Board of Directors
Dhalie Patara Plischke
Treasurer and Director of Finance
Secretary and Director of Membership
Director Strategic Development
Martina Wan Lockwood
Director Business Development
Director Youth Engagement
Director Communications & Events
CPHR, BBA, MBA
Kelly Marciniw has served on the SCWIST board since 2016. As of 2018, Kelly is the SCWIST Board President. Her first two years were as our Treasurer and Director Grants including helping to found the Spirit of SCWIST endowment fund. Her focus has been on ensuring the financial sustainability of the organization and the many programs and advocacy towards removing barriers for girls and women in STEM. She has also represented SCWIST in political forums such as hosting the 2017 BC Election debate, coordinating four 2019 Federal Election debates and representing SCWIST at the 2017 G7 Sherpa & community consultations. She is on the Make Diversity Possible and SCALE steering committees. Kelly is also the principal consultant at BrightGo Solutions, which guides immigrant entrepreneurs and international companies that are expanding into the Canadian market and she is the Vice President of Pan-Abode International a low-carbon, engineered and manufactured in Canada building system. She graduated with her undergrad from Simon Fraser University, holds a MBA from University of Toronto & St. Gallen University in global business and applied innovation and maintains her CPHR with Association of Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of BC & Yukon. She enjoys learning about most aspects of STEM and loves spreadsheets.
BSc, MRSC, MBA
Louise has 20 years of industry experience predominantly in laboratory operations and quality assurance, and is now working in corporate sustainability – focusing on environmental footprint tracking. She has worked in a variety of industries from polymers to pharmaceutical, food and supplements, animal feed and cosmetics, to healthcare and technology and now in built environment systems engineering. She started her career as a bench technician, gained experience doing research & development before moving into analytical testing, before being introduced to Quality Assurance. Her initial experience in QA was in HPLC method development, cosmetic manufacture process validation, equipment performance validation and cleaning validation. After 8 years of bench work, Louise took an opportunity to manage a laboratory start-up in the UK, where she helped grow the business for 7 years before moving to Vancouver., BC. She has a BSc (hons) in Applied Chemistry from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. Working in many standardized industries, has become a specialist in the application of international standards by creating and implementing Quality Management Systems, from GMP to ISO/IEC 17043 (and others in between) in small to medium-sized companies, is studying for her Six Sigma Black Belt in her spare time, and is IRCA lead auditor trained. Louise is in her 4th year as a board member for SCWIST and has held the posts of Secretary, Director-Membership & Volunteers and is currently the Vice President. She is a great believer in empowerment as a strategy for leadership, loves working collaboratively towards targets and making decisions based on data. In her spare time, Louise enjoys baking and staying active.
Dhalie Patara Plischke
B.Sc, ADGISA, PMP
Dhalie is a senior project manager and consultant with 20 years of experience in technology. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 1997 from Simon Fraser University, and she has been a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) since 2008. She also holds an advanced diploma in GIS applications from Vancouver Island University. Dhalie is a member of the University Women’s Club of Vancouver, a women’s advocacy group located at Hycroft with a mission to promote education, rights, and opportunities for women.
Her entrepreneurial spirit has taken her on many start-up adventures beginning with founding her own project consulting company in 2001. As an advisor she brings an effective approach to product commercialization by building partnerships, developing teams and generating R&D funding opportunities.
Dhalie joined the SCWIST board to share her enthusiasm and passion to increase STEM opportunities for girls and women. On weekends, she spends time with her family, and enjoys playing bridge, trying her hand at golf and doing crossword puzzles.
Nasira is the Secretary for SCWIST with a diverse background in STEM fields. She recently completed her MBA with a concentration in Innovation Leadership from University of Fredericton. Nasira also holds an undergraduate degree in Interactive Arts and Technology from Simon Fraser University and a master’s degree in Chemistry from Pakistan. She worked as a Quality Control professional, an educator and an office manager around the globe until 2003. Nasira has held a life-long vision of making education accessible to all. In the early years of her career, she became part of a campaign where she went door-to-door in rural Pakistan, persuading parents to sending their children, especially girls, to school.
