Women in Science and Engineering
Femmes en sciences et en ingénierie
Ottawa-Carleton Chapter Spring 1999 WISE choices for a better world...

Examples of excellence
As we begin to wind down from a successful 1998-1999 season, I would like to take the time to reflect upon and celebrate the many achievements of the Ottawa-Carleton Chapter.

In February, our panel discussion "Should I consider graduate studies and why?" was well attended by students and some professionals who all shared an interest in furthering their education. The audience was inspired by the stories from the six panelists, who described their reasons for attending graduate school and the challenges they faced as they pursued their studies. For example, two spoke of cultural differences while studying in the U.S., and one described the demands of working full-time, completing her masters part-time, and being a mother to her two-year-old daughter. All speakers stressed the importance of striking a balance between school and outside interests. Many thanks to the panelists for sharing their experiences with us — I am sure many of those who attended were encouraged to continue on in their studies.

There was a good turnout in March for our guest speaker, Dr. Vimla Patel with McGill University’s Centre for Medical Education, who gave her talk "Fight for excellence: A personal profile of a woman in science". We were awestruck by her accomplishments, from her beginnings in an oppressive male-dominated society in Fiji and the battles she fought to overcome the traditional roles set out for women. She described how her inner strength led her to be the first ethnic minority woman to leave Fiji to study abroad in the maths and sciences. It was with that same spirit that she completed her undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. degrees in educational psychology in three years at McGill University, and went on to be a pioneer in the areas of cognitive science and medical education. At the start of her career, she experienced ridicule, disbelief and skepticism in the predominantly male profession because she was a woman and her research was not conventional. It was her dedication to her work and unwavering belief in her abilities that quickly proved her critics wrong. Her advice to us for our personal and professional lives was taken to heart: "Don’t worry about the little things, but fight for the things that really count".

Let us now look forward to the Annual General meeting on May 12th, when WISE members will be electing a new executive committee. The incoming executive will be looking to sustain the growth of the Chapter that was established this year by the current executive. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the current executive, and their help in assembling this issue of the newsletter has been greatly appreciated. This year’s executive, under the leadership of Dr. Monique Frize, has done an incredible job for the Ottawa-Carleton chapter. On behalf of all WISE members, thank you for a great season.

Aileen Salares, editor.

Attention all WISE members! For the 1999-2000 season, how would you like to receive your newsletter? We can send your copy by regular mail, email as text, or email with attachment (MS Word). Please contact Colleen Ennett at 230-4755 or cennett@uottawa.ca with your preference.

Ottawa-Carleton WISE Executive

President Monique Frize monique_frize@carleton.ca or
Vice-President Sue Kolloru skolloru@nortelnetworks.ca
Treasurer/Membership Ann Therriault ATherria@NRCan.gc.ca
Secretary Jennifer Flanagan jflanagan@internaut.org
Program Coordinator Colleen Ennett cennett@uottawa.ca
Newsletter/Publicity Natalie St.Denis nstdenis@uottawa.ca
Education Outreach Paula Terpstra terpstra@nortelnetworks.com
CCWEST Rep. Monique Frize monique_frize@carleton.ca or
Past President Anne Gribbon agribbon@nortel.ca
U of O Coordinator
(student branch)
Louise Vaillancourt
U of O Web site:

Email address:
Carleton Coordinator
(student branch)
Rebecca Llewellyn
Carleton Web site:

WISE web site:


Mailing address for our Chapter:
Ottawa-Carleton WISE Chapter,
BOX 35037, Westgate P.O.,
1309 Carling Avenue,
Ottawa ON K1Z 7L3

The Carleton University Student Branch has chosen their executive for 1999-2000.

Congratulations to:
General Coordinator:
Jennifer Young (2nd year Aerospace Eng)
Internal Operations: Marilu McGrath (4th year Chem)
Financial: Samaneh Lolabar (4th year Comp Sci)
Public Relations: Madeeha Choudhry (4th year Comp Sci).
Thanks to the past executive:
General Coordinator: Rebecca Llewellyn (4th year Biochem)
Internal Operations: Kathryn Furlong (4th year Env Eng)
Financial: Kathryn Mills (2nd year Comp Sys Eng)
Public Relations: Madeeha Choudhry (3rd year Comp Sci).

