Women in Leadership 2018-02-09T23:45:46+00:00


Women In Leadership is dedicated to the celebration of our achievements and accomplishments while encouraging students at the U of S to engage in leadership activities, redefine what leadership means for women, and to celebrate leadership in both traditional and nontraditional ways.

Women In Leadership showcases four leadership themes; Empower, Advocate, Inspire, and Impact. This week will celebrate female leadership in a variety of professions, industries, studies, disciplines, and backgrounds.

Students will have a chance to participate in a variety of FREE activities and workshops. For more information please contact VP Student Affairs at vpstudentaffairs@ussu.ca or at 306-966-6970 or register below!

2017 schedule

January 16 -Empower

Women In Leadership Breakfast

Special Guest, Vice- Provost Teaching and Learning, Patti McDougal.

Roy Romanow Student Council Chamber

Panel Discussion – Breaking Barriers, a Panel on Gender and Sexual Health

A discussion with women who are working within the community of Saskatoon regarding gender and sexual health.

Roy Romanow Student Council Chamber


Sarah Cibart

Having just completed her degree in Human Justice Studies with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Regina, Sarah Cibart has been dedicated to anti-oppression work for the majority of her life. She has worked as the coordinator for the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour Youth Summer Camp, developed an online resource centre for the Women’s and Human Rights Department of the Canadian Labour Congress, as well as coordinated Camp fYrefly for Gender and Sexually Diverse Youth. Most recently, she has moved to Saskatoon to work as a constituency assistant for MLA David Forbes. Sarah is a past director of the Planned Parenthood Regina Board, and currently sits as a director of the OutSaskatoon Board. Wanna sip coffee, share a scone, and talk about gender and sexuality? She’s your gal.


Amanda Guthrie is the Education Coordinator at OUTSaskatoon, Saskatoon’s Queer Community Centre, where she has worked with the organization for four years in different capacities. In her position Amanda works with school divisions, health regions, non-profits, businesses and corporations throughout the province, educating people on the necessity and benefits of inclusive policy and practices. Amanda has also worked on electoral campaigns, most as the campaign manager for Hilary Gough, now city councillor for Ward 2 here in Saskatoon, and for Sheri Benson, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-West. In her free time Amanda enjoys cooking, being outside, collecting feisty feminist cross-stitch art, and spending time with her partner Heather and their dog Kathy Bates.


Natalya Mason is a sexual health educator and social worker in Saskatoon. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, followed by a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Regina. She is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sexual Health at the University of Alberta. Her graduate work focuses on reducing social and emotional barriers to condom use for adolescent girls. Natalya is extremely passionate about sexual health, and currently works as the Education/Outreach Coordinator at Saskatoon Sexual Health. She has worked in classrooms throughout the province, and has a collection of eleven wooden demo penises. She is a lifelong member of the Girl Guides of Canada, and is dedicated to social justice and reproductive rights for women and girls.

January 17 – Advocate

Student Expo – Women In Leadership.

Are you part of a student group that empowers female identified students? Are you passionate about leadership? Be a part of our expo and tell us how you get women involved in your student group!

Sign up and be a part of our EXPO! Email vpstudentaffairs@ussu.ca

North Concourse

Changing Perceptions

An interactive workshop about women in activism, and community engagement.

ARTS 102


Melody Wood is a member of Little Pine First Nation in the Treaty #6 area of Saskatchewan. She was born North Battleford, Saskatchewan and lived a few years of her early life with her biological Bear family. The Indian Residential School era deeply and negatively affected her family and a result was in foster care by age five. At age seven, Melody was adopted by the Wood family and grew up near Regina SK. She completed her Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Regina.

