Best of the WWEST

Best of the WWEST

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Inspiring Women with Real Stories


80: Erin Karaim, Civil Engineering Technician, WSP
Jun 30 • 48 min
In our first Best of the WWEST episode in partnership with ASTTBC (Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia) and the Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology project, Best of the WWEST host Danniele welcomes Erin Karaim to the…
79: iSTAND Miniseries Part 2: Indigenizing STEM Education
Jun 16 • 49 min
In our second episode of the miniseries by the WWEST Associate Chair program hosted at iSTAND at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, host Maxine (iSTAND Communications and Resource Design Assistant) speaks with a panel of experts on Indigenizing…
78: Yuka Takemon, PhD Student, Genome Science and Technology
Jun 2 • 47 min
Yuka Takemon joins Best of the WWEST host Danniele in a socially-distanced interview to talk all about bioinformatics and why research in the field can give quick rewards. Yuka also dives into her identity as a member of the LGBTQIA and STEM communities…
77: Quarantimes with Claris Cyarron
May 19 • 45 min
This time on the podcast, Danniele introduces us to a very special guest - her wife, Claris. You’ll hear video game recommendations (perfect for social distancing), Claris’ view on the importance of storytelling not just in video games but in society at…
76: Mitzi Dean, MLA
Apr 28 • 39 min
Mitzi Dean has 3 main priorities: Tackling gender-based violence, getting rid of systemic barriers, and economic and political empowerment of girls and women. In this episode with WWEST manager and podcast host Danniele, PS Dean tells us why women in STEM…
75: LCdr Calley Gray, Royal Canadian Navy
Apr 8 • 45 min
In this episode, Best of the WWEST host Danniele speaks to Lieutenant Commander Calley Gray, Marine Systems Engineer Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. She gives us all a rare glimpse into what it’s like to be a woman in the Navy and the amazing and big…
74: Louise Wilkinson, Quality Manager, Integral Group
Mar 17 • 39 min
Which career allows you to marry environmentalism and data science? Being a quality manager at an engineering firm! Louise Wilkinson is our guest on the podcast for this episode, and she shares how she ended up in her dream job after working full time…
73: The Women of “In Plain Sight”
Mar 4 • 33 min
In this episode of Best of the WWEST, podcast host and WWEST manager Danniele will introduce you to the 7 women who are featured in WWEST’s new photography project, “In Plain Sight.” This project is a photojournalistic look at the lives and careers of…
72: iSTAND Mini Series: Women in STEM from the Okanagan
Feb 25 • 59 min
This episode marks the first in a miniseries by the WWEST Associate Chair program hosted at iSTAND at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO). In this episode, iSTAND Communications and Resource Design Assistant Maxine van Zyl and WWEST…
71: Leila Abutaleb, Digital Communications Manager, BC Hydro
Feb 11 • 48 min
Leila Abutaleb joins podcast host Danniele to get nerdy about digital communication. She shares her journey starting as a contractor to a full time employee managing a communications team and how technology has always been the underpinning in her career.…
70: Alexa Bailey, Founder, Girls to the Power of Math
Jan 21 • 18 min
Girls to the Power of Math is a girl-to-girl math mentorship program. This program was started by Alexa Bailey, and she’s our guest for this episode. She tells host Danniele about what it’s like to be a girl with an interest in STEM in high school, what…
69: Mary-Jane Piggott, Senior Water Resources Engineer
Jan 8 • 43 min
Best of the WWEST host Danniele talks to Mary-Jane Piggott, Senior Water Resources Engineer, about why she came to Canada from Australia, how the arts can intersect with STEM, and how her job lets her travel to really cool places. Plus, you’ll find out…
68: Sharona Gordon, PhD, Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
Dec 18, 2019 • 47 min
This time, WWEST manager and podcast host Danniele speaks with Dr. Sharona Gordon, a professor at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine who is making waves with her various projects, including Below the Water Line, whose mission is to combat…
67: Maite Taboada, PhD, Professor, Linguistics, SFU
