Biomedical science student passionate about health wins education award

27 Jan 2016

University of Queensland Bachelor of Science student Jessica Von Pein’s personal story, dedication to her studies and video-making skills have earned her a “Student of the Year” prize from an educational company.

Third-year Biomedical Science major Ms Von Pein’s winning video demonstrates her passion for nutrition, physiology and microbiology.

She won the top prize in the Pearson Student of the Year Awards, for her entry in the Science, Computer Science and IT category.

“I see myself really passionate about empowering people to make their lives healthier so that they can prevent the onset of chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes,” said Ms Von Pein, from Withcott, near Toowoomba.

“ I think that’s really important, because if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

“My experiences have made me really passionate about giving that to people, and giving them the power to choose what lifestyle they’re going to live.”

Award judges Professor Steven Langford, from Monash University, said Ms Von Pein’s winning entry was “a standout”.

“Her video was high quality, visually and in audio,” he said. “Her story and motivation captured my attention.”

The Pearson Student of the Year Awards recognise students who demonstrate outstanding effort, dedication and academic achievement in their studies. 

Ms Von Pein was nominated for the award by the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences’ Associate Professor Susan Rowland.

“I am consistently impressed with the way Jess wants to learn – she comes to lectures,  interacts with the academics in a mature and constructive way, and always does her best in every assignment and activity. She also helps her classmates by contributing to course websites and being proactive in the lab. Jess has great time management skills and she shows high capacity to fit in personal responsibilities alongside her study. When I saw the call for award nominations I immediately thought of Jess. I’m just absolutely delighted she has won, because Jess is a great role model for any student who wants to succeed at UQ.”   

Each award winner received a $1000 prize.

Contact: UQ Faculty of Science, Julie Baglot,, +61 7 3346 9498; Pearson Australia, Jennifer Graham, (0)429 460 147.