McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Nursing student running away with awards

By Amanda Boundris
Published: February 29, 2012
Sarah Haliburton with a young patient
Nursing student Sarah Haliburton with a young patient at a clinic in Kolkata, India during her clinical placement in 2011.

Sarah Haliburton has done a lot of running around to achieve success.

"I fit things in when I can. I tend to have to work at the track," said the veteran of both the McMaster cross-country and track teams, explaining her key to balancing it all as a student-athlete.

The fourth-year nursing student and Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Cross-Country All-Star is being honoured for both her academic and athletic achievements at McMaster. Haliburton is one of more than 300 students from the school of nursing who will be recognized at the School's annual awards assembly on Monday, March 5.

The achievements of students in the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) Program at McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College and the McMaster Health Sciences Graduate Nursing Program will be celebrated at the 5:30 p.m. event in the CIBC hall of the McMaster Student Centre on campus.

In addition to earning the Dr. Ronald V. Joyce Award for Athletes which recognizes her outstanding athletic ability, Haliburton has earned a University (Senate) Scholarship, and the Philomathia Travel Scholarship which allowed her to complete a nursing placement with the Institute for Indian Mother and Child (IIMC) in Kolkata, India in the summer of 2011.

Other highlights from her time at McMaster include being a member of both the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) National Bronze Medal 4x800m Track Relay Team and the CIS National Silver Medal Cross-Country Team in 2010, and being named a Marauder Scholar and CIS Academic All-Canadian.

However, she doesn’t see any award or race win as her biggest accomplishment. This Richmond Hill native is most proud of was being able to come back from her 10-week placement in India with more confidence and knowledge as a nurse, and also making the cross-country and track teams again after her return.

Before leaving for India, Haliburton was not even sure she would be able to train while there, let alone make either of the teams when she got back. But in Kolkata, she was up at 5 a.m. every morning to run.

"This past year has been my best year in running," said Haliburton, who will be competing in the 3000m at the CIS National Track and Field Championship in Winnipeg, MB on March 9.

Although she says she will finish her degree this year with "a passion for nursing" and an eye toward entering graduate studies, Haliburton admits she did not begin the program with the goal of being a nurse after graduation. "But, I found I really enjoy nursing. There are a lot of opportunities in nursing and you can really have an impact on people's lives."


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