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Best of the WWEST

Author: Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology

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Welcome to Best of the WWEST (Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology), where we believe providing role models for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) can change the world. Come along with us as we talk to incredible women in STEM about their lives, careers, and everything in between.
125 Episodes
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As the world repeatedly fails to meet climate goals, scientists are the ones on the front lines facing the brunt of the complex issue.  This episode Lynne Quarmby opens up about her own personal struggles with eco-anxiety and the relentless fight scientists face against the global climate crisis. Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
Artificial intelligence is penetrating almost every walk of life and changing how we approach everyday life. While it shares a glimpse of the near future, AI still reflects our current society and the large gaps that have yet to be filled. This episode we speak with Katrina Ingram, founder and CEO of Ethically Aligned AI, to learn more about the need for ethical discussions and diversity in AI and the tech industry.    Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Jade Boyd takes us through her life as a qualitative researcher scientist with British Columbia's Centre of Substance Use to understand the experiences and challenges of women who use drugs. This year the provincee of British Columbia legalised possession of 2.5 grams of certain illicit drugs for people 18 years and older. This is part of a three-year pilot in which  MDMA, Cocaine, Methamphetamines, and opioids have been decriminalised in hopes to tamp down on the escalating opioid crisis.    Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Shayle Graham talks to us about Black ESTEEM, a non-profit organization supporting Black girls' interest and confidence in STEM, economics, and entrepreneurship. Through her experience as an educator and an equity, anti-racism, anti-Black and anti-oppression coach for one of the largest school boards in Canada, Graham works to celebrate the beauty and brilliance of Black girls and their communities.  Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Jessica Vandenberghe talks to us about her experiences as an Indigenous engineer at the forefront of addressing reconciliation in the STEM field. From working in the oil and mining industries to becoming the Assistant Dean at the University of Alberta's faculty of engineering, Vandenberghe talks about the importance of truth & reconciliation to build stronger communities with well-informed engineers.  Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Damineh Akhavan takes us through her life as an aerospace engineer and a human rights activist protesting weekly for women's rights in Iran. From the streets of Iran to the heart of Downtown Vancouver, activists like Akhavan are standing up to bring awareness to the cause and change to their home country. Protests in Iran and around the world follow the death of 23 year old Mahsa Amini, who was killed by Iran's morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab correctly.  Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Dr. Naheda Sahtout and Dr. Nicole Brown sit with us to discuss the experiences of individuals with disabilities in STEM and academia, and how we can make STEM more accessible for disabled individuals in the workplace, lab, and classroom! Dr. Naheda Sahtout (Ph.D) is an award-winning academic, researcher, scientist, and leader. Naheda completed her B.Sc. (Honours) in Biology from the University of Waterloo, M.Sc. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Guelph, and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan. She is currently a Science Analyst in the Office of the Chief Science Operating Officer with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Naheda developed a strong interest in STEM outreach and finding innovative and creative ways of bringing STEM to rural and Indigenous communities during her graduate programs. She also found her passion in enhancing graduate education, and as a student leader worked hard to strengthening the student-supervisory relationship, finding more resources for graduate students, increasing the networking opportunities for graduate students with non-academic partners, and working on initiatives that prepare graduate students for non-academic careers. Aside from all her efforts on campus, she also finds time to volunteer in the community and spent much of her time in Saskatoon helping refugees and newcomers with the Saskatoon Open Door Society. Currently, she is the Managing director of the Muslim Achieving Excellence Scholarships Fund program, a national program dedicated to supporting excellence in youth. Having herself tackled an academic journey with a visual impairment; she