Meet the Team:

WIS Founders

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SAADIA SARKER

Co-Founder & Project Coordinator

Hobbies: watching documentaries, travelling, bubble tea, knitting, baking

I graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto (double major in Immunology and Environmental Science) and am currently working as a Clinical Research Assistant at the University Health Network (UHN). 

I am a passionate environmental and public health advocate with a mission of engaging more females in STEM fields. I have been involved in various non-profit and health organizations such as the Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services (BCS), Youth Health Action Network (YHAN), Toronto Public Health, Entrepreneurship and Technology for Youth (ETY), Sustainable Development Network (SDN), Youth, Social, Financial and Economic Council (YSFEC), UHN, and Health Canada. Growing up I wish I had access to mentors in STEM, and by starting Women in STEM, I hope we can provide opportunities to our female youth in the community.

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FARIHA R KHAN

Co-Founder & Project Coordinator

Hobbies: playing guitar, drinking bubble tea, listening to podcasts about music

I’m Fariha also known by my middle name “Ruhani” to some folks. I graduated with a BBA degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University in 2019.

 

I’ve been involved with numerous charitable organizations including Women in STEM’s organizational mentor Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services (BCS) and briefly with WE Charity as a Strategist. STEM includes a range of fields that I did not get the opportunity to explore in-depth while growing up and I hope to bridge that gap for future generations through WIS. I also hope to help other young women and professionals grow their networks and develop the key skills they need to succeed in STEM-related industries. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/khanfariha/

WIS Youth Leaders

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SONIA CHHAY

Youth Leader

Age: 22

Hobbies: learning about design, travelling

Hi, my name is Sonia Chhay and I am 22 years old. I graduated with a B.Sc. from University of Toronto (double major in Statistics and Cognitive Science) and am currently working as a Teaching Assistant at WeCloudData. My interests related to STEM are data science, analytics, and robotics. I’m passionate about learning and enjoy sharing my experiences with the community!  

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BELICIA SARKODIE

Youth Leader

Age:  22

Hobbies: 

Hi I am Belicia and I am in skilled trades ( in-home reno) and general labour. I'm interested in civil engineering, and I'm just looking into learning more about the career and other STEM programs that grab my interest.
 

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ZEINAB IBRAHIM

Youth Leader

Age:  21

Hobbies: creative writing, watercolour painting, swimming & volunteering

Hi, my name is Zeinab. Currently, I study environmental science however, I’m passionate about combining my knowledge and skills with tech. WIS is the perfect opportunity to learn from individuals that have successfully done so while meeting youth leaders from across Toronto.

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RAWDAT ROUF

Youth Leader

Age:  16

Hobbies: arts, graphic design

Hi All, my name is Rawdat and I am in grade 11. My 
stem interests include science, more specifically astronomy and chemical engineering/forensics.

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ZAHRA AHMED

Youth Leader

Age: 14

Hobbies: travelling, volunteering, sports, advocacy

My name is Zahra Ahmed, and I am a 14 year old student currently attending high school. I have a wide range of interests in STEM related subjects, like biology, computer science, and aerospace engineering. My other interests include travelling the world, volunteering at community events, playing sports, and being an active advocate for the youth. 

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SAMIA BHUIYAN

Youth Leader

Age: 18

Hobbies: 

My name is Samia and I am18 years old. I’m interested in STEM because I’ll be starting my first year of civil engineering at Ryerson University this fall, which is why I’d like to be more involved in the STEM community. Through this program I hope to get a better understanding of where I stand in the community, meet new people and start networking.

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SANA AHMED

Youth Leader

Age: 16

Hobbies: graphic design, digital art, games

My name is Sana Ahmed, I’m 16 years old and currently a student in high school. Outside of STEM, I'm passionate about graphic design, digital art and games. My interests in STEM include science and engineering, delving into robotics and AI. While on the team, I hope to meet like-minded people within the community and explore many other interesting fields of STEM.

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AKOSUA OWUSU-ANSAH

Youth Leader

Hobbies: Reading, Swimming, Baking, Volunteering

Hi, my name is Akosua a bachelor of science graduate from the University of Toronto (double major in Human biology and Developmental Psychology). I am interested in gaining insight and improving mental health amongst children and youth as well as in clinical research. In my leisure time I like to engage in activities like reading novels or swimming. I also enjoy volunteering and am currently a club facilitator for the Visions of Science youth program. I am excited to meet inspiring individuals with similar interests in the STEM field to learn from!

WIS Speakers

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FARHAN MONOWER

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

April 25, 2020

Farhan Monower is a 4th year student at the University of Waterloo in the Mechatronics Engineering Program.

 

Over his years at the program he has studied a variety of engineering courses, covering mechanical, electrical, and software content. He has also worked at a variety of places through the University of Waterloo’s co-op program, including Ritual, Philip Beesley’s Living Architecture, and will be going to Ford Motor Company for his next co-op. His interests are in software, electronics and firmware.