Dec 3, 2019 • 29 min
We’ve heard it time and time again: Don’t read the comments. Except today, WWEST manager Danniele speaks with Dr. Maite Taboada, a professor in linguistics at Simon Fraser University, who actually takes time out of her day to read and study those very…
66: Wendy Hurlburt, President & CEO, LifeSciences BC
Nov 6, 2019 • 45 min
Life sciences is not a widely understood area of STEM, but Wendy Hurlburt is here to set the record straight. She tells host Danniele about her hopes to establish life sciences as a vital part of the economy. But Wendy and Danniele don’t just talk shop -…
65: Vienna Lam, Lab Manager & Researcher, SFU Centre for Forensic Research & School of Criminology
Nov 5, 2019 • 47 min
In this episode, we hear from Vienna Lam, the Lab Manager at the SFU Centre for Forensic Research and School of Criminology. She tells host Danniele about her love for learning. You’ll hear about her passion for the whole research cycle as well as…
64: Elyssa Manis, Web Technologies Expert
Oct 15, 2019 • 40 min
Elyssa Manis has built her company NavaWeb from the ground up, and tells WWEST manager Danniele all about it in this episode. She gives advice for those who are interested in being their own bosses, talks about the positive impact she hopes her work has…
63: The Red Arrows
Oct 1, 2019 • 20 min
WWEST manager Danniele had the opportunity to speak with two women from the Red Arrows, the aerobatics display team of the British Royal Air Force. They share what it’s like being the only two women currently in the Red Arrows, where their current tour is…
62: Leanne (Lan) Roed, Game Designer & Artist
Aug 21, 2019 • 43 min
What is it like to release a mobile game from start to finish? How does game design foster collaboration? Is there space for the silly and strange in the video game sphere? This week’s guest, Leanne Roed, tells WWEST manager and podcast host Danniele…
61: Lianna Mah, VP Business Development, Associated Engineering
Aug 6, 2019 • 45 min
Lianna Mah has seen big change at Associated Engineering in her 29 years of being part of the organization. She tells us about the changes she has seen around diversity and inclusion not only at Associated, but in engineering in general. You’ll learn…
60: Deborah Harford, Executive Director, Adaptation to Climate Change Team
Jul 23, 2019 • 46 min
Deborah Harford calls herself a “science translator,” and tells us all about what that means in this episode. She gives background on the organization she co-founded, explains how studying how animals and humans will have to adapt to climate change is…
59: Tara Robertson, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Mozilla
Jul 10, 2019 • 44 min
Tara Robertson is a diversity champion. In this episode, you’ll learn about her passion for an open internet, and why jobs in tech are “awesome.” You’re going to hear about a lot of things an organization is doing right when it comes to diversifying their…
58: Nemaiah Shaw, Apprentice Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
Jun 18, 2019 • 20 min
This time, we look at the trades again and speak with Nemaiah Shaw, who tells us why she loves being an apprentice aircraft maintenance engineer, what it takes to become one, and her excitement for her eventual licensing. She also tells us what it’s like…
57: Creating Connections 6.0
Jun 3, 2019 • 37 min
In this special episode, podcast producer Vanessa will walk you through the Creating Connections 6.0 conference. Creating Connections is a diversity conference focused on attracting, engaging, and retaining women and underrepresented groups in STEM.…
56: Michele Romanow, Dragon on CBC’s “Dragons’ Den”
May 21, 2019 • 22 min
“Start now.” - “Slow success breeds confidence.” These are some key pieces of advice that Michele Romanow gives our listeners in this episode. Best of the WWEST producer Vanessa interviews Michele at Creating Connections 6.0 where Michele was a keynote…
55: Ella Chan, Sci-Files YouTube Host & Student
May 7, 2019 • 23 min
Ella Chan joins host Danniele to talk about all sorts of topics, including starting university and the importance of balancing the A in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). She tells us what it’s like behind the scenes of her…
54: Ellyne Kinney, Senior Systems Engineer, Earth Observation Systems
Apr 16, 2019 • 28 min
