Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ECO Canada employee profile

ECO Canada
Job Title Manager, Environmental Career Transition Project
Started : May 1, 2008
Projects Worked on:


B.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Calgary (2003)
MA in Anthropology/Primatology from the University of Calgary (2006)

1. What environmental organizations are you involved with?
I joined a Calgary network called Young Environmental Professionals (YEP) that meets once a month in Ceili’s for beer and presentations about the hot new topics in the environmental industry.

2. Where else have you worked and what did you do there?
My last job was with the Calgary Health Region and the Dept of Family Medicine at the UofC where I worked as a research assistant. Our team worked with doctors and staff at community family medicine clinics across the city to empower them to find ways to improve their processes to reduce risks for patients and for themselves (reduce their risk of being sued for a medical error). We used quality improvement tools and worked with clinics to set goals, and determine and measure success.

My “job” before that was working on my Master’s degree in Anthropology. I studied the diet of black-and-white colobus monkeys in Ghana (C. vellerosus) and the effect of habitat change on the nutritional quality of the monkeys’ diet. In addition, I was a teaching assistant for several anthropology courses.

3. What do you do on a typical day at work?
I generally check and respond to emails first thing in the morning while drinking my much needed morning cup of coffee. My day is a mix of doing administrative things like project management, document writing, working with the ECTP contractor, and doing research related things like developing interview questions and marketing the project to employers and employees.

4. What would you consider to be your specialty or greatest skill in the workplace?
I think my research background is my biggest asset in the workplace since I have a solid background in both qualitative and quantitative research. This allows me to be flexible in my approach helps me determine which questions are best answered by either qualitative or quantitative methods.

5. What other skills can you offer to ECO Canada?
I am quite organized and I do a lot of event planning with my charity project True Vision Ghana ( This is something that helps me in my job as a project manager for ECO Canada when planning national steering committee meetings and other work-related events.

6. What is one thing that most people don’t know about you but you are particularly proud of?
I forced myself to do my first solo trip in 2004 through French West Africa (Burkina Faso and Mali) even though my spoken French was not strong. I booked a flight into Accra, Ghana for my 2 month volunteer stint at the monkey sanctuary but then booked my return flight out of Bamako, Mali. This forced me to at least travel between those 2 cities. I ended up traveling from the coast of Ghana all the way into the Sahara Desert ending at Timbuktu, Mali and had many crazy adventures in between.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Official TVG website launch

Our website is up and running! A huge thanks to Ian Hung for volunteering to put this together for us. Please check it out and help us out by donating money to the cause. We need your help to keep the project running, so give generously. Any amount you can afford to give will be much appreciated by the communities we are helping. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Alberta Labour Market Newsletter interview

I did another interview about research assistants with the Alberta Labour Market news. hehehe, bad photo but at least he didn't twist my words too much! Click here

My ECOnnect interview

What is your favourite …
Lunch-time Restaurant?
Any place serving Vietnamese
Long Weekend?
Christmas because there’s
more days off!
Long Weekend Activity?
Hiking in the mountains
Hiking Trail?
Ptarmigan Cirque

RD: What drew you to take on this new project at ECO Canada?
ET: I’ve always wanted to work in the environmental field, but I
could never find the right fit for my skills and personality.

RD: What kinds of things were you doing before coming to ECO
ET: Well, I was taking Anthropology at the University of Calgary and
finishing my degree there. And my last job was in Primary Care
Research and Development (North Hill Mall), working on a joint
project between the University of Calgary and the Calgary Health

RD: If you were back in university and choosing to pursue a completely
different degree, what would it be?
ET: Probably international development. I’m really interested in the
ISEEE program (Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and
Economy) that’s been recently introduced. I’d definitely want to go
into anything involving sustainable energy.

RD: What have you done to be environmentally friendly at home?
ET: I bought windpower for my husband’s computer for Christmas
from the Pembina Institute so I’d say that’s pretty eco-friendly.

RD: Aside from your exciting job here at ECO, what other hobbies or
interests do you pursue outside of work?
ET: I really like music, I used to teach piano and now I’m taking up the
guitar. I’m also going to be joining a concert band, but I have to wait
for my oboe to arrive. I also like hiking, yoga, dragon boat, curling, oh
and ballroom dancing! And I’m big into volunteering. I’m run a nonprofit
organization called True Vision Ghana with a few friends in Ghana
and Canada. We fund raise money for HIV/AIDS education, youth
initiatives, and poverty alleviation through micro-loans in Northern

RD: Have you done any adventurous travelling lately?
ET: I’ve taken three trips to Africa between 2003 and 2005, first to
Kenya for a safari (I’ve always wanted to go on one!), and to Madagascar
to do some work for my ecology professor. Then I went to Ghana as
a research assistant for 2 months studying monkeys. Afterwards I
travelled through Burkina Faso and Mali. I made it all the way to
Timbuktu which was pretty cool! And in 2005 I went to Ghana again to
do some field research for my Master’s project.

RD: If you woke up tomorrow and were told you could do ANYTHING
you wanted, disregarding time, money and practicality, what would you
ET: I would become the full-time Canadian director for True Vision, I’d
move to Ghana for a year to help with the program and take that on as
my full-time job. I think that would be awesome!

RD: What type of personality would you consider yourself to be?
Introvert/Extrovert, Type A/B?
ET: I’d say I’m very organized, pretty much a Type A. I took this colour
test recently and according to that I’m a gold which fits because I like
making lists and keeping a routine. My second colour is blue which
means I like to help people and I’d say that describes me really well.

Friday, May 09, 2008

New career at ECO Canada!

I just started my new job at ECO Canada at the beginning of May. I have to say my job search this time around went a lot smoother than last time when I was unemployed for several months! I finished my contract with the Dept of Family Medicine at the end of the first week of April. Then I spent 1 week applying for positions, got the ECO interview thanks to Megan and interviewed on Monday, second interview on Thurs, job offer Thurs afternoon.

My official job title is Project Manager of the Labour Market Transition project. Initially it was called the "Sector Transition Initiative" but the acronym for that refers to something else in the healthcare field that isn't quite so pleasant. So we agreed to change the title to "Labour Market Transition".

The learning curve is steep and I have definitely had some stressed out moments but all-in-all the process is going well. Everyone is super friendly and they even dragged me out to the River & Pathway Cleanup after my second day of work!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Pictures from pub night event

The TVG facebook group has links to video and photos from the pub night event.

Here are Cheryl's pictures.

Here are Geoff's pictures.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thank you

Thank you to all the people who donated silent auction items, played in the bands, volunteered at the pub night event, or who came down to support our pub night fund raiser. We raised $2468.50 for True Vision Ghana and the money will go towards providing ARV drugs, health insurance, education, and food to children affected by HIV/AIDS in Northern Ghana!

Monday, January 21, 2008

TVG pub night fundraiser - invite everyone!

There's going to be live music and a silent auction. There's a $10 cover charge which goes to both charities. If you or your company can donate a silent auction item we would be most appreciative and we can write you a tax receipt for the value of your donation. Email me at if you can help out in any way. Thanks!