“Because of my exposure to various faculty members throughout the program, I realized that my true passion was in knowledge creation through research.”
Brandon Gheller earned his Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition (MScAHN) from the Mount in 2014. In his thesis, he studied the effects of snack foods on overweight and obese boys. This study represents a culmination of a growing scientific curiosity—one that was born out of a search for his true academic passion.
When Brandon first began his university studies, he wasn’t quite sure where he was headed. He was enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program, and he knew he wanted to pursue a graduate degree, but he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to study, so he took a variety of courses, “trying to figure out where my passion was,” as he puts it.
Ultimately, he decided to pursue a science degree “because of the focus on how things work at the smallest levels,” he says. “This interest in science and a growing interest in food and its ability to impact the human body’s performance and composition made the Applied Human Nutrition program an obvious choice.” And so Brandon enrolled in the BSc AHN program at the Mount. After he earned his Bachelor’s degree, he decided to go on to the MSc AHN program.
A Passion for Research
When he began his studies, Brandon planned to use his degree to work in sports nutrition, counseling athletes. However, working with the faculty members in the Mount’s Applied Human Nutrition program made him discover a passion for research. This passion, along with the support Brandon received from the department and the university, allowed him to travel extensively during his studies, researching and presenting his findings at national and international conferences, following the latest research developments in the field, and networking with researchers at other institutions.
“Strong support from the school, department, and my supervisor allowed me to travel to Boston, San Diego, Quebec City, St. John’s and Ottawa to present my research and watch the presentations from other graduate students and some of the best active researchers in the field.”
Accessible Faculty Members
Now that Brandon has earned his MScAHN, he plans to continue his studies as a doctoral student in nutritional physiology. He credits his professors and mentors with helping him come to this decision.
“The faculty in the AHN department is so accessible that you’re able to get an idea of what a career in academia in a nutrition department looks like,” he tells us. And that is an opportunity that Brandon recommends to others without hesitation.