University of Calgary

Perfection. Kinesiology graduate excelled in the classroom, on the track

UToday HomeJune 10, 2013

By Don McSwiney

Bridget Pyke will receive a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Physiology during convocation ceremonies at the University of Calgary on Monday, June 10.Bridget Pyke will receive a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Physiology during convocation ceremonies at the University of Calgary on Monday, June 10.There’s graduating with distinction, then there’s graduating with distinction.

When Kinesiology graduate Bridget Pyke crosses the convocation stage today, she will have achieved something very few people have ever done in earning a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Physiology – perfection. Forty half courses, 4.0 cumulative grade point average. That means A or A+ in every single course she took. It’s nothing short of amazing.

“I think amazing is a good word,” says professor Aaron Tubmann, who taught Pyke  KNES 339. “Bridget actually did something that no other student has ever done, she got 100 per cent on one of my mid-term exams. I actually haven’t decided yet if I’m going to make the test harder,” she adds with a laugh.

What makes this feat more amazing is that Pyke is also a varsity athlete, a cross-country runner who competes with the Dinos Track and Field team. Interestingly, she didn’t actually try out for the team – at least, not initially. Pyke was “discovered” by Dinos track head coach Doug Lamont, who spotted her as she was gracefully running laps on the Jack Simpson track during her second year. Lamont invited her to train with the team, and the rest – as they say – is history. Pyke formally tried out for the team the following year and made the squad.

“Bridget is one of the most conscientious and dedicated athletes I have had the opportunity to work with,” Lamont says with enthusiasm. “Bridget has shown phenomenal improvement throughout her career as a Dino and has been a great team member, contributing both on and off the track. She’s basically a wonderful person to be associated with!”

Pyke says track and field has been the highlight of her time as an undergrad. “I really enjoyed competing for U of C. The people on the team are so great. Almost immediately I had so many new friends, and everyone made me feel so welcome. Just getting to compete at the varsity level was such a unique experience. I never planned that to be part of my university experience, so it was just such a surprise to make the team, and travel across Canada. It was so great!”

As Pyke laid waste to the faculty-grading curve, she also took advantage of Kinesiology’s extensive practicum program to get a feel for future careers. It was during a practicum in Kinesiology’s Sport Medicine Centre that she found an occupation she really enjoyed. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to after my undergrad, so Monika Del Rizzo, the Kinesiology practicum co-ordinator, set up a job shadow with physiotherapist Dave Lindsay. I had no idea of how great an experience it would be.” The experience led Pyke to apply to masters programs in physiotherapy, before eventually choosing to study at the University of Western Ontario.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Pyke is her self-effacing manner. “I dunno,” she says with a laugh, as she reflects on her academic record, “I guess I’m just a big nerd.” The self-proclaimed “big nerd” is the winner of Kinesiology’s Gold Medal, awarded annually to the graduating student with the “highest distinction in scholarship.” Pyke was also awarded the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiologists undergraduate award for academic excellence.


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