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CHRISTINA PARUAG

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

May 30, 2020

Meet Christina Paruag, Founder of a FemEvolve, a business and events consulting agency and Organizer of Toronto Professional Women's Meetup. Christina has a combination of experimental and clinical research experience in radiation therapy, breast cancer, epilepsy and stroke. She previously taught science to children and teens through a program called Visions of Science. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Physics and went on to have her thesis published in the Journal of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology. During her undergraduate studies, Christina was diagnosed with a condition called endometriosis, which led to her interest in business and to create a print and digital magazine focused on science-based health and wellness information for women. Christina is a public speaker and a former Miss World Canada judge, sharing openly about her experiences to inspire others to live life to the fullest.

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LEAH DAVIDSON

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

July 25, 2020

Leah grew up in a small rural town in Quebec and studied for a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She has since worked in data science consulting, started her own social enterprise Canduit, and worked in business operations for Uber. She is very invested in closing the gender diversity gap in STEM and has founded a chapter of Technovation, a coding and mentorship program for girls, and is working on a new project called StemChef, an escape room project that teaches kids science through cooking and hands-on games and puzzles.

 

She has also volunteered for UN Women's Empower Women initiative as a Global Champion for Change, where she focused on storytelling around female founders and women in ICT careers. She has participated in The Next 36, Canada's Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative, and Start-Up Chile's The S Factory Program for Female Founders. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidson125/

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SAABIQA CHOWDHURY

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

August 29, 2020

Saabiqa Chowdhury is a 5th-year student at the University of Ottawa studying Biomed./Mechanical engineering and Computer Technology.

 

After completing her Capstone group project involving the design of an orthotic device, she has built a portfolio in engineering design and CAD modelling and has plans to do research in microfluidics and microfabrication. In addition to her volunteer work at the University of Ottawa's biomicrofluidics lab, she has worked as an instructor and project developer for the University of Ottawa's engineering and science camp. Due to her growing interest in supporting local businesses and artists in her community, Saabiqa is passionate about offering her expertise as a freelance designer. Saabiqa's hobbies and interests include design, laser engraving, cricket, creative writing, music, and video games.

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EDMAN ABUKAR

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

September 26, 2020

I graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and Biology. Throughout my STEM journey, I conducted research in the field of Crime Scene Identification, in which I compared two types of chemical enhancements on two-dimensional blooded footwear impressions. My work as a lead author was published in the journal Identification Canada. Further, I was invited to the International Association of Forensic Sciences Conference 2017 in Toronto, to give a poster presentation. I’m also passionate about working with communities and empowering youth. In 2019 I became a Youth Volunteer Facilitator at Visions of Science, an organization that provides STEM programming to youth across the GTA. I have always been fascinated by the field of Psychology and Neuroscience, and thus decided to return to school.

 

Currently I’m in my final year at York University as an Honors Bachelor of Arts candidate in Psychology. My current focus is researching and analyzing data regarding marginalized youth and cognitive functioning. From this, I hope to address the various factors that govern youth homelessness and its corresponding health outcomes. By working with health professionals and patients at the University Health Network as a Patient Flow Coordinator at Princess Margaret Hospital since 2018, my passions for the field of medicine and helping others strengthened immensely. I intend to apply to medical school in 2021 and pursue a career in family medicine. During my free time I enjoy running, reading poetry, and spending time with my family and friends. 

 

http://linkedin.com/in/edman-abukar-760773174

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DR. DANICA QUICKFALL

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

October 17, 2020

Dr. Danica Quickfall is presently completing her residency in General Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her journey into medicine has been anything but conventional. Dr. Quickfall initially completed her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at the University of Calgary. Through an unusual series of events, she shifted her career path and found herself working as a Critical Care Paramedic at STARS before moving to Yellowknife, NT to fly for Advance Medical Solutions.

 

Dr. Quickfall spent several years in her field, and being one for adventure, found herself in many diverse work places - from a busy urban ground ambulance service to delivering a baby at 30,000 feet. Despite her passion for flight medicine and patient care, her quest for lifelong learning and passion for intensive care pushed her to return to school once more. She completed her B.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Calgary and went on to attend medical school at McGill University.

 

Moving forward, she plans to pursue a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine with a particular interest in Critical Care Toxicology.

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DR. ANANYA TINA BANERJEE

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

May 30, 2020

Dr. Ananya Tina Banerjee is Assistant Professor in the Divisions of Social & Behaviour Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Her public health research on diabetes prevention for South Asian communities exemplifies a commitment to providing a strong foundation in epidemiologic and qualitative methods guided by anti-oppression, intersectionality, and community partnerships. She launched and offers the first course on “Race, Ethnicity, And Culture and Health” for graduate students at the University of Toronto. She is also trained in Indian classical music and loves travelling rural areas of Ontario.