is passionate about advocating for inclusivity, diversity, equality and accessibility in science. She is committed to redefining the landscape and finding ways to support women and girls succeed. She continues to dedicate her time to these matters, whether it is in the workplace or at a global level. Her unique background and first-hand experience navigating academia, combined with her fierce and enthusiastic nature, have given her the tools to be an excellent advocate for the matters that are close to her heart. Dr. Nicole Brown is a writer, social researcher, and associate professor working on the cusp of research/practice/teaching. She is Director of Social Research & Practice and Education Ltd and Associate Professor at University College London. Nicole’s creative and research work relate to physical and material representations of experiences, the generation of knowledge, the use of metaphors, and more generally, research methods and approaches to explore identity and body work. Her books include Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education, Ableism in Academia: Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education, Embodied Inquiry: Research Methods, and Making the Most of Your Research Journal. Her next books are Creativity in Education: International Perspectives and Photovoice, Reimagined. Nicole's creative nonfiction has been published in the Journal of Participatory Research Methods, So Fi Zine and The AutoEthnographer. Nicole shares her work at https://www.nicole-brown.co.uk and she tweets as @ncjbrown and @AbleismAcademia Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Anja Lanz, FEC, P.Eng., and Global Women In STEM Inc. Founder/CEO will share her experience as an EDI champion, and discuss workplace inclusivity! Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Eli Haynes talks to us about the importance of science literacy and outreach from a neuroscience perspective. Eli graduated with a degree in Human Kinetics from UBC Okanagan in 2018 and is currently a graduate student in Health and Exercise Sciences at the school. He is passionate about providing opportunities for people from underrepresented groups to engage with, and learn about the benefits of, STEM. The activities he instructs involve demonstrating the relevance of STEM knowledge in the everyday lives of outreach participants. Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Melanie Mitchell shares her experience as an Indigenous woman in computer science, and discusses the role of technology in empowering indigenous communities. Melanie is a member of the Shuswap Nation and is currently a principal consultant for a global custom software development company. Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, Olivia Ireland and Joshua Rojas discuss the importance of gender equality and equity, and how individuals can support and encourage opportunities for diversity and inclusion. Olivia Ireland is a UBCO biochemistry student, and co-organizer of the Sciversify UBCO student conference. Joshua Rojas is a Texas high school student who is actively supporting opportunities for women and raising awareness of the need for greater equity, diversity, and inclusion through his podcast. Link to Joshua's podcast: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/male-feminism-joshua-rojas-6RZvjKbk-xh/   Link to the Sciversify UBCO conference: https://events.ok.ubc.ca/event/welcome-week-sciversify-ubco-conference/ Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
In this episode, we discuss Women in STEM and the Canadian Armed Forces and how to empower oneself in a male environment with Lieutenant-Commander Kayla Bouchard! Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
This episode explores the career progression of women in STEM from university, to industry, and leadership. Dr. Michelle Kunimoto is a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. During her undergraduate degree, Michelle discovered 4 new exoplanets and she has carried that interest forward to now improving techniques for finding exoplanets. Michelle is also dedicated to inspiring young women and exciting individuals about astronomy. Karine Poliquin is a Civil Engineer with 7 years’ experience in the consulting engineering industry. She started her career as a structural engineer, but halfway through switched her focus to transportation design. Most of her projects involve low-volume road design and ice road engineering in northern Canada. During her spare time, Karine volunteers for the ACEC-BC EDI committee, and for Women in Consulting Engineering. Nancy Darling is the creator and project administrator for the Women in Trades Training (WITT) Project at Okanagan College. The program introduces women to the building trades and supports women to step into a career in the trades. Nancy received a BA in Community Rehabilitation from the University of Calgary, and was motivated to develop the WITT program after noticing the underrepresentation of women in trades and the systemic barriers to their participation. Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
