Meet the Team

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Katherine Krause | Co-Chair

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I'm a 4th year PhD student in the Algar Lab, where I'm developing smartphone-based diagnostic devices for point-of-care use. In my spare time, I volunteer through the departmental outreach and EDI committees and through a harm reduction program in the Downtown Eastside. I'm excited to continue working with CDI and expanding our outreach work to underrepresented minorities in STEM!

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Julie McNutt | Co-Chair

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I am a 5th year PhD Candidate at UBC where I use analytical chemistry and molecular biology to study breast cancer. I am supervised by Dr. David Chen and co-supervised by Dr. Ujendra Kumar in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In my free time I enjoy running, spin cycling, and spending time at the beach. I am passionate about supporting equitable opportunities in teaching & learning in higher education as well as promoting science communication. Empowering scientists to improve accessibility to STEM education begins, first and foremost, with EDI awareness.

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McKenzie Madden | Treasurer

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Hi I'm MJ (McKenzie J.) and I am a first year graduate student in the Schafer lab. I am from Orillia, Ontario and did my undergrad in environmental chemistry at Queen's University. I am interested in EDI initiatives because it drives innovation in our field and enables us to all thrive together in a welcoming environment.

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Jade Poisson | Secretary

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I'm a third year PhD student. I enjoy reading, hiking, biking and cows!

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Juan-Manuel Rueda | Outreach Coordinator

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I was born in Bogota, the cool (and "cold") capital of Colombia. I did my bachelor's in chemistry at Los Andes University from which I moved to UBC (and then to U of C) to start my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Jennifer Love in 2017. Beyond moving around, I enjoy hiking, biking, cooking, and shaming my family with my poor salsa skills. I joined this CDI chapter to support the efforts to make our department a more inclusive and fairer place for everyone.

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Gunwant M. | Pride Ambassador

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I am a 2nd year PhD student in the MacLachlan lab at UBC studying supramolecular chemistry with luminescent Pt(II) tetradentate complexes. I'm interested in helping to make the UBC Chemistry department more welcoming to current and incoming students, with a focus on the LGBTQ2S+ community! In my free time, I enjoy baking, crocheting, badminton, and making art pieces that will forever be 'in progress' with various media.

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Katrina Bergmann  | First Year Representative

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Hi, I'm Katrina! I'm in the first year of my PhD in the Hudson group, studying optoelectronic materials. In my spare time (and anytime the sun comes out) I love to bike or go hiking. I completed my undergrad at the University of Manitoba, where I was a founding member of the EDI group in the Chemistry department. I'm excited to continue to improve EDI in chemistry here at UBC!

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Dwiti Mistry  | Social Media

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I'm a first year PhD student in the Jetter lab where I study the chemistry of plant cuticles. I did my undergrad in biomedical sciences at UWaterloo (H2O LO2!) and this is also where I first started learning about diversity and equity. I'm excited to continue learning more through CDI while also helping to promote an inclusive and diverse environment in chemistry and the UBC community overall.

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Angie Sevilla Pym | Webmaster

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Hi! I'm a first PhD student in the Hudson group, working on polymeric nanoparticles for bioimaging. In my spare time, I love to read, watch movies, and bike. I am excited to contribute to making our department a welcoming place for everyone!

General Members

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Ben Yavitt

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Hi I'm Ben and I am a postdoc in the Schafer group studying the physical properties of aminated polymeric materials. I am excited to work with CDI and continue to build an inclusive environment in the chemistry department. Outside of lab work, I try to enjoy the beautiful West Coast weather and explore Vancouver in my running shoes.

Christine Traaseth

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Hello! I am a second year graduate student currently in the Algar group! There I love to see how luminescent molecules and smartphones can come together to help progress diagnostic devices for point-of-care use. I am excited to join CDI as I want to help work towards making chemistry more inclusive and welcoming environment, as science should be comfortably accessible to everyone! On my free time I love to cook, hike, ski and surf!

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Cameron Zheng

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I am currently a 2nd year PhD student in the Schafer group and I’m excited to join CDI as a general member this year. My goal in joining CDI is to make chemistry a welcoming and supportive space for everyone!

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Urmi Vijay Mody

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I am a graduate student in the Wolf research group, interested in studying optical properties of molecules. I love sipping coffee, biking around Vancouver and embracing a different culture than my hometown (Mumbai, India). I believe CDI is a great initiative to include chemists from diverse backgrounds. Diversity in chemistry would not only help enhance creativity in the field but also enhance innovation. Through CDI, I hope to understand and contribute towards encouraging an inclusive environment in chemistry!

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Sabrina Scott

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I am a second year PhD student studying functional aminated materials in the Schafer lab. I joined this club because I believe diversity is necessary to encourage creativity in our pursuit to tackle challenging scientific dilemma and I hope to contribute to fostering a more inclusive environment at UBC!

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Hayden Scheiber

I am a 4th year theoretical chemistry PhD candidate in the Patey group. In addition to my love of chemistry and physics, I also have an interest in political science, law, and philosophy. I draw heavily on science and rational argument from across the political compass to guide my personal morality and political beliefs. I joined CDI as a member-at-large to broaden my understanding of contemporary progressive principles.

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Miguel Soto

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