For Ellyne Kinney, her curiosity and drive to have a successful career started early, and you’ll hear all about it in this interview with Best of the WWEST host Danniele. She relives her time working on big deal astronomy projects (Hubble Space Telescope…
53: Rike Moon, PhD, Manager, STEAM Mentor Initiatives, Science World
Apr 3, 2019 • 38 min
In this episode, Rike Moon tells Danniele about her journey from a farm in Germany to her career at Science World in Vancouver. Rike gives great advice for STEM students and professionals, takes us down memory lane to explain how she overcame crippling…
52: Ania Kwiatkowski, PhD, Nuclear Physicist
Mar 29, 2019 • 43 min
This time, Danniele hears from Ania Kwiatkowski, PhD, a nuclear physicist at TRIUMF who is passionate about her work. She talks about the friendly competitiveness of her field, and why she loves nuclear physics so much. You’ll hear about how she is…
51: Mily Mumford, Writer/Director/Scientist
Mar 5, 2019 • 32 min
Host Danniele is joined by Mily Mumford to talk about scifi, bridging theatre and science, and the study of psychological effects of being in space. Mily tells us why she wants to be the “Black Mirror” of theatre and her passion for mental health…
50: Dana Mills, Youth STEM Outreach Coordinator, Yukon College
Feb 20, 2019 • 26 min
Alison Anderson and the Yukon Edition of Best of the WWEST are back! This time, you’ll hear from Dana Mills, who spends a lot of time with children and youth - and loves it! You’ll hear why it’s so important to support youth in their passions and the…
49: Pamela Tannouri, Technology Development Manager, HealthTech Connex
Feb 20, 2019 • 32 min
From being the first employee at her current workplace, to growing a startup, to managing a team that is creating a revolutionary “blood pressure cuff for your brain,” Pamela Tannouri tells host Danniele all about her journey through her career. She…
48: Monika Stachura, PhD, Research Scientist, TRIUMF
Feb 6, 2019 • 37 min
In this episode, you’ll hear from Monika Stachura, PhD, about her career as a research scientist and her important work coordinating the UBC program IsoSiM (Isotopes for Medicine and Science) at the University of British Columbia. She also fills us in on…
47: Jennifer Jakobi, PhD, Associate Dean & WWEST Associate Chair (UBCO)
Jan 22, 2019 • 42 min
Danniele sits down with Jennifer Jakobi, PhD, newly appointed WWEST Associate Chair at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. They cover subjects such as how to give students the opportunity to empower themselves, what Jennifer does as the WWEST…
46: Leigh Joseph, Ethnobotanist & Community Activist
Jan 8, 2019 • 42 min
In this episode, we hear from Leigh Joseph about collaborative work at a community level, observing people out on the land and learning their stories that connect them to their place. Leigh talks about how having a more Indigenous presence in ethnobotany…
45: Marcia MacDonald, PhD, Deputy Director, World Anti-Doping Agency
Dec 18, 2018 • 34 min
Marcia MacDonald, PhD, chats with host Danniele this week about working at the World Anti-Doping Agency. You’ll hear about how her work helps to implement more efficient processes in the Athlete Biological Passport Program or ABP. But you’ll also hear…
44: Leslie Leong, Civil Engineer & Visual Artist
Dec 1, 2018 • 38 min
It’s time for another Yukon-focused Best of the WWEST episode! Host Alison Anderson talks with Leslie Leong about whether or not new technology really simplifies our lives, whether or not we should separate STEM from the arts, and what needs to be done to…
43: Bella Kazwell, Web Engineering Lead, Asana
Nov 20, 2018 • 32 min
In this episode, Bella Kazwell, Web Engineering Lead at Asana, a leading web-based work management system, tells host Danniele about her work at Asana. She describes how she got her dream job and gives advice for all STEM professionals. You’ll also learn…
42: Kai Scott, Principal Partner, TransFocus Consulting
Oct 31, 2018 • 42 min
Here at WWEST, we don’t just focus on increasing the presence of women in STEM. We focus on increasing diversity in STEM overall, and this week’s guest, Kai Scott, Principal Partner at TransFocus Consulting, discusses how organizations can be the best…
41: Aerin Jacob, PhD, Ecologist, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
Oct 21, 2018 • 41 min