After 2003, she dedicated herself to a “stay-at-home mom” role. However, during all these years, she has been devoted to making a positive contribution in her community. She volunteered to tutor children of all grades, especially children who were at risk of failing of dropping out of school. Nasira is looking forward to working with organizations where she can help reach shared goals. She brings with her a variety of experiences with formal technology and business knowledge, as well as understanding of the challenges businesses face today in gaining and sustaining competitive edge. She believes that working with the SCWIST board will be an opportunity to learn the operations of an organization, while helping further the success of women in education, a cause she holds close to her heart.
I am a scientist, specialized in immunology and chronic disease, consultant and educator on a mission to inspire personal health action through education and knowledge dissemination activities. This past year, I lead communications and marketing strategy for the BCCDC Foundation for Public Health, developed and produced The Whole Human Summit- a convergence of dialogues and workshops on the frontiers of health- and have picked up a new role as Program Manager Science Communications at StemCell Technologies. I am also an educator of life sciences courses at UBC, SFU, Quest U and in the Citizen Science program at Bard College, New York. A proponent of women in science, I have recently joined the board of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology to help direct strategic development, grants and fundraising efforts.
Martina Wan Lockwood
Martina Wan Lockwood is VP of Engineering and Product Development at Evasc Medical Systems. She has over ten years of experience in manufacturing and development of endovascular medical device products in the neuro and cardio space. She has led technical teams taking products from proof of concept to regulatory approval and clinical uses. Martina has completed a B.ASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and a MBA specializing in the management of technology from Simon Fraser University. She is also a registered Professional Engineer with EGBC.
Martina joins the SCWIST board to share her experiences and passion to help promote girls and women in STEM careers. In Martina’s spare time she can be found running and travelling with her family.
Ronel Alberts is serving as the interim Director: Affiliates at SCWIST. She has a strong belief that the empowerment of girls and women, especially in STEAM fields, will lead to a more viable future. Ronel graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, with a BSc in Computer Science, and quickly discovered she has a knack for synthesizing technology and business requirements. She has been a Business Analyst for over 20 years, and has held numerous leadership positions throughout her career. She has been running her own consulting company for over a decade, and has had the privilege of working around the globe on challenging and interesting projects. Ronel believes strongly that continuing education is the way to create a sustainable future, and has completed numerous online courses through Johns Hopkins University and the University of Amsterdam. In her spare time, Ronel and her wife can be found geocaching, motorcycling, and hiking with their adorable dogs.
Heidi Hui is an Intellectual Property (IP) Analyst at Carbon Engineering. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Calgary. At Carbon Engineering, her main responsibilities include patent drafting, patent landscaping, establishing IP protocols, and identifying inventions. Heidi first ventured in the IP field during her internship at Cenovus. After gaining experience in this niche field, she used it as an avenue to her previous role as an IP Specialist at D-Wave in Burnaby where she drafted patent applications on topics such as processor designs and integrated circuit fabrication. She also supported the processor development and fabrication teams to coordinate failure analysis on D-Wave’s superconducting chips. Heidi is an avid supporter of mentorship for students, especially students belonging to minority groups that are looking towards STEM careers. She is continuously motivated by her work and volunteer experience to encourage women to strive for meaningful and lucrative careers in STEM fields. Heidi is a registered E.I.T. with EGBC. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing volleyball, and running.
With a passion for STEAM youth engagement and environmental science, Paloma has been involved with several outreach groups in British Columbia. Paloma has been the Director of Youth Engagement at SCWIST since 2019, and is the Partnerships and Development Manager at Sea Smart, a Vancouver-based charity whose mission is to deliver fun, action-oriented and solutions-based programs that empower people to protect our oceans. With Sea Smart, Paloma educates youth on the threats that oceans and marine animals are facing due to human impacts. Paloma studied kangaroos’ social behaviours for her PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia, and loves sharing her passion for research and field ecology. During her trip to Antarctica, as part of Homeward Bound’s leadership initiative for women in STEM, Paloma strengthened her resolve to work and volunteer for initiatives that help local communities and protect our natural environment. In addition to volunteering with SCWIST and empowering girls to pursue their love for STEM fields, Paloma has been a volunteer with the the David Suzuki Foundation since 2018. As a Suzuki Speaks and Blue Dot volunteer, Paloma educates people on the status of our environmental rights in Canada and has delivered workshops teaching youth about fast fashion and biodiversity. Through all these roles, Paloma inspires youth to pursue science, connect with nature, and protect our environment. Paloma strives to lead a sustainable lifestyle and, in her spare time.