Since 1995 and until 2011, Melody Wood for the Government of Saskatchewan, which provided a sense of security but never the immersion into First Nations culture she was seeking. In making preparations to exit government, Melody began taking Indigenous research contracts. Then in 2011, Melody exited the government world sector to pursue a career of choice and is now employed with the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre who exist to protect, preserve and promote cultures and languages of the First Nations Peoples of Saskatchewan. It is in the non-profit sector that Melody has found a newfound confidence in a career that she believes in.

Melody feels blessed with her life that balances a traditional path as life in the contemporary world. She is a mother figure, writer, artist and advocate for First Nations culture and language.


Dr. Manuela Valle-Castro is a PhD in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, and a Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of British Columbia. Growing up in Chile under Pinochet’s dictatorship shaped her views as an anti-neoliberal feminist, as well as her commitment for social justice and human rights in Latin America. Before coming to Canada to pursue further graduate studies, she practiced as a community psychologist and a social researcher and evaluator for Chilean government programs. She currently teaches Women’s and Gender Studies and Political Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and is committed to the use of queer and anti-colonial feminist theories to challenge militarism and neoliberalism.


January 18 – Inspire

Poetry Night and Art Show

Join us and be inspired by local female poets and artists. Our poetry night and art show will feature local female poets and artists from our campus, community, and featuring a community stage. The evening will be a fun-filled event dedicated to women in the arts.

Louis’ Loft

Peace Akintade is from a village in Nigeria. Peace was born, traveling across the world, she settled in Saskatoon, her age shall be unknown for only the curious shall know. With uncertain motivation she came across the world of poetry, she writes so others (and herself) can figure out what her mind is really thinking about.


Anahita Akhavan is a Canadian based Iranian artist from Tehran. Graduated with a BFA from the University of Tehran in 2013 and moved to Canada to continue her education with MFA program at the University of Saskatchewan. Her artistic practice ranges from figurative abstract painting to collage, drawing and photography with a specialized focus in portraiture and the figure. She uses her art to investigate a dialogue between her personal identity and social reality, concepts of self-awareness and human consciousness.

After her immigration to Canada as an Iranian woman she started to illustrate her inner conflicts and cultural diaspora in a colonial landscape. In her paintings she distorts figures and personas to indicate her perplexity towards the new “place” in regards to immigration. She explores this relationship with personified characters that are embedded in Iranian traditional semiotics, monuments and memories. The self-portraits expose her dreams, fears and hopes.

Anahita has exhibited her works in Iran and Canada both in group and solo shows. She received two Teaching Graduate Fellowship Awards and “ICCC” graduate student award in 2016 from the University of Saskatchewan.


Nichole Atkin is an up and coming artist currently finishing her BFA at the University of Saskatchewan.Although her parents are both from Saskatoon, Nichole grew up all over Canada and Central America, constantly moving for her parents work in geology. Her upbringing in Honduras and Nicaragua is reflected in the bright, whimsical colours she chooses to use in her paintings, collages, and drawings.

Nichole’s paintings are abstract expressions of memory, emotion, and human experience. She aims to create a dream-like quality in her work, provoking emotions through interacting textures, colour, and light.

If you would like to see more of Nichole’s art, please feel free to follow her on Instagram @nicholo9

Her upcoming graduating BFA exhibition will be up at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery from Monday March 13th to Friday, March 17th. A reception will be held from 7-10 on the evening of the 17th. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Caragana is a second year English student at the U of S. She has been enjoying writing in one capacity or another all her life but has been doing spoken word for nearly five years. In this time she has competed in two national youth poetry festivals, has featured at Regina Word Up, CFSW, and Tonight It’s Poetry, has opened for Buddy Wakefield and Shane Koyczan, and now helps to run Write Out Loud, a youth poetry show in Saskatoon. She is always trying to learn from her own and others’ words and is consistently inspired by the women around her.


Stephanie Mah

Inspiration for my artwork comes from an array of places and forms. I am inspired by those who find passion in their work and I generate ideas by exposing myself to other areas of study.

