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.



mengmeng Mengmeng Miao
I am currently a PhD candidate in Materials Engineering in the University of Alberta. I joined the UA-WiSE/ WISER Trio-Mentorship program 2015-2016 as a graduate student. Then I joined WISER exec team and assisted on communications. I have learned so much from the Trio-Mentorship program that I became the program co-lead in 2016-2017 and wanted to promote the program to help more students. It has been such a great experience for me to reach out to the community, to develop and learn professional skills, and to make new friends. This year, I will work with the WISER team and provide help and support to women in STEM.
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 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 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.
Ali Chou
I completed my MSc in Chemistry in 2017. I joined WiSER as a UA-WiSE/WiSER liaison in 2015. In 2017 I became the financial manager. In my spare time, I like to follow fashion and stay active in the fashion industry. WiSER not only acknowledgs women in STEM fields, but also helps foster relationships between early-career professionals and graduate students, through our networking events, professional development workshops, and the mentorship program.
  Ping Jiang
I obtained my PhD degree from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta in 2016. I have known WISER when I was a graduate student. It has been a great opportunity for me to join wiser through the industrial mixer event held in November 2016. WISER is a very supportive organization for people in early-career development. We develop all kinds of events (e.g.,leadship workshop, mentorship program) to support the career advancement of women in STEM. Since joined wiser, I have met a lot of excellent graduate students and professionals in STEM and learned valuable professinal skill from them.
Website Administrator
DSC02339 Xiaohui Mao
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.
  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.
  Evelyn Asiedu

In June, 2013 I graduated with an Honors Specialization in Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to this I participated in a 16 month internship (May 2011- August 2012) at the National Laboratory of Environmental Testing where I worked as an environmental analyst. This experience piqued my interest in analytical environmental chemistry and drove me to seek out graduate programs where I could further my knowledge in the field. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in the Martin research group. My research project focuses on monitoring persistence of a variety of organic chemicals in oil sands process affected water. Volunteering has always been an important part of my personal growth. In the past, I served on the executive committee of a student group at Western University (Black Students’ Association) which allowed me to build up my leadership skills. Working as a team member of WISER has allowed me to contribute to my community and maintain my skills in a new and relevant capacity. I enjoyed my role as lead organizer of the AWSN speaker series and look forward to my new role.

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
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.

Previous WiSER members

Sahar Banisoltan

Sonbol Yazdanbakhsh