A special thanks goes to Samaneh Lolabar (3rd year Comp Sci), who did the Carleton U webpage.

The University of Ottawa Student Branch will be holding their elections on April 30th.

Coming Events…

Annual General Meeting
Guest Speaker: Tatiana Fraser from Power Camp
Date: Wed. May 12, 1999
Time: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (networking at 5:30; guest speaker at 6; dinner at 6:30; business meeting at 7:30)
Place: El Meson Restaurant, 94 Beechwood Ave., Vanier 744-8484
Parking: limited parking available behind restaurant, free street parking with more parking available at the Caisse Populaire across the street.

Meal consists of soup or salad, choice of main course (chicken, fish, vegetarian, paella), dessert, tea or coffee for $21 + tax, and WISE will supplement everyone's meal by $5 (individual bills at restaurant). ** NO need to purchase tickets, but please contact Colleen Ennett (230-4755, cennett@uottawa.ca) if you will be attending, so we can correctly estimate the number of attendees.**

As part of the Annual General Meeting, Tatiana Fraser from Power Camp will be presenting her talk "Overcoming Barriers: Girls in Science". Power Camp is a community development project designed to address issues specific to young women during the developmental stages of adolescence. As part of its mandate, Power Camp aims to raise awareness and challenge the existing gender disparities concerning young women and their accessibility into the field of science. Founded in 1995, the project offers services through workshops and a summer day camp to young women in the Ottawa area and public education to the larger community and across Canada. The presentation will include the history of the 'POWER Camp' project and will identify the issues concerning girls in science within a socio-political context. Participants will be invited to discuss and explore tools and strategies to overcome these barriers within the community.

Tatiana Fraser, co-founder, is the coordinator of the Power Camp at the local and national levels. She graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in Women Studies. She has many years experience as a dance instructor, as well as a swim and skate coach.

For the Annual General Meeting, the executive from 1998-1999 will be introduced. Reports will be given by the President, Treasurer (regarding membership and finances), Program Director, and the student branches, then any outstanding business issues will be discussed. The elections will be held once the announcements have been completed.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Executive Positions for 1999-2000

Do you want to get more involved and participate in directing the Ottawa-Carleton WISE Chapter? Allow your name to stand for election at the Annual General Meeting on May 12. Please contact Natalie St.Denis at nstdenis@uottawa.ca or by calling 562-5326 if you would like additional details or are interested in any of these positions. (Term of positions from June 1999 to May 2000).

- represent and promote the Chapter
- set objectives for the year with the other executive members
- organize and chair executive meetings
- liaise with other organizations and other WISE Chapters
- provide leadership to the Chapter

- assist and support the President in carrying out her duties
- assume duties of the President in her absence

Treasurer/Membership - maintain up-to-date financial records
- maintain up-to-date membership records
- receive applications/renewal membership information
- exercise signing authority with the President on all Chapter documents

Program Coordinator
- organize Chapter events (4 to 6 per year)
- this includes contacting speaker, setting up facility, providing input to newsletter.

Note that the entire Executive assists in finding contacts.

Newsletter/Public Relations
- prepare and distribute newsletter (research articles, request items from members, have it printed and distributed)
- act as prime contact for any public relations requirements
- search out opportunities to provide relations for the Chapter

- write and distribute Minutes of all Executive meetings
- get mail and distribute it as necessary

Education Outreach
- coordinate, liaise or establish programs with schools and other established programs such as Pathmakers and Lets Talk Science
- provide support to and liaise with the student branches at the Universities of Ottawa and Carleton

CCWEST Representative
- Act as liaison between the Ottawa-Carleton Chapter and the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science and Technology

Coming Events…


Le 67e Congrès Acfas (Association canadienne-française pour l’avancement des sciences) vous présente une colloque sur les femmes, les sciences et la technologie

le mercredi 12 mai 1999, à l’Université d’Ottawa, de 9h15 à 16h45

Les membres du panel sont:

