Meet the Grads: Tyler Weenink

Ahead of convocation, get to know one of Augustana’s grads: Tyler Weenink, a bachelor of science student in biology

31 May 2023

Tyler Weenink standing in the Augustana gymnasium in his Vikings basketball uniform, smiling at the camera.
Photo: Laughing Dog Photography


What led you to choose your current area of study, and why the U of A Augustana for your studies?

A multitude of reasons led me to do a bachelor of science at Augustana. First was the small campus. Being from a small town myself, this attracted me as it felt more comfortable. Second was the basketball program here at Augustana. I got recruited to play here and have loved the team from day one. Finally, I knew I wanted to pursue some sort of science degree, and Augustana gave me the option to explore the sciences in a comfortable environment while still receiving a degree from the U of A.


What is one of your favourite memories from your time at Augustana?

One of my favourite memories from Augustana is my senior night for basketball. It was my last home game for Augustana and the amount of support and recognition I received was overwhelming. This, along with getting a win in front of a rowdy home crowd, made it one of the most memorable nights I have had at Augustana.


Tell us about your favourite professor and/or class.

My favourite class was Developmental Biology. As the name implies, we studied the development of living things ranging from plants to humans. The intricacies and complexity of development is astonishing, and this course taught me so many amazing things about the world we live in. Furthermore, the lab for the course allowed us to view the development of different creatures right in front of our eyes. We got to learn just how precise development is and got to witness how tiny changes during development can lead to massive modifications in the adult body.


Did you take on any leadership roles while you were a student, either on campus or in the Camrose community? If so, please share your experiences.

I found many opportunities to be a leader during my time at Augustana. I was able to become the coach of the Special Olympics basketball team within the Camrose community, I was able to re-initiate a partnership between the men's basketball team and the Camrose Boys and Girls Club following the pandemic and I was fortunate enough to become a captain of the men's basketball team during my final season. Furthermore, I was given opportunities to lead in the classroom as — for the past two years — I have been teaching first-year chemistry labs and I was able to be a student mentor for a First Year Seminar course during my final year.


Did you face any significant obstacles or challenges during your program, and if so, how did you respond?

Yes, as will almost everyone! I was faced with some health concerns during my second year of school that caused me to miss a portion of class and basketball. My health concerns were followed up by the pandemic, which was a challenge for everyone involved. My response to both of these obstacles was to stay positive, give myself lots of grace and look to those around me for help. The obstacles showed me how deep my support system was and how much the professors care for their students here at Augustana. By realizing I was not alone and trying to encourage myself along the way, I was able to find ways to succeed despite the challenges I faced. Furthermore, my faith and prayers helped me push through whenever I got too overwhelmed and was not sure what to do next.


What advice do you have for current and future students?

My advice for current and future students is take time to appreciate those around you. During university, time goes by fast and so many people come in and out of your life in just a few short years. It's important to make the most of the time you have with them and appreciate them while you can.


How do you plan on celebrating convocation?

I plan on spending time with my family and friends who drive up to join me, and then I am going on a trip out to B.C. with a group of friends from school.


What's next after graduation?

After graduation I am taking a year off to work, travel and gain some more experience in the field of medicine before once again applying to medical school.


Help us celebrate Tyler Weenink and our other graduating students on June 4 by watching the convocation ceremony live stream.