Lina Roa

Lina Roa

2009-2010 AWSN Scholarship

Janice Richardson


Program: 5th year, Biomedical Science, Bachelor of health Science, University of Calgary

Age: 21

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia - then Calgary

Career Aspiration: “ I would like to go into either Medicine or Research, specializing in Immunology”


Lina is no stranger to challenges and changes in her life. She moved to Calgary from Bogota, Colombia in South America when she was in Grade 10. This would be a difficult age to move from anywhere - let alone from another country with a different language and culture. Perhaps some of the change she endured at that time has helped her deal with challenges and ignited her love for travelling.


At the age of 21, Lina has been to more countries than some people will be in a lifetime. Her passion for traveling and research prompted her to search and apply for research positions at U of Calgary, Singapore and Germany. She applied for her own funding which she received from the corresponding governments and U of Calgary. Her research was in Immunology which included malaria, inflammation, and bone marrow. She used these opportunities to travel into Western and Central Europe and Southeast Asia. She also has a heart for the underprivileged and volunteered for 2 months in an orphanage in Africa.


“You learn a lot by traveling and I love it. You meet lots of interesting people”.


All of Lina’s family are engineers including some sisters, so it was not unusual for her to choose a science related career. What was unusual was that she chose something different than engineering! She always had a strong interest in Biology and when she learned that research was a part of the program she is taking, she thought that would be quite interesting. Lina is also interested in History and was going to do a major in it but has decided to minor in it.


For the past five or six years, Lina has also volunteered once a week at the Foothills hospital. She has worked in Neuro Rehabilitation, Emergency, and the Party Program - teaching alcohol related trauma to Jr. and Sr. High students.


“Don’t be scared of sciences although it looks hard. It is quite rewarding. There are many, many fields you can go into so try some out and see what you like.”