In this episode, WWEST manager Danniele speaks with Aerin Jacob all about the importance of diversity in STEM, but especially in ecology and conservation. Aerin tells us about her hopes to include new ideas and other ways of knowing in conservation, how…
40: Carmen Wong, PhD, Ecologist Team Leader, Kluane National Park
Oct 10, 2018 • 32 min
In yet another Yukon-focused episode, Alison Anderson speaks with Carmen Wong all about ecology. You’ll find out that it’s about more than just trees and bears! Plus, you’ll hear Carmen’s views on what role scientists should play in communities, her…
39: Jessica Lu, Corporate Analyst
Oct 2, 2018 • 42 min
In this episode, Jessica takes us along on her past journeys to Ireland, China, and Rome through her memories and the life lessons she learned. We learn about what it’s like to study science in university, why she loves working at Genome BC, and her…
38: Rachel Nelson, Marine Mammal Trainer
Sep 18, 2018 • 34 min
What’s Rachel Nelson’s favourite part of her job? The otters, of course! Join host Danniele as she chats with Rachel about landing her dream job at the Vancouver Aquarium, how you can help combat pollution in the ocean, and building relationships with…
37: Jocelyn Joe-Strack, PhD Student, Land Use Planning and First Nations Studies
Aug 30, 2018 • 42 min
In this episode of Best of the WWEST: Yukon Edition, Alison Anderson chats with Jocelyn Joe-Strack about going back to the land. Jocelyn tells us how she thinks about the First Nations way in her work strengthening the land planning process in the Yukon.…
36: Danniele Livengood, Program Manager, WWEST
Aug 20, 2018 • 46 min
Best of the WWEST producer Vanessa interviews WWEST Program Manager Danniele about what got her into STEM, why she loves the work she does at WWEST, and what it takes to run such a program. She also gives insight into working with various non-profit…
35: Colleen Legzdins, PhD, Entrepreneur & Metals and Materials Engineer
Aug 7, 2018 • 37 min
How does someone who hates math and science with no role models of women in STEM end up as a Metals and Materials Engineer? Colleen Legzdins will tell you all about it in this interview with WWEST Manager Danniele. Rest assured - if you are interested in…
34: Kirsten Hogan, Environmental Engineer
Jul 24, 2018 • 20 min
Alison Anderson, the WWEST Associate Chair at Yukon College, interviews Kirsten Hogan and asks the real questions: What challenges does the Yukon face when it comes to environmental engineering, especially mining and environmental reclamation? Why is it…
33: WWEST Celebrates LGBT STEM Day
Jul 24, 2018 • 25 min
On July 5th, Best of the WWEST Producer Vanessa visited the Telus World of Science for the First International Day of LGBTQ+ People in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math! (Short name: LGBT STEM Day.) Vanessa chats with other organizations who took…
32: Stacey Mulcahy, Principal Program Manager, the Garage, Microsoft
Jul 10, 2018 • 44 min
If you’re looking for some insight into Microsoft’s employee engagement, look no further. In this episode, Stacey Mulcahy tells us all about working at The Garage at Microsoft - why she loves it, what she does, and how maker spaces like The Garage can…
31: Dawn MacDonald, Institutional Research and Planning Officer, Yukon College
Jun 19, 2018 • 19 min
Chickens in the kitchen, positron beams, and asking big questions about the universe - you will hear about all of these things in this episode with Dawn MacDonald. Alison Anderson, WWEST Associate Chair at Yukon College, interviews Dawn in this next…
30: Dr. Lori Brotto, Psychologist & Professor
Jun 19, 2018 • 38 min
In this episode, Danniele speaks with Dr. Lori Brotto about her career in psychology and gynaecology and how they can intersect. She gives a glimpse into her research and her newly published book, Better Sex Through Mindfulness. In addition, you’ll hear…
29: Angelica Lim, PhD, A.I. Roboticist
Jun 5, 2018 • 31 min
Come along with Dr. Angelica Lim and Best of the WWEST host Danniele on a windy journey through Angelica’s discovery of computing science and her passion for robots! Angelica talks about her studies taking her all over the globe and how she settled in at…
28: Deanna Burgart, Indigeneer
May 23, 2018 • 26 min
In the second installment of Best of the WWEST’s Yukon Edition, WWEST Associate Chair Alison Anderson sits down with Deanna Burgart to discuss her work integrating Indigenous traditional knowledge in engineering. Listen for her tips for getting young…
