Academy, acted as the Students’ Union Faculty of Kinesiology representative, was the Kinesiology Student Society's vice-president of public relations, and showcased his research at the University of Calgary Students’ Union Research Symposiums.
At a glance: Mathieu's other experiential-learning activities
- Scholars Academy
- Students' Union involvement
- Kinesiology Student Society: vice-president of public relations
My experience with several experiential-learning opportunities has allowed me to make this bridge between course content and practical application. It has allowed me to surround myself with a network of wisdom, equipped me with valuable skills, and allowed me to self-reflect to keep a mindset to stay driven in my pursuits.
Skills for the future
Chin’s experiential-learning journey has built his professional network and driven his interests toward a career in sports medicine. Each experience played a unique role in his development.
As an undergraduate researcher, Chin gave several presentations ranging from small groups to large symposiums. This experience developed and strengthened his public-speaking and writing skills, and amplified his ability to hold insightful and meaningful conversations with the greater academic community.
Benefits of doing research
Research supports students in developing skills and capacities for creativity, innovation and discovery by leading or contributing to a research project. Chin was able to partake in multiple undergraduate research studentships that sparked his passion for sports research. Each experience led him to the next, ultimately paving the way for his pursuit of a career in medicine.
Experiential learning for Kinesiology students
Learning occurs while actively working on problems in class and during labs. Students may gain experience in labs doing research, during study-abroad opportunities and on practicums, where students gain hands-on career-related experiences in a professional setting.
UCalgary’s SIPRC conducts leading research on injury prevention in youth sport and recreation. The Centre is one of 11 research centres supported by the International Olympic Committee. As research assistants, students can work with world-renowned researchers, physicians and high-calibre athletes.
Tips for faculty and staff
Email students about upcoming opportunities and deadlines to spark more involvement, such as information about the Students' Union and Scholars Academy.