Executive Committee 2022

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 2022.


Co-Chairs

Ali Chou
Ali is a research scientist at X-Chem in Massachusetts, USA. She has a MSc in Chemistry, and is a certified project manager professional. In her non-linear career journey, she has worked in academia, non-profit, and now in Industry. She made career transitions from the benchside to corporate communications, and now back to research and development. She likes creating art, collecting funky socks, and exploring the wild.

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.

Yuki Bu
Yuki recently graduated from the University of Alberta with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Serving as a general volunteer for student clubs and professional organizations allowed her to put her event-creation and execution skills to the test. Her experience in social media management will be an asset when conducting the feedback process and collaborating with other platforms.

Elaine Runge
Elaine received her Bachelor in Marine Biology (University of Aberdeen, Scotland 2015), and Masters in Climate Change (University of Copenhagen 2021). She just started her PhD at the University of Alberta in Arctic research. She completed a social political service for a national NGO in Peru. Other volunteer engagement includes social and environmental justice, care work, political feminism and Ecofeminism, and degrowth.

Kathryn Lambert
Kathryn is a PhD Candidate in Rehabilitation Science and a practicing occupational therapist in the Edmonton area. Her research focuses on motor imagery in healthy and clinical populations. Kathryn never considered pursuing research until she met a strong female mentor during her undergraduate degree who provided her with invaluable training and support.

Rebecca Reif
Rebecca Reif is a PhD student in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Alberta. She is currently the graduate student representative for the department and a current member of the planning committee for the OB/GYN Research Day. She is actively involved in mentoring students in research on the University of Alberta Campus and is a Pandas Soccer alumni player. She is extremely passionate in teaching and uplifting others in the field of science.


Secretary

Kendra White
Kendra recently completed her Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering at the University of Alberta, specializing in River Hydraulics. She has started working as a Hydrotechnical E.I.T and is excited
to start on this new career path! Ever since participating in the UA-WISE/WISER Mentorship Program in 2020-2021, she has been motivated to volunteer with WiSER and hopes to contribute to the
organization in a meaningful way to help uplift underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Kendra previously served as Financial Manager in the 2021-2022 term, where she helped implement the annual budget. In her spare time, Kendra enjoys the great outdoors, as well as knitting, reading and house plant parenting.


Treasurer

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

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.

Jenna Evanchuk
Jenna is a second year 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 undergraduate degree (2017-2020), Jenna was on the volunteer committee at UA-WiSE where she gained experience in various roles, including sponsorship recruitment. Last year (2021/22) she served on the WiSER executive committee as a sponsorship manager. Jenna will be continuing in this role for the upcoming year and remains highly dedicated to being an advocate for equal representation and inclusion in all STEM fields.


Communications Managers

Jullana Arevalo
Jullana recently completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta. She wants to join WiSER since she is very passionate about equal representation within science, as well as making science more accessible to the general public. In her free time, she likes to re-watch sitcoms, listen to podcasts, and sewing

Anantha Ealeswarapu
I am a doctoral student in the chemistry program at the University of Alberta focusing on developing self-replicating isothermal strategies for viral RNA detection. I enjoyed being a volunteer tutor at the Tutors for Affordable Education (TAE ) at U of A and also being the VP of communications during my Master’s and decided to be part of WISER as I am interested in science and technology and I am thrilled to be part of the WISER executive committee.

Patricia Yan
Patricia has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta. She has volunteered and worked in STEM fields throughout her career, ranging from research labs, the oil and gas industry, and pharmaceuticals. Having volunteered for the WISEST Communications Committee and participated in the UA-WISE/WISER Mentorship Program in 2019-2020, she has seen first hand the impact that organizations like WISEST and WISER have in the community. Through WISER she hopes to continue to be an advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion for underrepresented groups in STEM.


Volunteer Coordinator

Angelle Britton
Angelle is a graduate 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.

Shahad (Shay) Al-Imarah
Shay started her PhD studies in pharmaceutical sciences recently. As a woman researcher and scientist, she understands the importance and challenges of women in research. She aims to be more involved in the community of women researchers, which she believes joining WiSER can help her achieve her goals. Her two major passions in life: fighting Cancer & watching Real Madrid playing football.


Event Planners

Vidya Raja
Vidya Raja, PhD, is a Chemical Engineer and works for the Pipeline industry. Her passion for engineering stems from the fact that she hails from a family of engineers. She believes in spreading the word about the wonderful field of engineering and encouraging more young minds, especially women, to explore it as a career. She also volunteers with APEGA, to educate young students to explore and develop their passion for engineering and the sciences. Besides, engineering Vidya is also a trained Indian classical dancer and has performed on several stages and at various venues in the US, India, and Canada.

Moneek Sandhu
Moneek is a third year General Sciences student at the University of Alberta. In addition to full-time schooling, Moneek works part-time as a a virtual medical scribe from home for Michigan Medicine. She first got involved with WiSER/WISEST in the sixth grade at the CHOICES conference and this inspired her to explore an education in the STEM fields. After seeing first-hand the impact WiSER has on underrepresented groups in the STEM fields, Moneek decided to join WiSER in her role as an Event Planner. She is also passionate about volunteering and spreading awareness on mental health through different organizations such as in her role as a distress line volunteer for CMHA, and the Maansik Movement among other volunteer positions. In her free time, Moneek enjoys painting, biking, listening to music and trying new recipes!

Laura Enekegho
Laura is a MSc. student in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta. She completed her BSc.(honors) in Biochemistry in 2021 and decided to pursue graduate studies afterwards to continue her passion for research. Her research focuses on engineering the probiotic yeast, Saccharomyces Boulardii, to detect and clear the pathogenic bacteria, Clostridium Perfringens. Laura joined WiSER because she is very passionate and enthusiastic about increasing diversity for underrepresented groups in STEM. She has been a volunteer for several 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.

Anushika Lakmini
Anushika is pursuing a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Alberta focusing on Real Time Digital Simulations of HVDC transmission systems. She has volunteered in Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), which is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, as an executive committee member of IEEE Sri Lanka Section Power and Energy Society, IEEE Sri Lanka Section Young Professionals and held the position of Vice secretary of IEEE Sri Lanka Section Central Region Subsection.  Also, she worked as the registration chair for IEEE Sri Lanka Power Engineering Conference 2021 and was the program lead of IEEE humanitarian project design competition 2021. Fun facts: In her spare time, she likes to go to the gym or to the library. She likes cycling along the river valley and she is an active member of the U of A Badminton club 


Mentors in Residence

Zeenat Ladak
Zeenat is a PhD student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Toronto with a focus on health services in maternal care. Alongside her Phd Degree, Zeenat is the Chief Operations Officer for the Brain Changes Initiative non-profit and Secretary of the Canadian Association for Medical Education Foundation. Prior to her current degree, Zeenat completed her MSc at the University of Alberta where she also participated in the UA-WISE/WiSER Mentorship Program as an early-career professional. Zeenat went on to become the Mentorship Program Co-Lead, and thereafter, Co-Chair of WiSER until the end of her term in 2021. Zeenat was also the recipient of AWSN‘s Inaugural Athena Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2019.

Megha Bajaj
Megha has a Ph.D. in Cell Biology & currently works as an Innovation Manager at Innovate Calgary ,the technology transfer office of University of Calgary. She has over six 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. Megha has volunteered with WiSER in various roles since last 5 years, most recently as a Mentor in Residence in 2021/22 & Co-chair in 2020/21 Megha also volunteers with CCWESTT on various committees and 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.

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. Madeleine now works at the University of Alberta Career Centre.


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