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Members of the University of Regina’s Faculty of Science are shining examples of successful women in STEM.

With rapid advances and high job demand in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, the opportunities are huge. The inspiring teachers and students in the University of Regina’s Faculty of Science prove women can succeed in these male-dominated disciplines.

Encouraging women in STEM 

Dr. Sandra Zilles is the Canada Research Chair in Computational Learning Theory and a professor at the University of Regina. “Women tend to have a different way of thinking and it can really affect the progress you can make in IT projects,” she says. “Unfortunately, young women tend to have a wrong idea about computer science.” The stereotype of a nerd hammering away at his keyboard alone just isn’t true, she says. “This type of work requires creative input, communication skills, and problem-solving.”

Dr. Zilles is making waves through her work enabling machine learning in areas where there isn’t enough data for current techniques and training graduate students to expose them to state-of-the-art technology and research in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

There aren’t a lot of women in STEM fields, and there are even fewer women of colour.

Sylvia Okonofua, undergraduate biochemistry student

Incredible opportunities 

Sylvia Okonofua is an undergraduate biochemistry student and Vice President of the Science Student Society at the University of Regina, where she’s working to improve the student experience. She’s also the president of the university’s Stem Cell Club. 

“There aren’t a lot of women in STEM fields, and there are even fewer women of colour,” says Okonofua. She strongly encourages women, especially women of colour, to pursue careers in STEM so they can act as role models for younger girls. She’s optimistic about the changes she sees taking place, too. “Women are finally taking a stand to say, ‘I belong here, I’ve worked hard enough to be here, and I deserve to be here,’” she says. 

If you’re considering studying STEM, don’t delay! The University of Regina offers a close-knit and collaborative community, and its UR Guarantee Program matches students with an advisor to ease the transition into and out of university. Learn more at ■ 

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