Executive Committee

The WiSER Executive Committee is comprised of volunteers. Each executive position is proposed to be in place for a 2-year term, although executive positions will be evaluated every year at the Annual General Meeting. The current WiSER Executive Committee was elected at the Annual General Meeting in Edmonton in 2020.


Co-Chairs

Ali Chou
Trained as a scientist and a project manager, and with 5+ years of experience in digital marketing, Ali currently works at the Canadian Glycomics Network where she manages corporate communications and public relations. In addition to writing science news and stories, Ali engages with different organizations to promote diversity in STEM fields. Fun fact: She likes creating art, eating anything with mushrooms and olives, collecting socks, and training for fitness.

Noor Al- Zanoon
Noor is pursuing a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science with a focus on technology and head and neck cancer treatment at the University of Alberta. As a rehabilitation science researcher, Noor has two primary goals: 1) improve the quality of care through the development of technologically advanced methods for personalized and patient-centered speech rehabilitation after head and neck cancer, and 2) translate research evidence to policy and practice leaders. She is working towards these goals by generating innovative research through meaningful research assistantships and volunteer positions


Mentorship Program Co-Leads

Gwyneth Liske
Gwyn is pursuing an MSc. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta. As the previous Co-Chair of UA-WiSE (University of Alberta Women in Science and Engineering), Gwyn helped lead the UA-WiSE/ WiSER Mentorship program. Now as a Mentorship Co-Lead she hopes to lead from the WiSER side and continue to empower minorities in STEM through mentorship and networking. Gwyn hopes to continue growing the mentorship program to make it more accessible to everyone both in Edmonton and beyond! In her spare time, Gwyn enjoys watching anime and listening to music.

Sara Japoni
Sara completed her Ph.D. in Medical Genetics from the University of Alberta in 2018. She currently works at Peak Scientific Inc as a Territory Manager where she manages all aspects of business in the Western Provinces of Canada (BC, AB, SK) consisting of a diverse client base ranging from governmental, academic institutions, food, clinical laboratories to environmental and industrial markets. In her spare time Sara enjoys training at the gym, reading, hiking in the Canadian Rockies and spending time with her family.

Christine Do
Christine currently works at Integrated Sleep Group as a Patient Care Manager, which is a start-up company in the healthcare sector. She is also pursuing an MBA at the University of Alberta to expand her business acumen to utilize in the healthcare and science industries. Prior to joining Integrated Sleep Group, Christine worked as a Production Scientist at Sigma-Aldrich, a biotechnology company in the United States. She is passionate about giving back to the community and has led multiple volunteer activities, including STEM programs, tutoring at refugee centers, and coordinating a United Way campaign. She also loves to explore the outdoors, check-out restaurants, and take pictures of food! 

Valeria Hernandez Salgado
Valeria completed her Masters in Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta in 2020. She joined WiSER to help other women in STEM. She is interested in providing opportunities for professional development and the Mentorship program is an excellent opportunity to do it. In her free time she enjoys reading and watching movies

Delaram Dara
Delaram is a Master’s student at the faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. She joined WiSER as she wanted to take on a leading role in empowering those interested in the STEM field. During the times that she isn’t doing her research work, she enjoys spending time with friends, watching TV, and working on her extracurricular tasks. 


Financial Managers

Diana Feng
Diana completed her Master’s in Chemical Engineering from University of Alberta in 2019. With over six years of research experience in Chemical Engineering, she has published and co-authored seven publications on peer-reviewed journals. She has the the skillset to analyze complex information, and manage complex projects, she also wants to push her boundaries and build professional development skills during her early career. As an Assistant Project Manager with Technology Alberta, she is committed to retaining young professionals and developing Alberta’s strong and growing technology sector. Outside of work, she loves camping, hiking, snowboarding, and taking care of her two cats, both of whom are very poorly behaved.

Kendra White
Kendra is a Master’s student in Water Resources Engineering at the University of Alberta, specializing in River Hydraulics. Her focus is improving the design of stable erosion protection structures in fluvial applications. She enjoyed participating in the UA-WISE/WISER Mentorship Program in 2020-2021 as an early career professional, and hopes to contribute to the organization in a meaningful way to help uplift women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields. In her spare time, Kendra enjoys the great outdoors, as well as knitting, reading and gardening. 

Emilee Storfie
Emilee is a doctoral candidate in the AFNS program at the University of Alberta studying clubroot disease on canola. As an undergraduate lab volunteer, Emilee had strong female mentors that guided and encouraged her to pursue a career in science and research. Since then, she has become passionate about women in STEM and has mentored and trained other female undergraduates/graduate students during their research projects. Through WiSER, Emilee hopes to meet like-minded individuals who have a passion for STEM and continue helping others navigate their careers in STEM.


