WRC Distinguished Graduate Student Award Recipient 2019
Annie Hoang is a researcher, mentor and student leader. However, it is her unwavering commitment to fostering an appreciation of science, promoting women in science and thinking outside the box that make her a trailblazer in her field. Annie holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Calgary, and is currently undertaking a Master of Science in physical chemistry. Beyond her academic excellence, Annie’s contributions to the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), non-profit sector and in the field of clean energy are important to the community.
Annie’s road to success as a chemistry researcher and student leader was not without difficulty. However, her commitment to personal growth and advancing gender-equality in her field fostered resilience.
Although Annie did not receive a summer research position until the fourth year of her degree, she recognized that she could still build capacity in the realm of research. She embarked on professional development opportunities that ultimately landed her a prestigious undergraduate research award, allowing her to work on novel nanomaterials for electrochemical devices cleanly converting fuel into electricity. This accomplishment was an important stepping stone to entering graduate school, though Annie wanted to expand her knowledge outside of her chemistry background. Her curiosity led her to run for the Graduate Student Association’s VP Finance position and, while she ran a compelling campaign, she did not win the election. Her support for the goals and initiatives at the GSA was unwavering, and she later ran for Finance Standing Committee Chair, where she was elected by the Graduate Representative Council.
Annie’s contributions to her field echo her commitment to bridging research and public good.
In acknowledging the few prominent female researchers in her field, especially at scientific conferences, Annie decided to share these experiences — and lessons in resilience and rigor — to support girls through the Cybermentor program. Annie completed her Transformative Talent Intern-ship with GO Technology Foundation, a social enterprise that raises money to fund future technologies, and is now in the process of writing her thesis focused on designing lower-cost nanomaterials for environment friendly vehicles. Volunteering at Beakerhead for several years, Annie became a proponent of effective science communication and is able to distill down the complexities of her work for a general audience, while telling a clear and compelling story — making scientific research accessible for all who want to learn.