Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX students attend, present at Canadian Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

February 3rd, 2020
L-r, Claire MacDougall and Catherine Boisvert

For two third year honours StFX physics students, attending the Canadian Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics held in Toronto in January was a terrific learning opportunity. 

“Attending the conference was a very inspiring experience. It was amazing for us to see so many successful female scientists represented and meet female undergraduate colleagues,” say Claire MacDougall, an honours physics student from Halifax, NS, and chair of the Canadian Association of Physicists Student Advisory Council, and Catherine Boisvert a joint physics and math honours student from Montreal, QC, who is also president of the StFX Physics Society. 

“We learned about the issues facing women, minorities and the LGBTQ+ community in this male dominated field, which will be extremely useful for both of us in our work with student advocacy. We also were exposed to career options outside of academia, which is not often something we learn about.”

Ms. MacDougall also presented her research, “Determination of Radiative Efficiency and Global Warming Potential of Several HFC’s and HFE’s” at the conference held at the University of Toronto. 

The duo say they are the only two female students in their program, and that Physics Department chair Dr. Peter Marzlin and the rest of the physics faculty encouraged them to attend this national conference and provided them with the funding and support they needed to attend. 

“The conference was a very supportive environment and validated some of our negative experiences as female students but more importantly shed light on the strengths and perspectives we bring as women to the field of physics,” they said. 

 

This research is, in part, made possible by the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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