In celebration of International Women’s Day, volunteers from the Diversity in Science Committee (DISC) completed a little writing exercise: we wrote about a woman in science that inspires us. The rules were simple: it had to be a woman in science. Kudos to these amazing women! How about you? Want to join us? Tweet @LaurentianSETAC about it!

Hashtags: #IWD2018, #InternationalWomensDay, #PressForProgress, #TimeIsNow, #BoldForChange.

– Submitted by Ève Gilroy, Eve Leonard, Yamini Gopalapillai, and Leah Chibwe

Erin Leonard
, Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster University
#SheInspiresMe: Tamzin Blewett, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta

Tamzin Blewett (@therealblewett) empowers every woman around her. She is a phenomenal scientist, fantastic colleague and friend. Her brilliant mind inspires me!

Ève Gilroy
, Owner and Toxicologist, Green House Science/Biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
#SheInspiresMe: L-SETAC’s Diversity in Science Committee – Oana Birceanu, Yamini Gopalapillai, Natalie Feisthauer, Alison Fraser, Shari Dahmer, Katie Hill, Rick Frank, Anthony Bauer, Gerald Tetreault

Since the creation of the Laurentian SETAC Women/Diversity in Science Committee two years ago, the enthusiasm and dedication of the women and men from the DISC to the cause of under-represented groups have inspired me to give the best of myself towards achieving equity in STEM. The involvement of the DISC makes me feel that I can make a difference.

Yamini Gopalapillai
, NSERC Visiting Fellow (ECCC, Burlington) & Toxicologist (ERM, Toronto)
#SheInspiresMe: Leah Chibwe, NSERC Visiting Fellow (ECCC, Burlington)

Leah (@l_chibwe) is a fellow postdoc at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and conducts cutting-edge research on analytical chemistry of persistent organic pollutants. Despite having a very difficult stutter, she has traveled the world to develop her research, and is now an NSERC fellow under Dr. Derek Muir. She inspires me to keep fighting any hurdle that comes my way, because she does this so gracefully every single day. Leah is an exceptional role model for up and coming female scientists.

Oana Birceanu
, Postdoctoral Fellow (Wilfrid Laurier University)
#SheInspiresMe: Dr. Richelle Monaghan, Assistant Professor (Wilfrid Laurier University)

The one person whom I draw inspiration from is Dr. Richelle Monaghan (@srmonaghan). She is a fantastic scientist with a fierce passion for teaching. In addition to having won numerous awards on her teaching excellence and teaching innovation, Richelle is also a great mentor and just an overall fantastic person to be around. Talking to her brightens my day! Her passion for teaching is inspiring and I cannot be more proud to have shared a graduate office with her back in our old graduate student and thesis writing days. Richelle, you are my friend and my hero! #SheInspiresMe

Leah Chibwe
, NSERC Visiting Fellow (ECCC, Burlington)
#SheInspiresMe: Dr. Staci Simonich, Oregon State University, Professor and Associate Vice President for Research, and Jill Schrlau, Environmental Engineer, CH2M

I met Staci Simonich on a graduate school visit to Oregon State University. Her charismatic character and passion for her research drew me to environmental chemistry. I was fortunate to have her as my PhD advisor. Staci taught me many things; the importance of taking the time to “celebrate my wins,” and instead of dwelling on my losses, learning to overcome and continue on. The one thing (of many) I also really appreciated about Staci, was her ability to (really) listen.

Jill Schrlau was our lab manager when I began my PhD. I learned the importance of being a mentor from her. Undergraduate, visiting, or graduate scholar, if you had the passion to learn, Jill had the willingness to teach. I especially admired her decision to return to school (after years of being out) to pursue a degree in environmental engineering. She discovered her passion, a bit later than I’m sure she thought she would, and went for it!

You can read #SheInspiresMe submissions from previous years at the following links:

2017 –
2016 –

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