APEGA Supports Our Future Leaders with the 2021 Ivan Finlay Leadership Awards

At APEGA, we strongly believe the continued sustainability and advancement of the engineering and geoscience professions relies on each new generation of skilled and innovative leaders. Soon, they will blaze the trail that future professionals will follow—and we want to help them get started.

To do so, APEGA is offering up to 10 prizes of $1,000 to engineering and geoscience students in Alberta who demonstrate outstanding leadership in their communities. The awards are sponsored by APEGA's past presidents.

Who are Ivan Finlay Leadership Award recipients?

Ivan Finlay recipients are extremely motivated, and they embrace the importance of giving back to the professions and leading by example. They establish connections, seek out opportunities, and embrace and overcome challenges—and they encourage their peers and professional communities to do the same.

To give you an idea of what it takes to receive an Ivan Finlay Leadership Award and what it means to those who do, we chatted with three of last year’s award recipients, all of whom have played instrumental roles in organizing professional development opportunities for their peers and promoting the industry through community outreach initiatives.

Diana DangDiana Dang, E.I.T.

Engineer-in-training Diana Dang says great leaders are encouraging, enabling, and inspiring—three characteristics she demonstrates as president of the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Calgary.

Her passion for enabling girls and young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math led her to a mentorship role with Girls Who Game GG, a club dedicated to educational gaming that provides young girls an opportunity to experience technology and learn in a different way.

She says receiving the Ivan Finlay Award was a huge load off her shoulders, as it helped her pay for her education. And that's not all: “It's completely validating. I felt like they looked at everything I did and everything I was involved in, and they said that I deserve it.”

Willow Dew

Willow DewServing as vice-president of academic and student services for the Engineering Students’ Society at the University of Alberta, Willow Dew is a steadfast advocate for accessible mental health support, free tutoring, and other essential resources. She spends much of her time mentoring and encouraging younger students to get involved in their communities and not to doubt their capabilities, because, as she says, “enthusiasm is the most important thing.”

Having her hard work recognized “made me feel like my impact was really valued,” says Dew. “I remember being a younger student and really appreciating the people that came before me and the work they were doing in the community to make things more accessible and feasible for younger students. I feel like I’m doing my part in the mentorship that is inherent in university between older students and younger students.”

Karen Zhang

Karen ZhangKaren Zhang has long demonstrated her commitment to accelerating her peers’ professional development. She is a past co-president of the University of Calgary’s Petroleum and Energy Society, the largest student chapter representing the Society of Petroleum Engineers in Canada. She has organized workshops, industry mixers, and guest speaker events to help build student professional development, and she handled the logistics of sending 20 student delegates to the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference.

For those looking to submit their own Ivan Finlay Leadership Award application, she suggests they highlight their achievements that best show off their leadership abilities, and that they think of how they can best stand out from their peers and other candidates.

2021 Ivan Finlay Leadership Awards

Nominations for the 2021 awards closed on February 14, 2021. Thank you for your interest!

All submissions are currently under review and successful recipients will be notified in May 2021.

Nominations for the 2022 award cycle will open in late 2021.

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