27: Gail Anderson, PhD, Forensic Entomologist
May 8, 2018 • 42 min
In this episode, WWEST manager Danniele chats with Dr. Gail Anderson about bugs and other animals, a career in forensics that makes a real difference in the world, and the benefits of university if one chooses to attend. Gail also reveals how she achieves…
26: Halimat Alabi, Interactive Visualization Designer
Apr 24, 2018 • 37 min
Our guest of this episode, Halimat Alabi, has been many places and done many things. Listen as she brings us along on her journey through video game design, film and television, and research and teaching, with lots of laughs and poignant moments. She also…
25: Katie Aitken, PhD, Ornithologist, Yukon College
Apr 10, 2018 • 25 min
WWEST Associate Chair Alison Anderson hosts this episode with Dr. Katie Aitken and speaks to her about bird watching, practicing science in the Yukon, and even what birds can teach us about climate change. This episode is the first in a series by WWEST’s…
24: Judy Myers, PhD, Professor Emerita, Zoology
Mar 27, 2018 • 34 min
What was it like to rub elbows with the first Canadian women pioneering for other women’s place in STEM? From the early days of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) to witnessing the early days of the NSERC Chairs for Women in…
23: Zhila Pirmoradi, PhD, Industrial Engineer
Mar 13, 2018 • 33 min
Hear all about improving processes at the City of Vancouver, industrial engineering, and mentoring immigrant women in STEM in this interview with Zhila Pirmoradi, PhD. She’ll also share why she gladly lets her professional life be present in her spare…
22: Holly Burton, Leadership Coach
Feb 26, 2018 • 42 min
Holly Burton joins WWEST manager Danniele with her “awkward turns of phrase” (her words!) and fills us in on leadership coaching, her passion for elevating women in male-dominated fields, and everything from how she copes with stress to her thoughts on…
21: Best of the WWEST Highlight Reel
Feb 13, 2018 • 32 min
Best of the WWEST producer Vanessa showcases highlights from the podcast! You’ll hear from many of our guests about their successes, as well as their struggles and how they overcame them. They’ll also give advice for STEM professionals and students in…
20: Rahael Jalan, PhD, Founder, Eagles of Tomorrow
Jan 23, 2018 • 27 min
Rahael Jalan, PhD, joins Danniele to discuss her journey from India to Canada, where she settled to help Aboriginal youth excel in mathematics. She speaks about traveling the world to do her work, how she entered mathematics as a student in India, and her…
19: Angie Byron, Drupal Core Committer
Jan 9, 2018 • 42 min
Join WWEST manager Danniele for a lively interview with Angie Byron. Topics include the vast world of open source programming, how Drupal and open source can change the world for the better, and Angie’s mission to push some of that change forward. You’ll…
18: Negar Roghanian, PhD Student, Civil Engineering
Dec 19, 2017 • 25 min
In this interview, Negar Roghanian tells us all about her life as a PhD student in Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia. You’ll hear about Negar’s work producing a coating material that extends the life span of concrete pipes, her…
17: Jo Miller, Founder, Be Leaderly
Nov 16, 2017 • 21 min
Jo Miller chats with WWEST manager Danniele about sponsorship versus mentorship. What does it mean to have a sponsor? How is a mentor different? And how can this propel women in technology so they can lead and thrive as women of influence? This…
16: Dr. Danielle Gaucher, Social Psychology Professor, University of Winnipeg
Nov 15, 2017 • 15 min
As part of the President’s Dream Colloquium, Danniele speaks with Dr. Danielle Gaucher all about gendered language in job advertisements - how does gendered language influence women’s participation in STEM? How does social science research help to…
15: Leigh Wall, Apprentice Truck and Transport Mechanic
Nov 6, 2017 • 38 min
This week, we are joined by Leigh Wall, Apprentice Truck and Transport Mechanic, Student Recruiter, and Public Speaker. Hear all about Leigh’s passion for engaging women and girls in Trades and fun facts like her favourite word (which goes a little skin…
14: Dr. Steven Spencer, Psychology Professor, Ohio State University
Oct 13, 2017 • 14 min