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JOY WU

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

June 27, 2020

Joy graduated from the University of Toronto with an HBSc specializing in Statistics and minoring in Mathematics. She currently works as a Data Associate at WatrHub, a data intelligence company focused on improving the public infrastructure in North America.

 

Finding a position at the intersection of her personal interests, strengths and skillset took a few iterations, she spent her internships working at different financial institutions which were invaluable learning experiences that ultimately lead her here. She was a guest speaker on behalf of her department’s Internship and Mentorship program on various occasions and continues working with them to connect students with professional opportunities.

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IYORE OLAYE

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

July 25, 2020

Named to Forbes ‘30 under 30’ 2018 list for her profound work, she is an innovative product leader, engineer, and advocate for diversity in technology and entrepreneurship. She works at the forefront of disruption in a range of industries from personal care & beauty, food &
beverage, and transportation. She delves into the intersection of ideation, innovation, and market adoption to create meaningful products that transform industries and communities.

Her work and accomplishments continue to bring her much acclaim, leading her to address and be honoured by the United States Senate, Forbes Magazine, Delta Airlines, Anita B: Grace Hopper Women in Computing, Entrepreneurship Magazine, BET, MIC, and many more. She graduated from Cornell University with a B.Sc in chemical and biomolecular engineering. 
 

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MUAZMA ZAHID

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

August 29, 2020

Muazma Zahid is a Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft Azure Global team, where she enables customers to deploy the most demanding Data workloads on Azure. She has been a Data Engineer/Architect and Speaker for over thirteen years working on several Big Data, Cloud Computing, and AI Technologies. She is an active researcher in biomedical engineering and her research software is used in EKG machines all around the world.

Muazma is a first-generation immigrant to the US and advocate of diversity and inclusion. She is President of non-profit organization Pakistani Women in Computing which is on a mission to build a strong global network of Pakistani women in technology and allies to foster the community’s growth through meaningful connections and learning opportunities. She has led several programs for AnitaB.org and currently leads the AnitaB.org Seattle community. She is also a leader at Women Who Code and Women at Microsoft.

Twitter: @MuazmaZahid 

LinkedIn: Muazma Zahid

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AVA GHODS

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

September 26, 2020

Hi there! I am in the second year of my Master of Social Work program in the Mental Health and Health stream at the University of Toronto. I completed my Honours Bachelor of Science in Mental Health Studies from the University of Toronto Scarborough, where I designed and conducted my undergraduate honours research thesis about undergraduate’s mental health literacy, self-stigma, and help-seeking behaviour. 

  

I am incredibly passionate about youth advocacy and mental health. In the past, I co-founded a mental health group in which we created and led mental health literacy workshops for peers and young people in the Scarborough community as a method of increasing knowledge and decreasing stigma surrounding mental health and wellness. Furthermore, I have worked in research organizations such as the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest and Nuralogix, on neuroscience, psychology, and physiology projects. To gain competencies in different fields, throughout my professional career I have worked in research, advocacy, education, and front-line healthcare. I believe meaningful change is facilitated through diverse sectors and people working in collaboration.  

 

Some of my hobbies I greatly enjoy include: hiking, running, painting, and being a keen student of astronomy! 

 

Feel free to connect with me: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ava-ghods/ 

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DR. TEHMINA AHMAD

Speaker

Speaker presenting on:

October 17, 2020

Dr. Tehmina Ahmad’s work at SafeSpace, a drop-in support centre for womxn in crisis and sex-workers, drove her to pursue a career in medicine. In 2017, she graduated from Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and joined the University of Toronto as an Internal Medicine Resident, where she continues to be a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

She is currently a newly appointed Endocrinology & Metabolism Fellow at the University of Toronto, where she has a special interest in Transgender Healthcare.

Dr. Ahmad’s interests involve raising the profile of LGBTQ+ by engaging the community and promoting educational material for resident and staff physician learners. She helped develop the first Canadian Federation of Medical Students position paper on including transgender healthcare initiatives and education in medical curricula in 2015. She continues to advocate for resident education to include dedicated LGBTQ+ material, as well as improving channels of communication between doctors and patients.

Provincially, she spent three terms as a general council member on the Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO), with a focus on enhancing resident experiences, optimizing medical education, and emphasizing the unique health needs of marginalized resident physicians.

Nationally, Dr. Ahmad served three terms as a Board of Directors Member on Resident Doctors of Canada and currently is the Chair of the National Resident Survey. Through this role she has thoughtfully incorporated gender identity demographics to improve the collection of diversity data on resident physicians. Dr. Ahmad’s research and advocacy focuses on the importance of collaboration, physician leadership and communication to promote LGBTQ+ education. Her current and future endeavors aim to improve access to gender-affirming care for Trans-individuals

Motivated by medicine and driven by dreams, Dr. Ahmad attributes her success to the LGBTQ+ communities in which she is part of and continues to serve.

Want to learn more, feel free to connect @TehminaAhmadMD on twitter or visit www.transhealthto.com

PARTNERS

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