Through attention to detail I strive to communicate nature’s continuous beauty to viewers. The interaction between humans and nature in my work is a large influence, and I hope to relay a poetic interpretation of the two. My goal is to construct a sense of the awe that nature presents and evoke the same emotion through my artwork.

Drawing has always been an integral part of my art practice but I have recently expanded to focus on oil painting. New works are exploring the concept of conscious and subconscious identity and how personal experiences and various relationships influence my sense of self. Art allows me to communicate thoughts and feelings when articulation escapes me.


Janelle “ecoaborijanelle” Pewapsconias is a Nehīyaw Iskwēw from Little Pine First Nation, Treaty 6 Territory. ecoaborijanelle uses her microphone to amplify her truth and in doing so shifts consciousness and brings justice with her slam poetry prowess.


January 19 – Impact

Women In Leadership Gala

A night of women in politics and industry. The evening will feature a mini-lecture series, and an opportunity to mingle and network with a group of inspiring female influencers from our campus and the community.

Come enjoy an evening of great conversations!

Louis’ Loft
Click here to RSVP


Barbara Byers is the Canadian Labour Congress’ Secretary-Treasurer, bringing a wealth of experience to the job as a labour leader committed to inclusiveness and as a “Prairie Populist”.

Barb has fought for the underdog all her life: first as a social worker, then as President of the Saskatchewan Government Employees Union (SGEU) and as Saskatchewan Federation of Labour President (SFL).

Barb’s commitment and energetic work led to her being elected as a CLC Executive Vice-President in 2002 and now as Secretary-Treasurer in May 2014. Last December she was named a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her “contributions as an important voice in the Canadian labour movement.”

As a social worker in Saskatchewan, Barb addressed issues of poverty, youth unemployment, aboriginal concerns, equality for all and labour rights.

That political activism brought her to the leadership of the SGEU in the face of strong challenges from the anti-labour Conservative government of Grant Devine and four turbulent years opposing privatization, the weakening of labour laws for both unionized and non-unionized workers, reductions in social services and attacks on the public sector.

Next Barb became President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, working to overwhelmingly defeat the scandal-ridden Saskatchewan government and fight for a better province for over 14 years.

Barb has been responsible for labour education; medicare and health care; workplace training and technology; employment insurance; apprenticeships; and issues of concern to women workers, workers with disabilities and gay, bi-sexual, lesbian and transgender workers.
For twelve years, Barb also played a key role representing Canada as one of 14 worker delegates on the Governing Body of the International Labour Organization, the United Nations agency bringing together governments, employers and workers in common action to promote decent work throughout the world.

Barb’s strong community roots led her to become founder of the SFL Summer Camp for Youth in Saskatchewan and co-founder of the Prairie School for Union Women.

Barbara was also appointed to the UN Women Executive Director’s Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) last month.

UN Women’s mandate focuses on five key priorities: increasing women’s leadership and participation, ending violence against women, engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes, enhancing women’s economic empowerment and making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting.


Brynn Boback-Lane has been the President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan since 1999 and is currently working with the Ministry of Health and provincial health regions in the creation of the new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan, scheduled for completion in 2019. Brynn continues to lead a provincial team in advocating and fundraising for the new children’s hospital project with focused expertise in governance, marketing, public relations, and philanthropy. Brynn attended the University of Saskatchewan first and recently received her Chartered Director (C. Dir.) designation from McMaster University.

Brynn currently sits as a member of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Hospitals of Canada, Canadian Advisory Committee for Children’s Miracle Network, Canadian Children’s Hospital Foundation Executives, is Co-Chair of the Canadian Children’s Hospital Foundation New Business Development Working Group and a member of the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) Board of Directors.

Brynn was recognized by Sask Business Magazine as one of Saskatchewan’s Women of Influence and received an honour from her home town of Prince Albert and the public school system, where she was inducted into their wall of fame for her contributions to provincial education and health care initiatives. Brynn and her husband Mark have also been named Saskatchewan business leaders by Sask Business Magazine.