Claire Deschênes (Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec) La développement des ingénieures au plan professionnel
Portrait statistique des femmes en sciences et en génie au Canada
Natalie St.Denis Le processus d'acculturation chez les nouveaux professeurs de biologie en milieu universitaire: Les hommes et les femmes en ont-ils la même expérience? Dr. Ruby Heap La formation professionnelle des femmes ingénieurs dans les universités Québécoises et Ontariennes, 1920-1990 Marie-Josée Dionne Chaire Marianne-Mareschal - Promotion du génie auprès des femmes
Une initiative de l’École Polytechnique de Montréal
Louise Vaillancourt Femmes en sciences et ingénierie à l'Université d'Ottawa Salwa Khouzam Étude du programme de sciences à la Commission scolaire catholique de Ottawa-Carleton Jennifer Flanagan Impact des activités parascolaires en sciences et en ingénierie chez les filles. Danielle Aubry Femmes, arts et technologie: le cas du roman-feuilleton Monique Frize Stratégies efficaces pour recruter des jeunes femmes en ingénierie

Contactez le Secretariat général de l’Acfas par téléphone (562-5800, poste 1888), télécopieur (562-5251), ou courriel (acfas@uottawa.ca; www.acfas.ca).



The annual Women of Distinction Awards (YMCA-YWCA of Ottawa-Carleton) celebrate outstanding achievements and contributions to the advancement of women and the quality of women’s lives. Our best wishes go to Louise Vaillancourt, Coordinator for the University of Ottawa WISE Student Branch, nominated for the Young Woman’s Leadership Award; Jennifer Flanagan, Secretary for WISE Chapter, nominated for the Education Award; and Monique Frize, President of WISE Chapter, nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 31, 1999.

Pascale Champagne, Instructor in Civil & Environmental Engineering and student at Carleton University, has been selected as the recipient of the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation 1998 Graduate Scholarship Award. One $15,000 scholarship is offered annually in Canada, when merited, to a woman enrolled in a graduate engineering program at the Ph.D. level. The Scholarship is based not only on academic recognition, but primarily on demonstrated leadership, community involvement and extracurricular activities with special emphasis on activities that help attract or retain women in engineering. Our congratulations to Pascale and best wishes for continued success.

Pathmaker - it could be you!
As a young girl, did you ever wonder what you were going to do when you grew up? Did you even know what your choices were?

The Pathmakers (Voies Nouvelles) Program is designed to introduce students, and especially young women, to a wide range of career options in science, engineering, and technology. While the program was originally intended for females only, over the last few years the Pathmakers have been educating both young women and men that women have successful careers in these "non-traditional" disciplines.

Who are the Pathmakers? They are young women at post-secondary institutions studying in the sciences or engineering, and professional women in these fields.

 What does a Pathmaker do? She talks to students, from kindergarten to university level, about her degree or career in science, engineering and/or technology. She serves as a role model by presenting career options in occupations in which women are under-represented for consideration when comes the time to choose a path of study. She can offer advice and encouragement to girls about to make crucial curriculum and career choices. Pathmakers act as speakers at Career Days, classroom discussion leaders and Science Fair judges. Since the Pathmakers are young women like the students, the experiences that the Pathmakers share with the school girls are especially relevant. However, we are in need of more professional Pathmakers to help the student Pathmakers answer questions directly related to the job itself, such as "How much is the salary of a chemical engineer?" and "Do you need a Ph.D.?"

 The Ottawa-Carleton Pathmakers Committee consists of representatives from each of the area school boards and post-secondary institutions, and operates through a grant from the Ontario Women Directorate. Pathmakers is a unique partnership between secondary/post-secondary institutions and business/industry in the Ottawa-Carleton area. Women in male-dominated fields have an opportunity to correct the gender imbalance by directly influencing the next generation of potential scientists and engineers. Educators in primary and secondary schools get help in delivering current career-relevant information to the students. Through Pathmakers, young women are encouraged to stay in school, consider careers in science, technology or engineering and explore career choices in areas where there are great job opportunities.

 The demand for Pathmakers has increased dramatically from 27 requests at 15 schools in 97/98, to almost 100 requests at 63 schools in 98/99. While the demand provides additional opportunities in which to influence young minds, we now have a great need for volunteers. We are looking for women who would like to make a difference for the next generation while developing her public relation skills and leadership qualities. If you would like to help in preparing today for tomorrow, please contact Ann Therriault at 996-9322 or ATherria@NRCan.gc.ca.

 Ann Therriault, Pathmaker.