SCWIST’s Volunteer of the Month Awards

SCWIST’s aim is to highlight the contributions of our volunteers and to thank them for their time and commitment. Each month, we select a Volunteer of the Month from among volunteers whose performance is outstanding in terms of hours, events and impact and they demonstrate the understanding of the SCWIST brand. In addition, their volunteering contributes to their own personal and professional growth. 

We now wish to recognize the following four volunteers with the Volunteer of the Month award:

August 2020 | Anja Lanz

Anja continues to go beyond her role as STEM Diversity Champion, GENC Leader, and member of Make DIVERSITY Possible project team, SCALE Steering Committee and SCWIST Policy and Impact Committee. She extends the impact of SCWIST’s work by volunteering on the Engineers Canada and EGBC 30 by 30 Champions Group, EGBC Women in Engineering Group, United Nations Beijing + Group with activities in Canada and internationally; Advisory Group for the AWET project (Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology) and Langara – 49 Women in Science Initiative.

Anja has consistently promoted SCWIST at local, national and international levels. She brings opportunities to learn, grow, connect, and make them available to the SCWIST community. She uses her far-reaching connections to create possibilities, organizational connections and contacts for SCWIST and uses her personal credibility and profile to enhance ours.

Anja embodies volunteering as a way of life – in her personal and professional activities. Anja’s volunteering activities build collaboration, leadership and advocacy skills – and her ability to connect people and other organizations together in a way to collectively act and create a larger impact. Anja uses her volunteering activities to advance STEM skills, diversity in STEM and gender equality globally.

Anja’s volunteer activities are directly aligned with SCWIST’s brand, vision and mission to remove barriers for women and girls in STEM. She continually challenges everyone to do more and to find ways to remove barriers. She demonstrates SCWIST values in everything that she does – to empower, include, inspire, connect and sustain. She has a continued focus on SUSTAIN – to ensure the work that is being done at SCWIST, in Canada and internationally – is sustained.

Anja is one of the pillars of SCWIST and not only understands the brand profoundly but promotes it to raise SCWIST’s profile.

September 2020 | Vaishnavi Sridhar

  • Fully responsible for completing application and obtaining NSERC funding for Science Literacy Week (SLW) workshops
  • Strong leadership spearheading the planning, organizing and implementation of the 14 SLW workshops which reached ~500 students and teachers across Canada.

Vaishnavi learned the intricacies of writing grants and applying for funding from NSERC, a Canadian Federal agency, with very competitive standards in grant funding.

As the lead responsible for planning, organizing and implementing the SLW workshops, Vaishnavi developed event management skills; and also levelled up her leadership, as she assembled and effectively worked a team of new Youth Engagement volunteers, who delivered the workshops with excellence and beyond expectation.

Vaishnavi was cognizant of the importance of having the SLW workshops well-attended and highly engaged by students across British Columbia (and Canada), thus she ensured that workshop content and programming was of high quality. Failure to do so would have impacted the SCWIST brand negatively, of which she was fully aware of.

Vaishnavi’s positive experience as SLW grants application writer and workshop events lead, has motivated her to commit to longer term committee work with the Director for Leadership and Director for Youth Engagement.

October 2020 | Noeen Malik

Noeen joined SCWIST as a volunteer on Aug 19, 2020. In the span of less than 3 months, she has significantly helped raise SCWIST’s profile internationally, nationally and locally. A key member of the Events Team, she has contributed fresh ideas, energy, expertise and leadership.

Event lead and moderator of SCWIST’s first global event: The 2020 Gender Equality Week Forum (International Perspectives on Advancing Women in STEM Careers and Leadership) is Noeen’s brainchild. She worked relentlessly to ensure that the event would be a success: brought in high profile international speakers, actively promoted the event on social media and with her professional network resulting in over 100 registrations from all over the world, enthusiastically moderated the panel discussion, and spent additional hours attending to small but important details.


  • Co-lead and Quiz Master, SCWIST Halloween and Science Trivia Challenge fundraiser for Science World
  • Science Literacy Week workshop co-host
  • SCWIST Brown Bag host
  • SCWIST representative/ moderator at the Science World Girls and STEAM mentorship session
  • Participant and SCWIST representative to the Minerva Gender Equality Leadership forum session on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Despite being an established scientist in Radiochemistry, Noeen values her volunteering with SCWIST because the organization provides her access to a larger professional network in Canada and a pool of mentors and leadership role models.

November 2020 | Angela Chen

Angela took on the role of Social Media Manager for SCWIST in September and has been instrumental in revitalizing our social media presence in the past 2 months. In addition to working closely with the Director of Events to promote an steady stream of events, Angela has grown SCWIST’s Instagram from 60 followers to over 140 followers in a span of 2 months. She has posted refreshing content that includes fun facts, highlights of relevant feminism/STEM news, and member features. Her content is effective in engaging new members that are in a younger demographic. She has actively contributed to the communications team’s blog topic brainstorm sessions and has keenly educated others on running an impactful ad campaign. She is committed, passionate, and enthusiastic.

Outside of SCWIST, Angela’s goal is to start her own market company. She has successfully created and applied social media marketing strategies to SCWIST’s platforms and her learnings can be transferred to future applications and projects. Angela has also learned to work with different opinions and how to articulate her thinking behind different approaches. Her ability to work with diverse personalities and stand behind her ideas are skills that will contribute to her professional growth for the rest of career.

Angela has paid close attention to the SCWIST voice from past social media work by keeping our posts informative and friendly, which is the most important aspect of Communications. She has appropriately applied the SCWIST marketing brand guide to her posts, including using Canva to make graphics and videos that have SCWIST’s logos and colours for promotional materials.