The WISER Executive
WISER activities are overseen by the WISER Executive Committee. The WISER Executive is composed of volunteers from the WISER community filling the roles of:
- Website Administrator
- Event Planner
- External Liaisons
- Financial Manager
These positions are covered by 2-3 executive members per role to achieve representation from the academia, industry, and government.
All WISER Executive positions have individual responsibilities for the position they occupy. The general responsibility of the WISER Executives is to:
- Organize and execute monthly professional development activities like career workshops, networking opportunities, mentoring sessions, for the WISER community.
- Keep abreast of the current career advancement issues faced by early-career professionals in STEM in order to plan the most effective activities.
How to Join WISER
Everyone in STEM-related roles are welcome to attend WISER activities and become a WISER member. Any member can volunteer for a WISER executive position besides Co-chair. To volunteer for the position of WISER Co-chair, the individual must have previously occupied a WISER executive role for a minimum of one year. Co-chair positions must be voted upon by the outgoing executive. In the event that there are multiple volunteers for a specific position on the executive team, candidates are selected by voting. The executive positions are evaluated every year at the annual general meeting. If you would like to join the WISER Executive Committee, please contact us at: email@example.com
2018-2019 WISER EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Kristen Kavich | LinkedIn
I am a professional engineer working at a small engineering firm where I perform structural design in both residential and commercial sectors. I attribute my pursuit of a career in engineering from my participation in the WISEST Summer Research Program (2007), and continued to volunteer with WISEST throughout the completion of my B.Sc. Civil Engineering degree from the University of Alberta. Joining the WISER Executive in February 2015 was the next logical step, and the rewards have been profound. My favorite part has been meeting the variety of incredibly driven, successful and inspiring women in various STEM fields (fellow execs included). In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends, family and my pets.
Zeenat Ladak | LinkedIn
I am currently pursuing a PhD in Medical Sciences with a focus on pediatrics. When starting off my graduate degree I decided to see what opportunities I could take advantage of to build my professional development skills and came across the UA-WISE/WISER Trio Mentoring Program. I took part in the program as an early career professional in 2017/2018 and loved the experience. WISER is driven to provide opportunities to everyone in STEM fields and is always actively finding new and inspiring ways to help students and young professionals reach their goals.
Katherine Hassan-Legault | LinkedIn
I am currently pursuing an MSc in Chemical Engineering, focusing on computational catalysis. I’ve always been passionate about the empowerment of underrepresented peoples, and as a female engineer, I exist at an interesting intersection of social norms & challenges with engineering & tech spaces. It’s this passion that prompted me to join WISER and work on closing that representation gap, but also tackling biases in the STEM & general communities. I am excited to meet new people and see where this new adventure takes me.
Howard Choi | LinkedIn
I am currently pursuing a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, focusing on using solvent exchange to control crystallization of beta-alanine. I joined WISER because of their welcoming environment and their belief in gender diversity. I want to be part of community with great causes and have opportunity to meet and learn from individuals with varying backgrounds. I believe that WISER is that community and I am happy to be part of it.
Annie Kuang | LinkedIn
I am currently pursuing a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, focusing on bitumen extraction using solvents. When not occupied with work I enjoy watching movies and reading. I joined WISER because it is an inclusive community that encourages personal and professional growth. It has been an amazing opportunity to meet and learn from individuals with varying backgrounds, and I look forward to the rewarding experiences to come.
Xiaohui Mao | LinkedIn
I am pursuing PhD study in Chemical Engineering, focusing on finding materials that can efficiently break the emulsion formed in oil production. I graduated with MSc Degree from University of Alberta in 2015. I have been working with WISER for more than two years. It is a great joy to work with WISER-mates. Also, it is a unique opportunity to know awesome people and learn a lot from them.
Ali Chou | LinkedIn
I completed my M.Sc in Chemistry in 2017 and now working towards personal development in arts & design. Born and raised in Taiwan, I consider myself an artist at heart. I enjoy exploring different forms of arts (music, painting, crafts) and present them in aesthetically pleasant ways. I am passionate about diversity in STEM, and always on the verge of creating new projects that combine perspectives from both arts and science.
