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 WISER Co-Chair, Reporter, Website Administrator, Event Planner, UA-WiSE Liaison, Financial Manager, Communication and Fundraising.  These positions are covered by 2-3 executive members per role to achieve representation from academia, industry, and government.

Executive Responsibilities

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 women in STEM in order to plan the most effective activities.

How to join WISER

Both men and women in STEM-related roles are welcome to attend WISER activities and be 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 too many volunteers for a specific position on the executive, candidates are selected by voting.  The executive positions are evaluated every year at the annual general meeting.



madeleine1 Madeleine Jensen-Fontaine
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 became co-chair in 2015.
Sahar Banisoltan Sahar Banisoltan
I am currently Research Associate at the University of Alberta in Water Resources Engineering. I have joined WISER since March 2013 as a UA-WISE/WISER Liaison while I was a PhD student. I initiated and lead the first UA-WISE/WISER Mentorship Program in 2015. I initiated this program because I believed in power of awareness, in power of enthusiasm for wisdom. In the right of having the chance to learn what we might think we need to learn. I also believe that a well-developed society provides the chance for these needs. Therefore, I was blessed that as a WISER executive member, all of my efforts and those of the mentorship program committee gave this chance to others to gain skills. Since 2016, I have elected as co-chair and I am interested in empowering Fundraising Skills in WISER communities for having a chance to speak up for getting enough funds when we think there is a chance of change
Shoma Shoma Sinha
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).
Financial Manager
pic Aleks Aleksandra Popowich
I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Chemistry in 2012 and am currently pursuing my PhD in Analytical Chemistry here at the University of Alberta. Having previously volunteered for WISEST, I decided to join WISER to develop my leadership and communication skills as my scientific career advances and I become an early-career professional.
Website Administrator
DSC02339 Xiaohui Mao
I got my MSc Degree in chemical engineering, University of Alberta, 2015 and I currently continue to do PhD. I met Shoma in a event, who is one of the founders of WISER and decided to join WISER since May 2015. I really enjoy working with the executive team, knowing new people, and exploring my networking.
  Lindsay Blackstock
I am currently working on a PhD in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in Analytical and Environmental Toxicology. I graduated with a BSc in Environmental Chemistry from Thompson Rivers University in 2014. I began volunteering with WISEST in 2015 and joined the WISER executive team in September 2016 as a Web Administrator and Event Planner. WISER is a great way for me to network with other graduate students, early career professionals, and women in STEM. I am proud to be involved in such a supportive and vibrant community.
Mentorship Program Leader
Kristen WISER page Kristen Kavich
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). My current executive role is Mentorship Program Co-Lead, which I have carried since 2016. Through this role I help coordinate and organize the UA-WiSE/WISER Mentorship Program with members from UA-WiSE and WISER. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends, family and my pets.
 mengmeng Mengmeng Miao
I am a PhD student in Materials Engineering in the University of Alberta. I attended several events hold by WISER and was a mentee in the WISER Trio Mentorship Program in 2015. I found that the WISER events are very helpful for young professionals to start their career. So I joined the WISER team. Now I am the Co-Lead the Trio Mentorship Program 2016-2017. I want the help more young professionals like me to prepare to start their career.
ashleyn1 Ashley Newbigging
I was previously a volunteer for WISEST and when I heard about WISER, I immediately joined the team in 2015. I graduated with a BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences in 2014 here at the University of Alberta, and am currently working on a PhD in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in bioanalytical chemistry. Being a part of WISER is one of my most rewarding experiences as it not only helps me to grow and mature, but it enables me to give back to the STEM community.
AliYing Ali Chou
I am currently completing my MSc in Chemistry at the University of Alberta. I joined WISER in October 2015 and it has been a great experience to work with the executive team. Other than my avid interest in chemistry, I also adore fashion and am proudly to be involved in the fashion & entertainment industry.
AWSN Liaison
photo Shagufta Tasneem
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.
Event Planner
minji Minji Kim
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.