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  • Writer's pictureMaral Aminpour

Even from a distance, we're still celebrating together!

I was fortunate enough to attend the WiSE Planet Annual Celebration, which was held in Calgary. Although I was unable to attend in person, I had the opportunity to watch the event in Edmonton, thanks to Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell's efforts to organize a separate celebration for us here in Edmonton. During the event, I learned about the program and the latest cohort from the NSERC Chair and Program Team, Dr. Laleh Behjat.

Dr. Laleh Bhejat is a professor in Electrical Engineering at the University of Calgary. She has devoted a significant part of her career to empowering women and creating opportunities for them through the WisePlanet Program. Her achievements and dedication to supporting women in their career development makes her an ideal example of the kind of leader I am seeking to learn from and emulate in my career goals.

I was also able to hear speeches from program sponsors, including Jana Mosely, President of ENMAX Power Corporation, Dr. William Rosehart, Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, and Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell, College Dean and Vice Provost of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Alberta.

It was my first time meeting Dr. Kalcounis-Rueppell, and I was impressed by how approachable, personable, and supportive she was towards women. Her dedication to promoting the success of women in the WiSE Planet Program was evident throughout the event, and it left an impactful impression on me.

During the event, the most interesting part for me was watching the short videos that highlighted some of the projects from the previous cohort (cohort 2). I was fascinated by how the graduates were connected through the program and had the opportunity to collaborate with each other. It was truly refreshing to see women supporting women.

Cheers to women in STEM! Despite not being able to attend in-person, I'm still thrilled to be a part of this incredible community. Thank you, Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell, for connecting us through this online celebration.

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