Make no bones about it, anatomy is one of Andrew Krause’s specialties so he gets up close and personal with a skeleton. (Photo submitted)

Make no bones about it, anatomy is one of Andrew Krause’s specialties so he gets up close and personal with a skeleton. (Photo submitted)

VIU instructor loads up on education in going full circle

Chemainus Secondary 2005 grad Andrew Krause putting his anatomy expertise to work

(This is another in the continuing series on Chemainus Secondary School grads and where they are now).

It’s a long way from Thetis Island to Penn State, but that’s part of the educational journey Andrew Krause took en route to becoming a university professor.

Krause, 34, a 2005 graduate of Chemainus Secondary School, had many interesting experiences along the path with advanced training leading up to his current position with the Vancouver Island University faculty at the Nanaimo campus.

Krause’s family moved to Thetis Island when he was five and he attended the one-room elementary school there from kindergarten through Grade 7.

“During my last year, I was the only Grade 7 there,” he recalled.

His beginnings as a student in that environment were definitely unique, almost in the mode of the isolated Little House on the Prairie schoolhouse.

“Certainly, there are positive aspects to it,” said Krause. “There’s so much dependent on the school system that you would be part of otherwise. As a kid you don’t realize that as much. You’re just running around and having fun.”

Krause then became a regular commuter, taking the ferry over to Chemainus and back during his Grade 8 through 12 years at Chemainus Secondary School. To him, it wasn’t a big deal for getting to and from school.

“There’s definitely the reality of it when you’re young, there’s not that much pull on your time in the grand scheme of things,” said Krause.

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One thing he discovered during his years at Chemainus Secondary was the appeal of mechanics through Dennis Ahola’s classes. Krause remains what he calls a serious mechanical hobbyist to this day.

“It’s nice to keep your hands busy when you read or do research all day,” he pointed out. “At the time, I wasn’t the most knowledgeable person around cars and things, but I had a mechanical mind and enjoyed it. It’s been my predominant hobby right from high school.

“Since learning experiences in high school, I don’t think one vehicle of mine has been in a shop since then.”

He’s able to take care of most repairs himself.

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Krause’s mom and stepfather ran a float plane business called Thetis Air and that was one career he thought about getting into for a while.

“There was a part of me that always had an interest in being a pilot,” he conceded. “I did a lot of flying around then.”

Krause also did quite well in physics in high school in Dennis Nadon’s class and became interested in war history and Social Studies from teacher Janet Ruest.

There was also the sporting side to Krause’s years in high school and he managed to fit in playing on the basketball team coached by Garry Culbertson, among his Thetis ferry travelling.

“We had quite a little team of people who lived on Thetis and a pack of athletes,” noted Krause.

He also played rugby in high school.

After graduation, Krause spent a year working at a steel shop in the industrial park on the Trans Canada Highway outside Chemainus, called Imperial Welding at the time.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I had to pay a little rent,” he indicated. “I also learned some things that contributed to what I do now. I learned some good fabrication skills.”

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Krause then went to what was then called Malaspina University College and did two years in the Bachelor of Science program. He excelled in and enjoyed the combination of biology, physics and physical education classes.

After doing some siding work during the summer in Nanaimo, Krause went looking for a new option and ended up going to Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont. for the Bachlor of Applied Science program in Athletic Therapy.

Another Chemainus grad, Brynn Norris, was instrumental in him going there.

“Once I got to Ontario and hit the reset button, I started settling in a bit more,” Krause said.

He wound up getting a unique opportunity to work as an athletic therapist for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League and then a second season in the CFL with the B.C. Lions was spent in 2011 when they won the Grey Cup.

Krause graduated from Sheridan and the CFL schedule was quite demanding from April through December.

“At that stage I started to think ahead a little bit to do some teaching and some time off during summer,” he explained. “I wasn’t ready to be done going to school. I enjoy the structure of academics and I enjoy learning new things.”

In the fourth year of his program, Krause took the Graduate Requirement Exam, a test to get into graduate school. After writing, he started applying to masters programs in human anatomy and that’s what led him to Penn State.

“Penn State liked what they saw enough to fly me down for an interview and the next thing you know, I was accepted to the program,” Krause noted.

He became a masters student there in 2012 that included a lot of cadaver anatomy studies. Krause went into the PhD program, also in human anatomy, and did his masters thesis in 2014, with the pulse of it in bone molecular biology and how bone density is lost.

He developed his future calling as a teaching assistant in the Penn State medical school and later taught a medical class, one of the primary functions of a PhD dissertation. “I think by the time I arrived at Penn State, teaching was the goal,” said Krause. “It attracts people who want to be teachers during graduate school.”

He contemplated going into medical school after that, but was into his 12th year at the post-secondary level at that point. “It was already a long haul,” Krause conceded.

He secured a job at VIU in August of 2017 and has been there ever since. The first year and a half was in the Sport Health and Physical Education program, now known as the kinesiology department.

“I love working at VIU,” Krause said. “VIU has its own flavour, its own niche. We’re smaller class sizes. It’s more personal.”

Of course, it’s all been impacted since COVID. “We’re trying to keep swimming up-stream with the in-person classes,” Krause indicated.

For now, he’s grateful for the many directions his life has taken him and to end up going full circle to VIU.

“I’m working with some of my old professors and now they’re some of my colleagues,” Krause observed.

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Andrew Krause’s high school graduation photo. (Photo submitted)

Andrew Krause’s high school graduation photo. (Photo submitted)

Andrew Krause in action during a high school rugby game. (Photo submitted)

Andrew Krause in action during a high school rugby game. (Photo submitted)