Sponsorship Managers

Amira Fitieh
Amira completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta in 2015. She then joined the Cross Cancer Institute at the University of Alberta as a Postdoctoral Fellow, with the goal of conducting cancer research to help save the lives of cancer patients and improve their quality of life. She also volunteers as a Science Communication Fellow at Telus World of Science. As a working mother, Amira resonates with the challenges that women face in STEM fields, and she is passionate about creating a support system that provides equity for women in STEM. In her parallel life aside from science, Amira is a cat-lover, enthusiast of music, poetry, and all forms of art. She also enjoys the Canadian outdoors and traveling

Jenna Evanchuk
Jenna is a Master’s student in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Alberta. Her research looks at how maternal nutrition across pregnancy and postpartum may be related to maternal, infant, and child health, with a focus on mental health in mothers and child brain development. For three years during her Bachelor’s degree, Jenna was on the volunteer committee at UA-WiSE (the undergraduate sister organization to WiSER) where she gained experience in various roles, including sponsorship recruitment. Through volunteering with UA-WiSE and as a women in STEM herself, Jenna is highly dedicated to being an advocate for equal representation in all STEM fields and is thrilled to be taking on an Executive Committee position at WiSER. 

Dhruv Lavania
Dhruv is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta with ten years of experience in R&D, client management, project coordination, and science communication. He is passionate about using biotechnology as a force to sustain food security and strives to uphold equity, diversity, and inclusivity in STEM. Dhruv is also the Vice-Chair Membership of the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars and has represented postdoctoral fellows on the Department Council of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. In his free time, Dhruv enjoys hiking and learning about diverse cultures.


Website & Marketing Coordinator

Jana Ali
Jana is an incoming Master’s student in Experimental Oncology at the U of A. She is currently studying how cells repair DNA Double Stranded Breaks (DSBs) and how issues in this repair pathway can trigger genetic rearrangements causing the development of Cancer. Jana is the founder of the undergraduate student group Women Empowering Women (WEW), a group at the UofA working with Nisa Homes to eliminate violence against immigrant, non status, refugee and homeless women and she hopes to continue uplifting and empowering all women in the STEM fields. In her free time, Jana loves going on runs, baking and doing all things art! 

Ruth Orekogbe
I’m Ruth and I am a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Alberta. I am a Marketing and Website Coordinator at WiSER for the 2021 – 2022 tenure. I am now pursuing a career in product management. I decided to join WiSER because I am passionate about inclusivity in science and technology. 

Ilisha Kaul


Communications Lead

Becki Hiebert
Becki currently works as the Quality Management Systems Lead for Circle Cardiovascular Imaging in Calgary, where she ensures Circle’s Quality Management System meets the regulatory requirements of the markets in which Circle’s products are sold. Before joining Circle, Becki developed a Quality Management System for Nanostics, a medical device start-up. Becki has 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, including work in Research and Development, Quality Control, and Quality Assurance. She completed her MBA from the University of Alberta in 2019.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and being outdoors.

Brindhi Amalraj
Brindhi graduated with M.Sc. Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, specifically focusing on vascular formation and development in plants. She served as the Youth Representative for Development and Peace Caritas Canada, engaging mainly with youth groups in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. She initially participated and volunteered in a few programs organized by WiSER and now wants to utilize her skills to engage more girls and women in STEM careers.


Reporter

Carlie Lewis

I graduated from U of A with a BSc. in 2014. Following my degree I lived abroad in Japan until returning to Canada in 2019. Now I am now transitioning into the environmental sector as a reclamation Biologist. I believe so strongly in the WiSER mandate of broadening inclusion of underrepresented groups in STEM and I have been an Active Volunteer, a Mentorship Co-Lead, and currently hold the Event Planner and Reporter roles.

Emilee Storfie

Emilee is a doctoral candidate in the AFNS program at the University of Alberta studying clubroot disease on canola. As an undergraduate lab volunteer, Emilee had strong female mentors that guided and encouraged her to pursue a career in science and research. Since then, she has become passionate about women in STEM and has mentored and trained other female undergraduates/graduate students during their research projects. Through WiSER, Emilee hopes to meet like-minded individuals who have a passion for STEM and continue helping others navigate their careers in STEM.


Event Planners

Carlie Lewis
I graduated from U of A with a BSc. in 2014. Following my degree I lived abroad in Japan until returning to Canada in 2019. Now I am now transitioning into the environmental sector as a reclamation Biologist. I believe so strongly in the WiSER mandate of broadening inclusion of underrepresented groups in STEM and I have been an Active Volunteer, a Mentorship Co-Lead, and currently hold the Event Planner and Reporter roles.

Eileen Santos
As a bio-resource and food engineering researcher Eileen is passionate about implementing and standardizing green solutions during the formulation and production of food products. During her Ph.D. program at the University of Alberta, Eileen has used supercritical fluid technology as a sustainable solution to concentrate bioactive with health benefits from agri-food by-products, which potentially could be used as value-added ingredients in human consumption products. Eileen is also a contributing writer at Engineer your Mission, where she serves as a mental health advocate to raise awareness of well-being practices in the STEM work environment. She loves to cook, bike, and connect with people to support community well-being. She is involved in different social organizations.