Emma is an avid promoter of STEM and brings over ten years of program manager experience to SCWIST to serve of the Board as the Interim Director of Communications and Events. Working for Engineers and Geoscientists BC, she managed the diversity portfolio, creating the associations strategy and action plan to attract and retain girls and women into engineering, as well as crunching pipeline data on engineering in BC. She worked provincially and nationally to establish metrics, share best practices, and support national programming for STEM with groups such as Engineers Canada, Engendering Success in STEM (ESS), the Canadian Indigenous Advisory Council (CIAC), and 30 by 30 Champions group.
Emma has a BA in International Relations and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies specializing in econometrics and regional economic development both from UBC. Emma’s aim is to both develop programs and work collaboratively with other STEM supporting groups to create a strong cross-industry network to promote the STEM industry for future and current “STEM-sters” at heart.
Ashley van der Pouw Kraan
ms infinity Program Coordinator
ms infinty Northern BC Outreach Coordinator
North Indigenous Outreach Coordinator
Cheryl Kristiansen, P. Eng.
Make DIVERSITY Possible & SCALE Project Manager
Ashley van der Pouw Kraan
Ashley van der Pouw Kraan was born and raised in Pitt Meadows, and currently resides in Vancouver. She has always been interested in all things science, with earth sciences holding a special place in her heart. She has spent the past six years working in a variety of roles at Science World, an informal science education centre, most recently as the Digital Communications Coordinator. When not at her desk, she can often be found reading, or cycling around the city. She is thrilled to join the SCWIST team as the ms infinity Program Coordinator.
Lynn is an entomologist operating an environmental consultancy focused on insect identification and native bee education and conservation. She has lived and worked throughout northern BC, northern Alberta, and the West Kootenay region of southern BC. For more than 15 years, Lynn has enjoyed coordinating and delivering informal science and nature education activities in each community that she has called home. Lynn is a self-professed insect advocate and enjoys sharing her fascination with these “little creatures that run the world” – and a love of all things scientific – with children and adults alike. Lynn was delighted to join the SCWIST Youth Engagement team as Northern BC Youth Engagement Coordinator in 2017.
Akanksha completed her undergraduate degree in Economics in India and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in environmental studies from UNBC in Prince George. She has worked with education in various schools in India as well as North America. She is interested in the behavior of human beings – their interaction with each other as well as the natural environment. The aspect that involves changing people’s interaction with nature (and each other) for the better interests her. She believes this can be done through communication, by considering people’s needs and by giving them more information about their impact on nature.
Cheryl Kristiansen, P. Eng.
Cheryl brings diverse expertise in project management, engineering innovation and leading transformative change in STEM. She has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, hands-on research experience in alternate fuels engine technology, and senior leadership success in the oil and gas sector. Cheryl has worked in a variety of corporate cultures and organizational models with strategic agility, has effectively managed international engineering projects with multiple stakeholders, led diverse sales teams and created marketing strategies to deliver financial results.
As Managing Director of the Mitchell Odyssey Foundation, Cheryl developed a network of schools across BC with innovative programs that motivate and inspire high school students to pursue careers in STEM. Cheryl is a certified facilitator and created the “Wild About Science” Odyssey Symposium for STEM educators in BC. She has delivered a variety of workshops across Canada, including SCWIST Diversity by Design workshops at post-secondary institutions, industry conferences and STEM organizations. As a WinSETT Facilitator, Cheryl has delivered seminars on Leading Change, Unconscious Bias, Allyship, and the Leadership Series in Alberta and BC.
Cheryl led the SCWIST MakePossible mentoring project to advance women in STEM. She now leads the “Make DIVERSITY Possible” project – working with STEM companies to create diversity tools and build inclusive workplace cultures that embrace and advance a diverse workforce – as well as the new SCALE project to improve organizational effectiveness of SCWIST, develop partnerships and expand advocacy to advance gender equality. Cheryl is passionate about connecting and collaborating with others to create solutions, with a strong focus on continuous improvement and the belief that diversity drives innovation!