Burlington native Brittany Harrison is this week’s scholar-athlete to be honoured by Ontario University Athletics as part of its Women of Influence program.
OUA will recognize the top female scholar-athletes from across the province at its eighth annual Women of Influence Luncheon on Wednesday, March 2 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The event honours female student-athletes who have excelled in their chosen sports, fields of study and community involvement. This year’s guest speaker will be tennis star Venus Williams.
Harrison, a soccer player who stars for the University of Ottawa, is a midfielder has been a staple to Ottawa’s success over her career as a Gee-Gee. In her three years with the soccer team, she has added an OUA silver and two OUA bronzes to her medal collection. In 2008, the Gee-Gees lost in overtime in the OUA finals, and in 2009 and 2010, Ottawa took home the Final Four bronze. Harrison’s strength at midfield has continually helped Ottawa become a powerhouse in Ontario.
In the classroom, her academic performance has been exceptional. She has maintained her admission scholarship while working towards her degree in Health Sciences. Harrison is a conscientious student and earns her academic success through hard work and discipline.
She balances her academics and athletics with a number of community projects. In the summer of 2009, she volunteered in the Dominican Republic for three weeks and assisted with construction projects and running a summer camp for local children. This past summer, she volunteered at a temporary rural health clinics in Belize. Harrison has also volunteered her time with the Partnership West Food Bank, and Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital.
Name: Brittany Harrison
School: University of Ottawa
Academic Program: Health Sciences
Hometown: Burlington, Ont.
Q: What is your proudest academic achievement?
A: Although I’m very proud of winning the Governor General’s Award in high school which meant that I had the highest average out of my graduating class, I’m have more recently become quite proud of my achievements in University. I work very hard for the marks that I get in my Honours Health Science program, and I am proud that I’m able to be an Academic All-Canadian and balance my athletic schedule with my academic life.
Q: What is your proudest athletic achievement?
A: I am proudest of the fact that I have represented Canada’s national soccer team in 3 games. Training with the national team was a big part of my life for many years. I had to give up that level of athletics to focus on my academics, but I am still proud of my athletic achievement in that part of my life.
Q: What is your most memorable community related moment?
A: My most memorable community related moment was when I volunteered in the Dominican Republic. The kids I met there, even with all their suffering, were the most spirited and loving children I’ve ever seen.
Q: What woman has most influenced you, and why?
A: My mom. She has always been the most supportive woman in my life and I know she would do anything for me. I can always go to her for advice and I’m very thankful for having her as a role model for generosity and strength as I grow into the woman I am today.
Q: If you could sit down to dinner with any woman, who would it be, and why?
A: Marie Curie. She had to overcome the barriers of being a woman in a man’s profession: the physical sciences. She won two Nobel prizes, one in physics and one in chemistry and was a trailblazer for women in science.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: My future plans are to get into medical school and have a career as a physician. As of now, I’m interested in infectious disease in impoverished counties as a possible field (working abroad), but I think that when I start learning about all the aspects of medicine, I will find my niche more definitively.