Jessica Santos | LinkedIn
As part of completing my B.Sc in Biology in 2017, I took some programming courses and realized my true calling in website design. Having learned scientific discipline from my degree — and taking advantage of a long standing interest in fine art and animation — I am enjoying learning new things every day, and am grateful for the supportive community I’ve found with WiSER.
Mentorship Program Leads
Zohreh Poursoti | LinkedIn
Noor Al-Zanoon | LinkedIn
As a rehabilitation science researcher, I have 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. I am working towards these goals by generating innovative research through meaningful research assistantships and volunteer positions.
Minji Kim | LinkedIn
I completed my 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, I attended WISER events to network and to learn about industries in Edmonton. At one of their events, Industry Mixer, I met my current employer, that I was not aware of prior to attending the event, and also gained insight on the company culture and values which aligned with what I was looking for in a company. I joined WISER in the summer of 2016 to give back to the community I benefited from, both professionally and personally.
Shagufta Tasneem (AWSN) | LinkedIn
There are many good reasons to join WISER for me. The team is doing great job in terms of helping Women in STEM to progress in the career at every stage of their professional life. The seminars are excellent source of improving my networking, communication and leadership skill. I have been very shy person in most of my life, but I realized that it is not good for my career to stay like that. So came out of my comfort zone and started to volunteer at different Professional Associations to learn better communication and leadership skills. WISER is one of my favorite group to volunteer where I improve my skills as well as help others to improve them. My professional background is in the field of Electrical Engineering as well as I am mom of two wonderful kids. I believe I can help to understand and solve some of the career problems faced by Women in STEM like me.
Megha Bajaj | LinkedIn
I completed my PhD in Cell Biology from the U of A in 2017. I currently work at TEC Edmonton where I help University of Alberta researchers to protect their intellectual property and commercialize their invention. During my graduate program at the University, I volunteered at WISER events which was a great opportunity to network with early career professionals and graduate students. WISER is a very supportive organization that helps women in all stages of their career and I am proud to be a part of this organization.
Amira Fitieh | LinkedIn
I completed my PhD in Biochemistry from the U of A in 2015. I then joined the University’s Department of Oncology at the Cross Cancer Institute 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.
The attendance of various WISER events throughout my years at the U of A has introduced me to inspiring professionals and graduate students in the discipline of STEM. As a working mother, I know firsthand the challenges that women face in STEM fields, and I found WISER, besides being an excellent platform for networking, professional development, and career enhancement, to be a profound support system for women in STEM, providing equity of our community in Higher Education, Government, Business, and the Non-Profit sector. Volunteering as a Role Model for the 2018 WISEST SET Conference motivated me to join the amazing WISER Executive Committee of friendly and approachable members, and it was my great privilege to join the team in May 2019.
In my parallel life, aside from science, I’m a proud mum, cat lover, and an avid enthusiast of music, poetry, and all forms of art. I also enjoy the Canadian outdoors and traveling.
Madeleine Jensen-Fontaine | LinkedIn
I completed my Masters in analytical chemistry in 2012. As a graduate student and an early-career professional, I’ve found WISER events to be an excellent source of information and a great place to meet other professionals in STEM fields. I joined WISER as the financial manager in early 2014 and was co-chair from 2015 to 2017. It’s been great to see the impact WISER programs and events have on the participants, specifically the mentorship program.
Shoma Sinha | LinkedIn
During my graduate studies, I found that there was a lack of support for graduate students and professionals in STEM to develop their skills and explore career options. In 2008 with a group of talented students and professionals, I helped found WISER. Since then, I have seen the profound influence of the support and aid that WISER provides to its members through its different activities. I became a WISER mentor-in-residence after completing my PhD and continue to share my passion for science, technology, and helping others achieve their full potential as president of the Alberta Women’s Science Network (AWSN).