Our Current Volunteers

We are very thankful to past and present volunteers that have contributed to our valuable research. Currently the following individuals are active volunteers with us:


Abdullah Al Sheikh Zein
Hello! My name is Abdullah. I am just entering my third year of the Bachelor of Health degree at UNB, majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Health. By being a part of the Volunteer-Mentorship Program at CESC over the past year, I feel like I have gained a vast amount of experience and knowledge of how medical research is conducted. Moreover, I feel like it has further fueled my passion to pursue a career in medicine and specifically neurosurgery. I am very happy to continue to be a part of the Volunteer-Mentorship program and I look forward to all the new experiences and tasks I will engage in during this time. When I am not volunteering or juggling schoolwork, I like to swim and to go out with friends and family.


Andy Jin
Hello! My name is Andy Jin and I am currently in my third year of the Biology-Chemistry program at the University of New Brunswick. I wish to pursue a career in the medical field, specifically surgery, and I love the opportunity to explore the field of orthopedic surgery through the Volunteer-Mentorship Program at the CESC. I am glad to be a part of the wonderful team of volunteers, researchers, and administrators, and I hope that I will gain invaluable real-world experience with clinical research as well as patient interaction. I look forward to expanding my horizons and assisting to advance patient outcomes.


Brynn Kerr
Hello, my name is Brynn! I have just recently graduated from Acadia University, where I completed a Bachelor of Science with a double major in chemistry and biology! I’m really excited to get involved with CESC and gain some research experience as well as gain experience interacting with patients. I’m looking forward to learning many new things in the medical and research field. In my free time, I really enjoy playing sports, reading and spending time with friends and family!


Christine Ojo Abegunde
Hello, my name is Christine! I am currently in my second year of a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in biology. I aspire to pursue a career in the field of sports medicine. I am grateful to be part of the Volunteer-Mentorship Program at the CESC as it will not only provide me valuable research experience but will allow me to help other people. My favourite activities include lifting, watching action movies and cooking different pasta dishes!


Dresden Forshner
Hello! My name is Dresden Forshner, and I am currently a 2nd year Bachelor of Science Undergraduate student double majoring in Human Science and Psychology at the University of Athabasca in Alberta (prev. BioPsyc at UNB). I currently work with a doctor in the Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit at the Saint John Regional Hospital in between my studies. My future goals are to chase a career in medicine, and one day become a General Surgeon. I am beyond happy to be a part of the volunteer mentorship program with the Canada East Spine Centre, as it will be sure to broaden my skill sets, allow me more patient contact, and deliver some research experience. In between my studies and work, I also volunteer at Ridgewood Veterans Wing, perform martial arts, and love spending time with friends and family.


Dustin McKee
Hello! My name is Dustin McKee and I am going into my final year of a Biology-Chemistry degree at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. I have a curiosity for a wide set of research fields and have been a research assistant at various labs since my second year of university. As a volunteer at CESC since 2020, I have loved gaining valuable skills like patient interaction, ethics, and the process of medical research.
I plan to enhance and further develop the health care system in my own community through research and (hopefully) attending medical school one day. In my spare time, I enjoy going for road trips, thrifting, and listening/playing music!


Hilary Burpee
Hi everyone! My name is Hilary and I am a recent graduate from UNBSJ, where I attained a Bachelor of Science with a major in psychology. My goal is to pursue a career in medicine, specifically in the field of Rheumatology. I am thrilled to be a volunteer at CESC to gain valuable
medical research experience and enhance my patient interaction skills. When I am not volunteering, I enjoy spending time outdoors, playing with my dog, and crafting with my mom.


