Jan 26, 2022

Humans of LMP: Brandon Wells

Inclusive community
Brandon Wells

Each month we speak to a member of the Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology community and find out more about them as part of an initiative from our Wellness, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee (WIDE).

This month we feature Graduate & Life Sciences Education Officer, Brandon Wells.

Visit the Humans of LMP page to read more stories and nominate yourself or others to be featured. 

How long have you been at LMP and what does your role involve?

I joined the department in June 2019, as the Graduate & Life Science Education Officer.

My primary role involves overseeing the efficient administration of academic programs within the department. In addition, I am also an academic advisor, wellness counsellor and I’m involved in the recruitment process. I work with Ian Marquez and Louella D’Cunha to provide quality student services to our undergraduate, MSc, PhD and MHSc in Laboratory Medicine learners. 

What led you to pursue your current career path?  

As an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, I worked part-time at the T-Card Office. Upon graduating, I felt somewhat lost when it came to deciding on a career path. I realized my experience would transition well into the student services field. I applied for positions at universities across the province and ended up securing a position within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Toronto.

I was attracted to the professionalization of the field and the opportunity to provide meaningful impact. I was also enticed by the prospect of working at an institution centred around continuing education and life-long learning. After a few short months, I fell in love with the field and decided to pursue a Master of Education degree part-time at OISE, specializing in higher education administration. 

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I am proud of my involvement in the proposal, development and launch of the new Master of Health Science in Laboratory Medicine program in LMP. I am particularly proud we were able to launch the program in the midst of a global pandemic.

I oversaw the administrative aspects of the project, co-developed program assessment tools and the student recruitment plan, and provided guidance to the teaching team as they developed their course materials.

Overall, the process felt like a Capstone project to my Master of Education degree, as it provided the opportunity to directly apply what I learned in my program. Launching the program was a lot of work, but I am confident everyone smiles when thinking about it.

What was the best career advice you ever received? 

Successful people fail more than most people try. 

What has been an important learning experience in your life?  

“We’re on to Cincinnati” – Bill Belichick. Something that taught me how it’s important to not dwell on past failures. Rather, we should focus on the lessons failure provides us, to propel us into success in the future.

In 2014, the New England Patriots lost 41-14 to the Kansas City Chiefs which dropped the team to 2-2 on the season. The media and Twitter questioned the ability of an “aging” Tom Brady in a new era of professional football. After the game, the press probed Coach Belichick with multiple questions concerning his aging quarterback, but instead, he repeatedly answered the questions with “We’re on to Cincinnati”.  

Coach Belichick concentrated on encouraging his team to focus on their next opponent, Cincinnati. The Patriots went on to win 17 straight games that season and captured their fourth Lombardi Trophy by winning the Super Bowl. By focussing on the future instead of dwelling on the past, the Patriots went on to win two additional Super Bowls, and Tom Brady won three. 

Who is an influential person in your life and why? 

I don’t think I could just name one person, as several people have had a positive influence on my life. If I had to choose, I would highlight the impact my mother, Lori, and my wife, Melanie, have had on my life. 

My mother, as a single parent, once worked three jobs to pay for my braces when I was a teenager. She taught me I could achieve anything I wanted if I was willing to put in the work. 

Melanie and I tend to talk about everything. The conversations we’ve had over the years have led me to make the best decisions I’ve made in life.  

What would it surprise people to know about you? 

I grew up a few blocks south of the University of Toronto. I am (what seems like) one of the ten millennials who actually grew up in downtown Toronto.

What activities do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

Playing hockey, working out, trying new restaurants, walking, reading, writing, video games (EA NHL and Warzone mostly), fantasy sports, and training my dog, Brady. 

What is your favourite album, film and novel? 

Album: House of Balloons (Weeknd); technically a mixtape…

Film: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Novel: 1984 – George Orwell

Who would be your dream dinner guests? 

All the living American Presidents, and those who ran against them in presidential elections. 

Where is your favourite place? 

It’s a tie between New York City and Barcelona.

If you were stuck on a deserted island but had all your basic needs taken care of (i.e. food and water), what two items would you bring with you?

I’d bring my wife Mel, as mentioned above and Brady my dog as I would miss him too much!