Cognitive Behavioural Neurologist Got Start at College of New Caledonia
To say it simply, Jacqueline Pettersen is a high-achieving, award-winning brain doctor. To put it more eloquently, she is a cognitive behavioural neurologist who specializes in the brain and mental processes.
“I see patients with neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease,” she said.
But that’s not all. Jacqueline is also a full-time academic, an Associate Professor, with the Division of Neurology at the UBC as well as the Northern Medical Program in Prince George.
“A large part of my time is dedicated toward conducting and publishing research studies, and teaching and mentoring medical trainees and graduate students,” she said.
Something significant happened to Jacqueline when she was only 9-years-old that sparked her passion for the human mind. She was home watching TV when her cousin came over with Jacqueline’s unconscious sister in her arms.
“My sister had fallen off a horse and had hit her head,” she said. “She eventually awoke and started communicating but didn’t make sense at first. She had a concussion and fortunately, made a full recovery. But from that moment on, I was fascinated by the brain and wanted to know more.”
Jaqueline is now recognized as a top player in her field; last year alone, she won two international research prizes for her work looking into the link between vitamins and cognition.
Born and raised in Prince George, she completed her first two years of post-secondary at the College of New Caledonia majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. And she says CNC was instrumental in getting her to where she is today.
“I believe the choice I made to study at CNC was crucial to enabling my success,” Jacquelin said. “CNC really honed my study habits and my discipline. You had to work hard to get good grades, so I developed those skills.”
At the University of Victoria, she achieved straight A+s and was awarded the Governor General’s medal upon graduating with her Bachelor of Science Degree. “I attribute a lot of that to CNC,” Jacquelin said.
Her passion for her career was further strengthened at CNC, owing in large part to the excellent instruction she received. Her instructors were available to chat further, not only about course material, but to provide valuable guidance and advice regarding her career.
“I found that making the transition from high school to a local post-secondary institution was much more manageable at CNC,” she said. “I didn’t have the added stress of having to relocate to a new community, which would mean living on my own and worrying about additional expenses."