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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Former UA biologist speaks about academics, adventure”

    David Bellows, a UA graduate, talks to students about his travels in New Zealand through the Undergraduate Biology Research Program in the Life Sciences building on Thursday.
    David Bellows, a UA graduate, talks to students about his travels in New Zealand through the Undergraduate Biology Research Program in the Life Sciences building on Thursday.

    Former UA student David Bellows lectured Thursday night on how his enrollment at the university led to his current life in New Zealand.

    “”Much of my life has been going from one place to another,”” Bellows said. “”And the point is academics can take you all over the world.””

    Bellows is a lecturer in cellular and molecular biology at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, but began his academic career at the UA as an undergraduate student and member of the Undergraduate Biology Research Program. Thursday’s lecture highlighted Bellows’ career, which took him from the UA to John Hopkin’s University, to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and finally New Zealand.

    “”Science is cool,”” said Bellows. “”And science is what has taken me all around the world, from Tucson, to Baltimore, to Toronto, to Wellington.””

    Thursday’s lecture, “”The Accidental Academic: How UBRP Sent Me On a Path to New Zealand and How It Can Send You There Too,”” was organized around a series of five points given to students as advice. The final point, and according to Bellows the most important, was, “”Nothing is impossible. Use your imagination.””

    The lecture was hosted by the Life Sciences South building and was mostly for students in biology or chemistry fields. However, one student, Sonya Wool, a sociology senior, particularly enjoyed it.

    “”I didn’t understand a lot (of what) he was saying,”” said Wool. “”But it was inspiring to hear his story and to hear how his work allowed him to do lots of traveling.”” Wool, who transferred to the UA from the University of Denver, spent a semester abroad in New Zealand and found Bellows’ experiences there relatable.

    “”He spent a lot of time speaking about New Zealand, which I found much more interesting than the biology stuff,”” Wool said. “”Seriously, everyone should go to New Zealand, if it’s the academics that brings you there or not.””

    Though much of Bellows’ lecture was geared toward academics, he stressed on sevetral occasions the importance of doing what you love and being where you love.

    “”It doesn’t matter what is going on in your life, or how much you are being paid, if you cannot stand the place where you live it won’t matter. That is very, very important,”” Bellows said.

    Bellows, who elicited laughs from students on several occasions, focused much of his lecture on his experiences in New Zealand, from hiking, to biking and restaurants where the cast of “”Lord of the Rings”” ate. Bellows’ main concern was not to push students into academics they do not like, but rather to illustrate how an academic life can lead to exciting places, many of which are out of the library, said Bellows.

    Thursday’s lecture was the first of two that Bellows will be leading. The next lecture will be held today at 12:30 p.m. and will focus more on scientific topics.

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