It’s time for another mini episode as part of the President’s Dream Colloquium, this time with Dr. Steven Spencer, Psychology Professor and Robert K. and Dale J. Weary Chair in Social Psychology at The Ohio State University. Danniele chats with Dr.…
13: Jane Gachuche, Fire Safety Engineer in Training
Sep 29, 2017 • 29 min
Fire Safety Engineering, big families, and coming to Canada from Kenya to study and work - these are all topics covered in this interview between WWEST manager Danniele and Jane Gachuche, Fire Safety Engineer in Training. Plus, get Jane’s advice for…
12: Shari Graydon, Founder, Informed Opinions
Sep 25, 2017 • 13 min
As part of the President’s Dream Colloquium, WWEST manager Danniele chats with Shari Graydon of Informed Opinions for this minisode. Shari, an award-winning author, advocate, and speaker on the topic of women in media and advertising, shines light on the…
11: Dr. Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College
Sep 18, 2017 • 16 min
Best of the WWEST welcomes Dr. Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. Danniele chats with Maria in this minisode about how she ended up in a STEM field, her most memorable moments as a former chairholder of WWEST at UBC…
10: Cybele Negris, CEO, Webnames.ca
Sep 1, 2017 • 45 min
Best of the WWEST chats with Cybele Negris, CEO of Webnames.ca. What have been her most memorable moments in her career? What does she do to achieve work-life balance? And what is her dirty little secret? Find out in this episode! You’ll also learn about…
9: Anne Simon, PhD, Virologist and “X-Files” Science Advisor
Aug 18, 2017 • 43 min
WWEST Assistant Coordinator and new host, Vanessa, sits down with Anne Simon, PhD, a virologist, professor at the University of Maryland, and the Science Advisor for the “X-Files” television series. Dr. Simon gives an overview of her work and laboratory,…
8: Janet Fraser, PhD, BC Green Party MLA Candidate
Aug 8, 2017 • 31 min
Danniele interviews Janet Fraser, PhD, BC Green Party MLA candidate. Janet lets us into her world of serving as a Trustee with the Vancouver School Board, studying chemistry and working as a project leader and manager of clinical trials; and juggling…
7: Victoria Camp, Geological Engineer
Jul 17, 2017 • 39 min
This episode we’re talking to Victoria Camp, an Engineer in Training working in geological engineering at BGC Engineering Inc. She talks to us about getting to explore many different facets of geological engineering, what her time at university was like,…
6: Gordana Pejic, Software Engineer
Jul 4, 2017 • 45 min
Danniele speaks with Gordana Pejic, a software engineer originally from Serbia, who immigrated to Canada to receive a masters degree in Software Systems. She fills us in on her volunteer work with the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Engineering…
5: WWEST Goes to the Yukon
Jun 26, 2017 • 21 min
Recently, WWEST Chairholder Dr. Lesley Shannon took a trip to the Yukon to visit women engineers who are part of an initiative called 30 by 30, a commitment made by Engineers Canada, to raise the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30%…
4: Christiana Cheng, PhD, Research Associate
Jun 13, 2017 • 31 min
Best of the WWEST host Danniele interviews Christiana Cheng, PhD, Research Associate at the Rick Hansen Institute. Christiana talks about her undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology at Simon Fraser University and fellowship in Japan, lets us in on…
3: Creating Connections 5.0
May 25, 2017 • 37 min
Join WWEST Manager Danniele Livengood and Creating Connections 5.0 Coordinator Jenna Anderson for a re-cap of the biennial Creating Connections 5.0 conference. In this re-cap, hear about the special guests and panel topics, and experience a mini interview…
2: Justine Munich, PhD Student
Apr 24, 2017 • 39 min
This week, we speak with Justine Munich, a PhD student in physics at Simon Fraser University who also works with the ALPHA Collaboration at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research). Justine fills us in on the truth about life in academia from…
1: Cole Brown, Web Developer
Apr 7, 2017 • 44 min
On the very first episode of Best of the WWEST, host Danniele talks to Cole Brown, lead front-end web developer at iamota, about how she got into web development, some of the challenges she faced breaking into the tech industry, and her secret superpowers…