Mentor Interviews

Become inspired by engaging leaders in the science and engineering communities! Watch their interviews to learn about their passions and career path, and maybe even start planning your own! 

To know more about our programming, visit: uab.ca/discovere and follow @discovereuofa on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube for more exciting content for kids!

Meet Christina Strilets - DiscoverE Science Literacy Week 2020

Meet Christina Strilets! Christina Strilets is a third year engineering physics student at the University of Alberta. From a young age, Christina has always been interested in how electronic devices work, like CD players. This led to her pursuing a degree in STEM. Besides reading math and physics textbooks, Christina also enjoys baking and gardening!

 

Meet Daren Wong - DiscoverE Science Literacy Week 2020

Meet our next mentor for Science Literacy Week, Daren Wong! 
Daren graduated from the Civil Engineering program at the University of Alberta in 2020, with a specialization in Geotechnical and Water Resource Management. He has professional engineering experience as an Architectural Technologist and several leadership roles such as a Resource Coordinator and Summer Instructor at DiscoverE! His main goal as an Engineer-In-Training is to apply what he has learned in school and previous jobs towards the engineering profession. One day, Daren would like to inspire youth to pursue post-secondary education or a career in engineering by being an incredible mentor.

 

Mentor Q&A Session: Dylan Yoo

Meet our mentor, Dylan Yoo! 
In this video, Dylan talks about a project he did in Bamfield. He studied a group of bottom-dwelling fish called sculpins to see if a species' ability to withstand strong waves meant that they would be found in more wave-washed habitats! Dylan is a student studying evolutionary biology, which means that he’s looking at how living things change over time and how they might come up with new adaptations for the places where they live. He has an especially large interest in birds and their dinosaur ancestors and has looked at both living and extinct animals to understand the group better. Dylan was born in South Korea and moved to Canada when he was 11. Dylan is now 22 years old, which means that he’s lived exactly as long in Canada as he had in Korea! In his spare time, Dylan spends time in parks looking for birds as well as thinking hard about what show he is going to watch next on Netflix. Fun Fact: Dylan’s go-to karaoke song is anything by ABBA. Once Mamma Mia comes on, he has no choice but to sing along!

 

Meet Jessica Vandenberghe - DiscoverE Science Literacy Week 2020

Meet our first mentor for Science Literacy Week, Jessica Vandenberghe! 
Jessica Vandenberghe, P.Eng., M.Sc. has worked in the oil sands, mining, regulatory, infrastructure, and consulting industries. She holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering Computer Process Control Co-op and an M.Sc. in Chemical and Mining Engineering, both from the University of Alberta. Her career has taken her to communities large and small around the nation. She has sat on many Boards and Councils with stakeholders such as federal, provincial and municipal governments, with First Nations, Metis Settlements and Metis Nations, as well as academic institutions and private industry. As a mother of two and an Indigenous female engineer, she is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion along with Truth and Reconciliation. She currently is the Assistant Dean (Outreach) and an Industrial Professor - Indigenous Engineering for the University of Alberta, Faculty of Engineering, where she oversees a wide portfolio that contributes to the development of well rounded and ethically-minded engineering students who will ultimately help build strong and vibrant communities within Canada.

 

Mentor Q&A Session: Mark Powers

Meet our mentor, Mark Powers! 
Mark is a master’s student studying dromaeosaurid (raptor dinosaurs) evolution and ecology in Dr. Philip Currie's lab. His research has focused on the snouts of dromaeosaurids and their relation to their evolutionary history. In Fall 2020, Mark will be transitioning to a PhD in Dr. Michael Caldwell's lab where he will be studying the giant snakes that emerged during the end of the Cretaceous period and persisted into the age of the mammals. Mark has always been interested in paleontology (especially dinosaurs) and has a huge passion has been for predatory animals. Therefore, the transition to snakes is exciting as they are some of the most unique predatory animals with their exquisite feeding adaptations. Coming from a small town in central Alberta (Eckville), visiting the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller was one of Mark's favourite memories. However, travelling there was difficult for his family. Once he was older and able to drive himself, he visited every chance he got. Mark would one day work at that museum as a lab and field technician, a job that sealed the deal - that he was going to be a paleontologist! Fun Fact: Mark’s favourite movie is Jurassic Park!

Twitter: @MarkPowersJ
Instagram: henry.gibons

 

Mentor Q&A Session: Simran Ghoman

Simran Ghoman is a Master of Science student in the Department of Pediatrics here at the University of Alberta. Simran conducts research at the Royal Alexandra Hospital NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), where she teaches doctors and nurses how to help babies breathe at birth (called neonatal resuscitation). After completing her Master's, Simran wants to train as a doctor herself, so that she can take care of children here in Canada, and around the world. In her free time, Simran enjoys talking with her friends, running outside, doing yoga, cooking, and going for walks with her family. She published a paper about her research in the Frontiers for Young Minds Journal.

 

Meet Simran Ghoman - DiscoverE Science Literacy Week 2020

Meet our mentor, Simran Ghoman! Simran Ghoman is a Master of Science student in the Department of Pediatrics here at the University of Alberta. Simran conducts research at the Royal Alexandra Hospital NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), where she teaches doctors and nurses how to help babies breathe at birth (called neonatal resuscitation). After completing her Master's, Simran wants to train as a doctor herself, so that she can take care of children here in Canada, and around the world. In her free time, Simran enjoys talking with her friends, running outside, doing yoga, cooking, and going for walks with her family.

 

Meet Timothy Gadzella - DiscoverE Science Literacy Week 2020

Meet our next mentor for Science Literacy Week, Timothy Gadzella! Timothy J. Gadzella grew up in Saskatoon, SK where he completed his BE and MSc in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. Tim's research area is biomechanics, which applies mechanical principles to study the way the human body withstands the world around us. Tim came to the University of Alberta to study injury pathways in the workplace and in sports. In his PhD studies, Tim is focusing on tissue-level characterization of dental trauma to improve clinical procedures. Outside the lab, Tim spends his time cheering for his favourite Canadian football teams, and sparring at the historical fencing club!

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