Zohreh Poursoti
Zohreh is a Ph.D. student from the Department of Electrical Engineering focusing on Plasmonics at the University of Alberta. She joined WiSER in 2016 after hearing about how the organization greatly impacted the STEM community. Zohreh was the co-lead of the UA-WiSE/WiSER Mentorship program from 2018 to 2020. Being part of WiSER provided Zohreh a great opportunity to meet new people in the STEM fields and helped her develop leadership skills. 

Laura Enekegho
Laura is an incoming M.Sc. student in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta. She completed her BSc.(honors) In Biochemistry this year and decided to pursue graduate studies afterwards. Laura joined WiSER because she is very passionate and enthusiastic about increasing diversity for underrepresented groups in STEM. She has been a volunteer with some WISEST events over the years, most notably with the SET and CHOICES conferences. She was also part of the UA-WiSE team as an events coordinator. In her free time, Laura enjoys going on long walks and listening to music.

Angelle Britton
Angelle is a MSc student in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta; in particular, her research focuses on protein mistranslation and associated functions in the context of neurodegenerative disease.  During her undergraduate degree, Angelle discovered her enthusiasm in creating spaces where people could come together and enjoy science as the Co-President of her university’s science society. As well, she began her laboratory work and developed a passion for research, which was fostered by strong female role models. She is an ardent believer in equal opportunity for all individuals in STEM, and has always strived to encourage others in the pursuit of their academic and research goals. 

Michelle Owokalu
Michelle is an Operations Engineer at ATCO Gas and an alumna of the Faculty of Engineering at the UofA. Coming from a family of engineers and scientists, pursuing a degree in engineering was an easy choice. While at the UofA and as an early career professional, there weren’t many communities of women in engineering for networking, mentoring, and professional development opportunities; giving birth to her passion in introducing STEM fields to girls and increasing the retention of women in STEM. As a past participant in the WISEST Research Program and past mentee in the WiSER/UA-WiSE Mentorship Program, she understands first-hand the impact these programs have. She enjoyed being involved as a mentor in the Mentorship program in 2020 and is excited to take part in a different capacity as an executive member of WiSER. 


Mentors in Residence

Zeenat Ladak
Zeenat is a Master’s student in Medical Sciences at the University of Alberta with a focus on paediatrics. When starting off her graduate degree, Zeenat decided to see what opportunities she could take advantage of to build professional development skills, and she came across the UA-WISE/WISER Mentoring Program. She took part in the program as an early-career professional in 2017 and loved the experience. Zeenat is also the recipient of AWSN‘s Athena Outsanding Volunteer Award in 2019, a recognition for volunteers that made significant contributions to the AWSN community.

Megha Bajaj
Megha completed her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Alberta in 2017. She currently works as an Innovation Manager at Innovate Calgary ,the technology transfer office of University of Calgary. Megha has over five years of professional experience in contract negotiation, business strategy, stakeholder engagement, spin-off formation, technology transfer, and business development with specialization in the areas of intellectual property (IP). Prior to joining Innovate Calgary, Megha worked at University of Alberta’s tech transfer office helping researchers protect their IP and commercialize their inventions. Megha also volunteers as a career coach and mentor with Freedom Employability Academy (FEA), a not-for-profit in India that provides employability skill building training to youth from low-income families in India. In her free time, she enjoys knitting and traveling.

Madeleine Jensen-Fontaine
Madeleine completed her Masters in Analytical Chemistry in 2012. As an early-career professional, she found WiSER’s events as excellent source of information and a great place to meet other professionals in STEM fields. She joined WiSER as the financial manager in early 2014 and was co-chair from 2015 to 2017. For Madeleine, it has been great to see how WiSER’s programs and events impacted positively on the participants, specifically the mentorship program. Madeleine now works at University of Alberta’s DiscoverE, a program serving youth by inspiring the engaging them through fun and meaningful STEM activities.

Minji Kim
Minji completed her Master’s in Environmental Science from University of Toronto in 2014 and moved to Edmonton shortly after. As a recent graduate seeking a career in a new city, she attended WiSER events to network and to learn about industries in Edmonton. During WiSER’s Industry Mixer, Minji met her current employer (Gliead Sciences) and gained insight on the company culture and values which aligned with what she was looking for in a company. Minji is now a Senior Research Associate at Gilead, a biotechnology company that focuses on discovering, developing, and commercializing therapeutics in the areas of unmet medical needs.


Want to get more involved in WiSER as a volunteer or executive member? Check out the multiple ways you can do to get involved.

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295 Central Academic Building, 11324 – 89 Ave NW, Edmonton AB T6G 2G1 / wiser@ualberta.ca