Best of the WWEST: Inspiring Women with Real Stories

Welcome to Best of the WWEST, a podcast hosted by Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology! We believe that providing role models for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) can change the world, so come along with us as we talk to incredible women in STEM about their lives, careers, and everything in between. Episodes are released at least twice per month, so make sure to subscribe to us on iTunes or your favourite podcast provider, and never miss an episode!

Please also consider leaving us a review on iTunes or Stitcher so that more people may find us.

Latest Episode

In this episode, Bella Kazwell, Web Engineering Lead at Asana, a leading web-based work management system, tells host Danniele about her work at Asana, describes how she got her dream job, and gives advice for all STEM professionals.

Previous Episodes

Episode 1: Cole Brown, Lead Front-End Web Developer
We talk to Cole Brown, a lead front-end web developer, about her career, the future of the tech industry, and her secret superpowers.

Episode 2: Justine Munich, PhD Student (Physics)
Justine Munich, a PhD student in physics, fills us in on life in academia, her proudest moment of her career, and her role models.

Episode 3: Creating Connections 5.0
Join WWEST Manager Danniele Livengood and Creating Connections 5.0 Coordinator Jenna Anderson for a recap of the biennial Creating Connections 5.0 conference.

Episode 4: Christiana Cheng, PhD, Research Associate
Best of the WWEST host Danniele interviews Christiana Cheng, Research Associate at the Rick Hansen Institute.

Episode 5: WWEST Goes to the Yukon
Join Dr. Lesley Shannon as she speaks with two successful women engineers, Sandra MacDougall and Alison Anderson, in a special on-location Best of the WWEST interview in Whitehorse, YT.

Episode 6: Gordana Pejic, Software Engineer
Danniele speaks with Gordana Pejic, a software engineer originally from Serbia, who immigrated to Canada to receive a masters degree in Software Systems.

Episode 7: Victoria Camp, Geological Engineer in Training
This episode, we're talking to Victoria Camp, an Engineer in Training working in geological engineering at BGC Engineering Inc.

Episode 8: Janet Fraser, PhD, BC Green Party MLA Candidate
Danniele interviews Janet Fraser, PhD, BC Green Party MLA candidate and STEM professional.

Episode 9: Anne Simon, PhD, Virologist and "X-Files" Science Advisor
WWEST Assistant Coordinator Vanessa sits down with Anne Simon, PhD - professor at the University of Maryland, prominent virologist, and long-time science advisor of the "X-Files" series.

Episode 10: Cybele Negris, CEO, Webnames.ca
Best of the WWEST chats with Cybele Negris, CEO of Webnames.ca since 2000, about her most memorable career moments, work-life balance, and her dirty little secret.

Episode 11: Maria Klawe, PhD, President, Harvey Mudd College
As part of the President's Dream Colloquium, we welcome Dr. Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, to chat about increasing participation and support of women in STEM.

Episode 12: Shari Graydon, Founder, Informed Opinions
As part of the President's Dream Colloquium, WWEST manager Danniele chats with award-winning author, advocate, and speaker Shari Graydon about the participation of women experts in the media.

Episode 13: Jane Gachuche, Fire Safety Engineer in Training
Fire Safety Engineering, big families, and coming to Canada from Kenya to study and work - these are all topics covered in this interview between WWEST manager Danniele and Jane Gachuche, consultant and Fire Safety Engineer in Training.

Episode 14: Steven Spencer, PhD, Psychology Professor, Ohio State University
Dr. Steven Spencer, Psychology Professor and Researcher at Ohio State University, chats with Best of the WWEST about the exciting work he and others are undertaking at the Engendering Success in STEM Consortium. This interview is also part of our series with speakers from the President's Dream Colloquium.

Episode 15: Leigh Wall, Apprentice Truck and Transport Mechanic
We are joined by Leigh Wall, Apprentice Truck and Transport Mechanic, Student Recruiter, and Public Speaker with a passion for engaging women and girls in Trades.

Episode 16: Dr. Danielle Gaucher, Social Psychology Professor, University of Winnipeg
As part of the President's Dream Colloquium, Danniele speaks with Dr. Danielle Gaucher all about gendered language in job advertisements.

Episode 17: Jo Miller, Founder, Be Leaderly
Jo Miller chats with WWEST manager Danniele about sponsorship versus mentorship, as part of the President's Dream Colloquium.

Episode 18: Neghar Rohanian, PhD Candidate (Civil Engineering)
In this interview, Negar Roghanian tells us all about her life as a PhD student in Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia, where her research focuses on developing sustainable coating for rehabilitation of corroded pipes.

Episode 19: Angie Byron, Drupal Core Committer
Join WWEST manager Danniele for a lively interview with Angie Byron, Drupal Core Committer and open source evangelist who lives and breathes Drupal.

Episode 20: Rahael Jalan, PhD, Founder, Eagles of Tomorrow Education Society
Rahael Jalan, PhD, joins Danniele to discuss her journey from India to Canada, where she settled to help Aboriginal youth excel in mathematics.