Omayra Issa is a reporter with Radio-Canada (CBC French).
As a journalist, she investigates stories for a national audience, ranging from fraud investigations to problems facing homeless transgender youth in Saskatoon, and healthcare in Saskatchewan prisons.
Before becoming a reporter, Omayra worked in community development in Western Canada.
She has been a communications strategist for a conglomerate of francophone organizations in the city of Saskatoon. She has served as the first elected black woman as well as first person under 30 to the Board of Governors of the association representing francophones in Alberta.
Omayra holds a bachelor degree in Economics and English Literature from the University of Alberta. She grew up in Niger and is fluent in five languages.


Sarina Gersher is a proud University of Saskatchewan graduate where she completed a BSc Honors Land Use and Environmental Studies. Sarina is currently a Saskatoon City Councillor for Ward 8. Prior to being elected to Council, Sarina worked as a GIS Analyst with the Meewasin Valley Authority (i.e. cartographer). Working within the community has always been important to Sarina. She was a cofounder of Bus Riders of Saskatoon, and currently sits as a Board Member for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. In addition to her volunteer work, Sarina can also be found on the sports field playing such sports as soccer.


Namarta Kochar is an accomplished business professional and highly-active volunteer, mentor and role model in the community, Namarta Kochar’s work has helped strengthen various spheres throughout the community. In her professional life, Namarta is the Program Manager of Leadership Annual Giving at the U of S in the department of University Relations. Prior to this, Namarta enjoyed a successful career as the Director, Major Projects with Refresh, an award-winning marketing and business strategy firm.Namarta has energetically volunteered for a wide array of organizations including Dress for Success, Ovarian Cancer Canada, Public Health, The Bridge City Boogie, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, The Arthritis Society, The Saskatoon Salvation Army, The Alzheimer Society, The Children’s Wish Foundation, The Children’s Hospital Foundation, Raise-a-Reader, We Day and the YWCA Saskatoon.

Namarta’s leadership role on numerous committees sets a positive example for women to take the lead both in the workplace and the community. Namarta is a Public Representative on the Drug Advisory Committee of Saskatchewan for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, and sits on the Cultural Diversity and Race Relations Committee for the City of Saskatoon. Namarta completed a six-year term on the Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee also for the City of Saskatoon for which she received an honor of distinguished community service. Namarta also serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and is on the 2017 YWCA Women of Distinction Gala Committee. Namarta has been a mentor for the Saskatchewan Association of Human Resource Professionals Mentorship program and a judge for the Progress2Capital Business Planning Competition.

Recognizing her leadership, Namarta was named one of SaskBusiness Magazine’s Women of Influence recognizing women whose achievement and leadership make them among the most influential people in Saskatchewan. Namarta was named a College of Arts & Science Alumni of Influence, recognizing individuals whose life accomplishments have had a tremendous influence locally, nationally and internationally. Namarta was also the recipient of the 2015 Alumni Achievement Award which recognizes graduates of the U of S for excellence, leadership, and innovation in their achievements. Namarta was named one of CBC Saskatchewan’s Future 40, recognizing the province’s new generation of leaders and change-makers under the age of the 40. Namarta received the prestigious Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, the highest volunteer award in Saskatchewan given to someone who reaches outside of their personal activities to help others. Namarta also received the Living in Harmony Award from the City of Saskatoon, recognizing individuals for their efforts in promoting intercultural harmony and she received the Champion of Children award from The Saskatoon Preschool Foundation, as someone from the community who has made a positive difference in the lives of children. Namarta was a keynote panel speaker for 2015 U of S Student Leadership Conference, and was the only Canadian to receive a scholarship for the 2015 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education conference in Seattle. Most recently, as part of National Philanthropy Day celebrations, Namarta was awarded the 2016 Chamberlain Scholarship to attend the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference in San Francisco in April 2017.