Welcome to the first episode of WWEST UBCO's continuation of the Best of the WWEST Podcast! In this episode, Dr. Jakobi will outline the goals of the WWEST program and highlight the exciting projects to come.  Jennifer (Jenn) Jakobi, is a Professor in Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She was the Associate Chair Westcoast Women in Engineering Science and Technology (WWEST; 2018-2020), and founding director of the integrative STEM Team Advancing networks of Diversity (iSTAND) Program. Through these programs she worked towards increasing diversity across STEM fields through engaging, mentoring and supporting youth and women in STEM activities that facilitate self-awareness, and professional understanding to empower organizational change through independent contributions. Most recently, Dr. Jakobi was named the new NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) program for BC and the Yukon.  We would like to thank WWEST SFU for the outstanding precedent they have set with the Best of the WWEST podcast. We are excited to take on this project and continue the wonderful work they have done! Listen to the Best of the WWEST on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon, iHeart, Gaana, and Castbox Visit wwest-cwse.ca to learn more about WWEST and to listen to other available episodes.
Marg Latham P.Eng has been around the scene for a long time. She’s a pioneer for women and intersectionality in STEM, she’s a leader, and she loves to build things! Listen to this episode for some real gems of wisdom and advice and an all-around fun conversation between Marg and WWEST podcast producer and host Vanessa. (Please excuse any audio hiccups in this remotely recorded interview.) Marg Latham was the only woman to graduate in civil engineering from Queen’s University in 1974. Since then, she has continued to be a pioneer and trailblazer. Marg is a professional engineer and certified management consultant. She is President of Aqua Libra Consulting Ltd., a management consulting firm. Since starting her business in 2010, she has helped public and private engineering organizations improve professional practice and quality management. For five decades, Marg has also been a champion for women in engineering and construction across Canada. She is currently the Chair of the Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (WinSETT), an organization committed to fostering opportunities for women to enter, stay, grow and lead at all levels in science, engineering, trades and technology careers. Marg is the 2021 recipient of the RA McLachlin Award, one of the Presidents Awards presented annually by EGBC. For full shownotes, transcription, and land acknowledgement visit http://i.sfu.ca/HAjtZe Relevant Links: 2021 President's Award - Engineers & Geoscientists BC - R.A. MacLachlan Memorial Award Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) - Women and Gender Equality Canada Skill Builders - WinSETT Centre WinSETT Centre Hosted by: Vanessa Hennessey Theme Music: “Positive and Fun” by Scott HolmesProduced by: Vanessa Hennessey
Janet Phan is busy, but she's also working on changing the landscape for girls and women in STEM. In this episode, she tells us all about moving across an ocean to another country for a job, finding internal peace with past challenges, and how technology drives everything we do. Plus, she gives the inside scoop into her new book, "Boldly You!" (Please excuse any audio hiccups in this remotely recorded interview.) Janet T. Phan is the Founder and Executive Director of Thriving Elements, a nonprofit dedicated to creating access and opportunities for underserved, underrepresented girls with long-term, 1:1 mentorship in STEM fields.  For full shownotes, transcription, and land acknowledgement visit http://i.sfu.ca/yNLlGg Relevant Links: 3 Key Elements to Thriving Mentorship - TEDxZurich Boldly You Janet on LinkedIn Master of Science in Information Systems, University of Washington Thriving Elements Weyerhaeuser Hosted by: Vanessa Hennessey Theme Music: “Positive and Fun” by Scott HolmesProduced by: Vanessa Hennessey
We're talking STEAM in this episode - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math - with Sadé Akinbami. She joins host and producer Vanessa to talk about how music and STEM intertwine, how to survive university, and how we have come a long way when it comes to equity among all people in STEM, but we still have a long way to go. (Please excuse any audio hiccups in this remotely recorded interview.) Sadé Akinbami is a multifaceted Nigerian-Canadian artist and practicing civil engineer. Sadé’s heritage has played a major role in the carving of her path thus far; a path which intertwines both the sciences and the arts. Having graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering - Concentration in Management, Sadé has since then followed an unconventional path by being a Project Engineer, Project Manager and also a singer, song-writer, and producer. For full shownotes, transcription, and land acknowledgement visit http://i.sfu.ca/hnGxyv Relevant Links: Carleton University Employee Spotlight - Sadé Akinbami Sadé's music Sadé on Soundcloud Hosted by: Vanessa Hennessey Theme Music: “Positive and Fun” by Scott HolmesProduced by: Vanessa Hennessey
