Spotlight on STEM Recipients

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Chantel Tait

Chantel is heading into her third year pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Keyano College. She aspires to be "a noble advocate for the Indigenous community and assist in the goal of reconciliation and empowerment of the Indigenous population." She says she wants to be an inspiration to future Indigenous students and women to "pursue their dream career and not give up on what they want." Chantel notes that the challenges and discrimination she has experienced as an Indigenous woman motivates her in proving to society that being Indigenous doesn't restrict her ability to be successful.


Manorama Joshi

Manorama is heading into her first year as a computer or mechatronics engineering student. She has been a participant and volunteer in the Girls Inc. Operation SMART program since 2015. She calls the time in the program a "groundbreaking experience" and says it opened her eyes to how amazing a world of STEM is. As her interest grew Manorama says she wanted to create opportunities for others to explore their hobbies and passions in STEM, so she began mentoring and volunteering. As a student at Westwood Community High School, she has been on the robotics team and was the team's Lead Design Engineer. She is also involved in Queens in Code and founded the Westwood Women in Technology club. By pursuing computer or mechatronics engineering, she hopes to help build machines that will aid humanity sustainably. 

Janelle STEM

Janelle Flett

Janelle is working to become an environmental scientist. She says growing up near the oil sands and being Indigenous she has always understood the economic benefit but worried for her community and land. Janelle wrote, “As a little girl I remember wanting to save the world after watching a water documentary, now I know I won’t 'save the world' but, I think the path I am on is a step in the right direction.” Janelle believes that advancements in reclamation technology are needed and hopes to work in remediation or expand research involving tailing ponds and wetlands in northern Alberta. Janelle has strong community connections, volunteering with Santas Anonymous, The Salvation Army and the Community Clean Up.

Aparna STEM

Aparna Gupta

Aparna is a fifth year chemical engineering student at the University of Alberta. Aparna explains that her desire to become an engineer is rooted from experience in being raised in Fort McMurray. At the age of 13, she had the opportunity to visit Syncrude and to experience a life as an engineer for one whole day. Aparna was struck by how the engineering department was a male dominant environment. She was not intimidated by it being predominantly male, but fascinated by the work that the engineers were doing. Aparna is involved in ensuring different ways to represent engineering as a female, mostly by encouraging and educating young people about the opportunities in engineering. Aparna has been a volunteer with the Girls Inc. Staying Strong Mentoring Program for more than five years.