Janet Debly
Hi, my name is Janet Debly and I have recently completed my undergraduate degree in Science at UNBSJ, majoring in Biology-Psychology with a Biology Honours and a minor in Chemistry. I am currently enrolled in the Master of Biology program at UNBSJ, focusing on natural product discovery. I joined the Canada East Spine Centre in 2019 as a volunteer research assistant focused mainly on patients’ response to their post-operative experience at the hospital. While volunteering in a hospital setting, getting to be part of a team with health professionals, and interacting with patients, I now know for sure that I want to pursue a career in the medical field. In my spare time I like to cook/bake new recipes and hike!


Jesse Barry
I am currently in my fourth year of my undergraduate degree at UNBSJ where I am majoring in Biology-Psychology. My goal is to pursue a career in medicine, specifically in the field of neurology. During my time spent volunteering with the CESC I have gained valuable research experience, as well as having learned a great deal about the medical field. I look forward to continuing to build on the many skills I have learned.


Jill Hickey
My name is Jill, and I am currently in my fourth year of an undergraduate science degree at UNB Fredericton, majoring in Biology-Chemistry. My future goals include pursuing a career in medicine and, specifically, I am interested in the fields of neuroscience and physiatry. I am very excited to be part of the Volunteer Mentorship Program at the Canada East Spine Centre and to have the opportunity to gain insight into the process of medical research. Outside of school, my passions include soccer, reading and playing with dogs.


Joshua Shephard
Hello there! My name is Joshua Shephard and I am currently in my fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John. I am incredibly interested in all aspects of science, however my focus is on human biology and in particular, the medical sciences. I am working towards a career in medicine, namely oncology, and am immensely excited to be working with a strong group of knowledgeable researchers and volunteers at the CESC. Being a volunteer at the CESC, I hope to reinforce skills of patient communication, teamwork, and professionalism, and I am looking forward to learning more about the ins and outs of a clinical research setting and assisting in future CESC research in orthopedic surgery.


Kathleen Varty
Hello everyone! My name is Kathleen and I am a currently working on my Master of Biology with a focus in cancer immunotherapies. During my undergrad I also worked on electrochemical biosensors to detect breast cancer biomarkers. Despite a current heavy focus in cancer I am passionate in all areas of health research including less biological aspects such as social and economic determinants of health. I have a keen interest in medicine and medical research, particularly in translational medicine and patient-led care with the hopes of doing medical research in some capacity in the future. During my free time, you can find me outdoors, often rock climbing, biking, or skiing!


Malek Attabib
I’m entering my first year in the Bachelor of Health program at UNBSJ, and looking forward to majoring in Biomedical Sciences. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to develop my knowledge, skills, and overall interest in the medical field by joining CESC. Outside of work, I like to play soccer, spend time with friends, kayak, and do other activities.


Sam Arsenault
Hello, my name is Sam and I am a recent graduate from the University of New Brunswick where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Economics. I wish to pursue a career in medicine and medical research, and I am particularly interested in working towards better solutions for movement disorders. I am very excited to volunteer with CESC where I gain invaluable research experience as well as learning from many of the great mentors at the Center. In my spare time I enjoy biking, board games, and spending time with family.


Sandy Abujayyab
Hi! I recently completed my undergraduate at UNBSJ and am currently taking their new one year psychology graduate program: Masters in Applied Psychology, Research and Evaluation (MAPRE). I joined CESC's volunteer program in 2019 to get involved in research and medicine. I am always looking for opportunities to gain experience and develop new skills. I hope to discover more of my passions and interests by working with CESC!


Taylor Smith
Hi! My name is Taylor Smith and I am currently a fourth year Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology student at the University of New Brunswick. I am also a registered massage therapist which is where I discovered my interest and passion for studying the human body. My career goals are in medicine, specifically in orthopaedic surgery, so I am so thankful and appreciative of the opportunity to work along the knowledgeable team at the CESC through the Volunteer-Mentorship Program. I look forward to gaining hands-on experience with medical research and client interaction, and expanding my knowledge in the medical field through volunteering. When I am not volunteering or juggling school work, I enjoy training and coaching Cross-fit, outdoor activities such as hiking and snowboarding, and a variety of other sports!”