Power Up: Mental Fitness and Resilience-Building in Life & Work

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Leadership Lessons from Real Women :   Risk, Reward and Resilience in Career and Life

Featuring a Guest Panel 

Dr. Karen Kohfeld SFU,  Dr. Rachel Kuske UBC, Dr. Laurel Schafer UBC, Dr. Caron Strahlendorf B.C. Children’s Hospital and UBC

 Event Description: 

Come and hear this extraordinary panel made of up top women scientists and experts in their fields.   Learn from their personal stories, life lessons and recommendations for moving your career aspirations forward in spite of the many challenges and obstacles faced by women leaders of today.

Panel Biographies

[toggles class=”Biographies”]
[toggle title=”Rachel Kuske, Ph.D., Professor, UBC Department of Mathematics” ]Rachel_kuskehttps://www.math.ubc.ca/~rachel/RK’s%20HomePage/Home.htmlDr. Rachel Kuske is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia and she held a Canada Research Chair in Applied Mathematics 2002-2012 and was the Department Head from 2007-2011. In 2011 she was appointed as the Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women Faculty. She has research interests in applied stochastic dynamics and  nonlinear modeling with applications in biology, engineering, and climate systems.Dr. Kuske has worked with a variety of mathematical institutes and professional organizations in applied mathematics and has been expert and mentor for events covering topics from industrial mathematics to women in mathematics. She was awarded the Canadian Mathematical Society’s Krieger-Nelson prize in 2011 and the Association for Women in Mathematics Service Award in 2013.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”Karen Kohfeld, Ph.D., Associate Professor, SFU, and Canada Research Chair (II) in Climate, Resource, and Global Change, and Climate, Oceans, and Paleo-Environments (COPE)”]




Dr. Karen Kohfeld is a professor at Simon Fraser University in the School of Research and Environmental Management and she joined as the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Climate, Resources, and Global Change. She is interested in understanding natural variability and biogeochemical linkages within the ocean and climate system, in order to better assess earth system responses to anthropogenic perturbations. Her research focuses on natural and anthropogenic changes in the ocean carbon cycle, the influence of climate and land surface conditions on atmospheric dust, and assessing and adapting to extreme weather conditions in British Columbia. She is a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

[toggle title=”Caron Strahlendorf, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Pediatric Oncology/ Hematology/Bone Marrow Transplant, BC Children’s Hospital.”]Caron_strahelndorf


Caron Strahlendorf, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor and Head of the Division of Pediatric Oncology/ Hematology/Bone Marrow Transplant, BC Children’s Hospital

Dr. Caron Strahlendorf’s primary area of research is in childhood cancer research. Her current research interests are in hematopoetic stem cells and their role in pediatric solid tumours, bioethics and palliative care. She is site Principle Investigator for the Children’s Oncology Group and Co-Chair of the Children’s & Women’s Hospital’s Research Ethics Board. She is currently completing her doctorate at Bath University on Hope and Spirituality in Adolescents with cancer.
[toggle title=”Laurel Schafer, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, UBC”]laurel_shafer


Dr. Laurel Schafer’s research interests bridge the areas of organometallic and organic chemistry.  She has developed a new class of early transition metal and lanthanide complexes for use in selective carbon-nitrogen and carbon-carbon bond forming reactions. The focus of her research is to develop readily accessed complexes that show promise for practical application in the fine chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.  The development of these new catalytic systems builds toward the minimization of waste, and the maximization of energy efficiency to result in sustainable methods for chemical transformations. Notably, the metals used for catalyst development are of low toxicity and are targeting Green Chemistry solutions to synthetic challenges.



Prior to the panel, we will be presenting a  one hour  workshop on “Building your Resilience Muscle” by Michelle Sangster

In this one hour workshop Michelle will lead participants through an interactive, playful and informative series of activities  designed to strengthen  your resilience muscle and build confidence in life and work.

Date: November 6, 2014
Time: 6 – 9 pm
Cost: $10 for members / $15 for non-members
Location: YWCA Downtown Vancouver 4th Floor, 535 Hornby St. (Welch room)
Register: bit.ly/1k8kVy6

Resilience is a ‘must have ‘ skill in today’s busy world. Do you know anyone who has that ability to keep on going no matter what setback or struggle comes their way?   Highly resilient people are able to rebound successfully during challenging circumstances , respond to change more readily and cope with life’s demands with greater confidence.   Strengthening your resilience muscle is a life skill that can lead to better coping , improved mental and physical health and greater personal confidence.

The session will focus on:

  • Understanding your assertiveness /confidence profile
  • 7 habits that sabotage personal confidence and effectiveness
  • Techniques to tame nervous energy and inspire confidence
  • Powering up : Daily Mental fitness & Resilience practices for busy people
  • Recognizing when resilience ends and burn-out begins and what to do about it !
Event Perks!
Hors d’oeuvres, cookies, tea and coffee.

Michelle Sangster, B.Ed., MSW, RSW

Michelle Sangster is a clinical counselor, coach, and Organizational Development and Learning consultant in Human Resources with the Federal Government. She formerly was with UBC. She has worked in the private and pubic sector, managing Employee Assistance and Organizational Health and Wellness programs and has a special interest in Leadership Development, Personal Excellence, and Resilience training for the everyday. Michelle is inspired by helping people to be at their best in work and life.

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