Episode 21: Best of the WWEST Highlight Reel
Best of the WWEST producer Vanessa showcases highlights from the podcast!

Episode 22: Holly Burton, Leadership Coach
Holly Burton joins WWEST manager Danniele with her "awkward turns of phrase" (her words!) and fills us in on leadership coaching for women in male-dominated industries.

Episode 23: Zhila Pirmoradi, PhD, Industrial Engineer
Hear all about improving processes at the City of Vancouver, industrial engineering, and mentoring immigrant women in STEM in this interview with Zhila Pirmoradi, PhD.

Episode 24: Judy Myers, PhD, Professor Emerita, Zoology
What was it like to rub elbows with the first Canadian women pioneering for other women's place in STEM? Dr. Judy Myers has seen a lot in her long career in Zoology - find out more in this interview with Best of the WWEST.

Episode 25: Katie Aitken, PhD, Ornithologist, Yukon College
WWEST Associate Chair Alison Anderson hosts this episode with Dr. Katie Aitken and speaks to her about bird watching, practicing science in the Yukon, and even what birds can teach us about climate change.

Episode 26: Halimat Alabi, Interactive Visualization Designer
Our guest of this episode, Halimat Alabi, brings us along on her journey through video game design, film and television, and research and teaching, with lots of laughs and poignant moments.

Episode 27: Gail Anderson, PhD, Forensic Entomologist & Professor
In this episode, WWEST manager Danniele chats with Dr. Gail Anderson about bugs and other animals, a career in forensics that makes a real difference in the world, and the benefits of university if one chooses to attend.

Episode 28: Deanna Burgart, Indigeneer
WWEST Associate Chair Alison Anderson sits down with Deanna Burgart to discuss her work integrating Indigenous traditional knowledge in engineering.

Episode 29: Angelica Lim, PhD, A.I. Roboticist
Come along with Dr. Angelica Lim and hear about her discovery of computing science and her passion for robotics!

Episode 30: Dr. Lori Brotto, Psychologist & Professor
In this episode, Danniele speaks with Dr. Lori Brotto about her career in psychology and gynaecology and how they can intersect.

Episode 31: Dawn MacDonald, Institutional Research and Planning Officer, Yukon College
Chickens in the kitchen, positron beams, and asking big questions about the universe - you will hear about all of these things in this episode with Dawn MacDonald.

Episode 32: Stacey Mulcahy, Principal Program Manager, the Garage, Microsoft
In this episode, Stacey Mulcahy tells us all about working at The Garage at Microsoft and how she is involved with many of its fun projects.

Episode 33: WWEST Celebrates LGBT STEM Day
On July 5th, WWEST Manager Danniele and Best of the WWEST Producer Vanessa visited the Telus World of Science for the First International Day of LGBTQ+ People in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math! (Short name: LGBT STEM Day.)

Episode 34: Kirsten Hogan, Environmental Engineer
Alison Anderson, the WWEST Associate Chair at Yukon College, interviews Kirsten Hogan and asks the real questions!

Episode 35: Colleen Legzdins, PhD, Entrepreneur & Metals and Materials Engineer
How does someone who hates math and science with no role models of women in STEM end up as a Metals and Materials Engineer? Colleen Legzdins will tell you all about it in this interview with WWEST Manager Danniele.

Episode 36: Danniele Livengood, Project Manager, WWEST
Best of the WWEST producer Vanessa interviews WWEST Program Manager Danniele about what got her into STEM, why she loves the work she does at WWEST, and what it takes to run such a program.

Episode 37: Jocelyn Joe-Strack, PhD Student, Land Use Planning and First Nations Studies
In this episode of Best of the WWEST: Yukon Edition, Alison Anderson chats with Jocelyn Joe-Strack about how she incorporates her First Nations background in her work strengthening the land planning process in the Yukon.

Episode 38: Rachel Nelson, Marine Mammal Trainer
What's Rachel Nelson's favourite part of her job? The otters, of course! Download this episode to learn more.

Episode 39: Jessica Lu, Corporate Analyst
In this episode, Jessica takes us along on her past journeys to Ireland, China, and Rome through her memories and the life lessons she learned.

Episode 40: Carmen Wong, PhD, Ecologist Team Leader, Kluane National Park
In yet another Yukon-focused episode, Alison Anderson speaks with Carmen Wong all about ecology. You'll find out that it's about more than just trees and bears!

Episode 41: Aerin Jacob, PhD, Ecologist, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
In this episode, WWEST manager Danniele speaks with Aerin Jacob all about the importance of diversity in STEM, but especially in ecology and conservation.

Episode 42: Kai Scott, Principal Partner, TransFocus Consulting
Danniele is joined by Kai Scott, Principal Partner at TransFocus Consulting, to discuss how organizations can be the best employers they can for trans and non-binary folks.