Faculty of Science 5Oth Anniversary Event Explores STEM Careers

As part of a full year of events marking its 50th anniversary, the Faculty of Science at York University is hosting Celebrating #WomenInSTEM, on Saturday, March 7 from 10am onward in the main floor of the Life Sciences Building on the Keele campus.

#WomenInSTEM will bring together grads, faculty and students of all genders for a full day of discussions about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), well being, families, life balance and more. Details are available on the event website.

“We have put together a great program with inspiring panellists whose backgrounds span the range of STEM disciplines. How they got to their current positions building on a York degree makes for great stories. But there is also the human angle to these stories. This event is an opportunity for our current students to ask questions, explore new paths, but also just be inspired,” said York University physics Professor Sampa Bhadra, one of the organizers.

The event is free and open to anyone who is considering a STEM career or path of study. To assist with planning, organizers are asking interested participants to register at http://goo.gl/RrTyT8.

Organizers have planned a set of dynamic panels focused on connecting current science students with female grads from Biology, Psychology, Physics and Astronomy, Education, Space Science, Math and Chemistry. The hope is that the event will provide the foundation for future career building and networking opportunities. Grads attending #WomenInSTEM will talk about their diverse career paths, many of which may not be readily apparent to current students.

The day will begin with welcoming comments from Faculty of Science Professor Gillian Wu, dean emeritus of the former Faculty of Science and Engineering. Wu is a professor of Kinesiology and Health Science and Biology at York University and an active researcher. Her career has spanned the academic, administrative and research fields.

Following Wu’s opening remarks; a morning panel will explore non-traditional science careers. Moderated by David Cappadocia, York PhD candidate in kinesiology and health science, participating in the panel are four York grads:

Tracy Tanentzap (BSc ’11, JD ’14) is completing her articling term at the Legal services Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Labour and hopes to be called to the Bar in June.

Wendy Graham (BSc ’96) is a graduate of the Psychology Program in the Faculty of Health. Graham is the founder of Science Riot Girls, which is an after school science program for girls ages six to ten.

Julie Tomé (BSc ’03) is a graduate of the Physics and Astronomy program and is currently a teacher at the Royal Ontario Museum. Her observatory work at theYork University Astronomical Observatory inspired her to a career in learning at science centres and museums.

Barbara Kerr (BA ’77) is an educational developer working with the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. She currently works in the Teaching Commons.

Following the first panel there will be a light lunch. In parallel, there will be a moderated discussion with York alumnus Nicholas Luong (BSc ’10),who graduated with an honours degree specializing in pharmaceutical and biological chemistry. Now back at York University, Luong is an assistant advising coordinator in the Faculty of Science.

After lunch, the afternoon panel will explore traditional STEM careers and will be moderated by Lisa Cole, a science and technology program facilitator for the Durham District School Board and physics educator. Cole is a master’s candidate in education at York University and is president of the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers. Participating in the panel are four York grads:

Zoe Davis (BSc ’12) is a PhD student in the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering and is affiliated with the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry.

Jennifer Grixti (BSc ’01, MSc ’05) is a scientist for the Ministry of Environment. A science writer, Grixti is focused on training scientists in how to communicate their research to policy makers and to the general public.

Sherry Boodram (PhD ’13) has worked as a drug forensic chemist and is currently a project lead at the Canadian Environmental Impact Assessment Agency where she manages the federal environmental assessment of major resource projects.

Anna Doudina (BSc ’06) is the director, GRS Actuarial Financial Reporting at Sun Life Financial.

The day will conclude with an informal networking reception where light refreshments will be served.

Organized by York biology Professor Dawn Bazely, York physics Professor Sampa Bhadra and York astronomy Professor Michael De Robertis, #WomenInSTEM is sponsored by the Faculty of Science, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University Alumni Association and the office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost.

For more information, visit the Celebrating #YorkU #WomenInSTEM website.


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