Jasmine Shaw, P.Eng is joining us to talk about mentoring, coaching, engineering, and...drones? Yes, drones! Hear about the cool work she's doing in the Aerospace realm with Amazon and their Prime Air  program. Plus, Jasmine talks about the other cool project she's worked on: the Ontario Sick Day Relief Project, which raised over $60,000 in paid sick days for Ontario’s essential workers through the third wave of COVID-19. (Please excuse any audio hiccups in this remotely recorded interview.) Jasmine Shaw is a professional engineer, entrepreneur, and changemaker. She has over 5 years experience of systems engineering and project management in the aerospace industry. Her journey to transform STEM began nearly 10 years ago during her undergraduate degree at Carleton University where she implemented a local youth outreach program, and has since grown to include a business that helps women in STEM achieve their full career potential. She also founded the Ontario Sick Day Relief Project, which raised over $60,000 in paid sick days for Ontario’s essential workers through the third wave of COVID-19. For full shownotes, transcription, and land acknowledgement visit http://i.sfu.ca/MajTDF Relevant Links: Amazon Prime Air General Dynamics Jasmine's website Ontario Sick Day Relief Project TechTalks Hosted by: Vanessa Hennessey Theme Music: “Positive and Fun” by Scott HolmesProduced by: Vanessa Hennessey
Dr. Ben Britton joins host and producer Vanessa just in time for LGBT STEM Day. The conversation about 2SLGBTQ+ people's participation in STEM is ramping up more and more, and we're talking about what employers and those in academia can do to create a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for 2SLGBTQ+ folks. We also cover what kinds of unique circumstances this community experiences, with some harrowing statistics that show how much work needs to be done to be inclusive to 2SLGBTQ+ people working in and studying STEM. (Please excuse any audio hiccups in this remotely recorded interview.) Ben Britton is an Associate Professor in Materials Engineering at UBC, teaches on the Manufacturing Engineering programme and holds a visiting Readership at Imperial College London. Ben leads a research group looking at characterising the performance and manufacturing of materials used in high risk high value applications, as well as materials used to support us achieving a low carbon future. In addition to his technical work, Ben works to agitate for improved equity in STEM, including a focus on LGBTQ+ issues. For full shownotes, transcription, and land acknowledgement visit http://i.sfu.ca/BuhvRT Relevant Links: Cech, E.A. and Waidzunas, T.J., "Systemic inequalities for LGBTQ professionals in STEM" Dr. Britton on Wikipedia Experimental Micromechanical Characterisation Research Group Institute of Physics, "Exploring the workplace for LGBT+ physical scientists" report LGBT STEM Day "No Sexuality, Please, We're Scientists" (talk, Imperial College London) Responses from members of 21 STEM professional societies - a Twitter thread Safer Spaces Hosted by: Vanessa Hennessey Theme Music: “Positive and Fun” by Scott HolmesProduced by: Vanessa Hennessey
Deyanira Mendoza Dominguez, a self-described non-boring engineer, has been to 16 countries, which she visited with her husband on their motorcycles to conduct research! You'll hear all about it in this episode. She also lets us in on what kind of challenges are presented to someone immigrating to Canada who is also a woman in STEM, and how those challenges helped her stand on her own two feet and build an empire around her.  Deyanira was made in Mexico, but she is purely Canadian. Deyanira Mendoza Dominguez is an experienced Professional Engineer, Certified Project Manager, and Woman of Action. Her motto is “making the impossible possible”. She is a non-boring Engineer and the first published Mexican woman to complete a continuous two-year return motorcycle journey through the Americas, doing research in 16 countries. She is motivated to support underprivileged girls and to be an equity advocate for women and immigrants. For full shownotes, transcription, and land acknowledgement visit http://i.sfu.ca/tzOITn Relevant Links: Deep Space Food Challenge Deyanira on LinkedIn - find all of her projects here Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference The MDMOTO Group Stumbler Woman of Action Hosted by: Vanessa Hennessey Theme Music: “Positive and Fun” by Scott HolmesProduced by: Vanessa Hennessey
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Comments (2)

kambrielle

Wow so much great content. Thought-provoking.

Jun 5th
Reply

kambrielle

Rike’s most memorable moment cracked me up!

Apr 23rd
Reply
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