Aspiring doctor Brad Ashman has thrown himself into varsity athletics, academics and community volunteering while at UBC - photo by Darin Dueck
UBC Reports | Vol. 53 | No. 5 | May 3, 2007
Science Grad Helped Take UBC to World Series
By Basil Waugh
Some athletes are known for outlandish contracts and even worse behaviour, but graduating UBC baseball pitcher Brad Ashman is an athlete on whom the mantle of role model actually fits.
In addition to helping UBC clinch its first World Series appearance in the U.S.-based NAIA, the 23-year-old aspiring doctor has thrown himself into UBC’s Learning Exchange community service learning programs, co-ordinating after-school programs for inner city schools and volunteering at a local hospice for people living with HIV/AIDS.
“I’ve tried to make a positive impact on the people I’ve volunteered with, but they’ve had just as positive an impact on me,” says the six-foot-seven, Trail, B.C. product. “Coming from a small town, volunteering opened my eyes to different people and cultures and made me a more well-rounded person.”
Ashman has been a regular volunteer with I’m Going To UBC, a program that pairs varsity athletes with inner city kids for campus tours, sports clinics and Thunderbirds games, with the ultimate goal of increasing the accessibility of post-secondary education to children who may think it is beyond their grasp.
Breaking the stereotype of varsity athletes who play sports at the expense of their education, Ashman has also been a heavy-hitter in the Faculty of Science, where he has specialized in biology. He received several scholarships and for four consecutive years was recognized as an Academic All-Canadian for maintaining an average grade of 80 per cent or higher.
Ashman, who throws left-handed, has applied to medical schools in B.C. and Alberta, says his UBC experience will help him make the transition from bullpen to operating room.
“Working with patients with serious physical and mental conditions at the hospice, explaining concepts that kids might not understand in the reading programs, and playing a key role on a high-performance team was great preparation for medical school,” says Ashman.
Aside from the World Series, Ashman’s varsity baseball highlights include representing Canada in the 2004 World University Games in Taiwan, traveling throughout the U.S. with his teammates and coaches and four seasons of incremental improvements, culminating with a program-best fourth place in 2006. Ashman broke T-Bird pitching records for most starts, appearances and innings in a season.
Ashman’s advice to incoming students? As far as experiences go, the more the merrier.
“My advice is to get involved, manage your time and have fun,” he says. “A complete education is about more than just good grades and going to class. I love learning, but I also love the thrill of competition and contact with the community -- it’s been great to satisfy all those interests and grow as a person.”
My Best UBC Memories
“What I’ll remember most about my time at UBC is all the relationships I’ve made through varsity sports, volunteering and classes,” says Ashman. “I didn’t know many people when I arrived at UBC, but I’ll be keeping in touch with some of these people my whole life.”
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