HeForShe IMPACT Scholarship recipient on her journey to STEM

Emily Carlson

Emily Carlson, one of the 6 winners of the HeForShe IMPACT scholarship (Photo courtesy of the University of Waterloo)

A desire to discover and learn was what led Emily Carlson, a first year Mathematical Physics student to the University of Waterloo.  Emily is one of the six recipients of the 2016 HeForShe IMPACT scholarship, which is a part of the University of Waterloo’s IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative to advance gender equality.

For Emily, receiving the scholarship meant that she was on the right track with her decision as a student.

I was shocked and amazed and felt so proud. I honestly didn’t think I would ever be able to receive an honour such as this. Winning this scholarship reassured me that I was doing what I love and need to do."

Born in British Columbia, Emily trained to be a professional ballerina, while balancing her passion for academia. Emily credits the skills she gained in her training for ballet for her academic success. Her decision to pursue her academic career, instead of ballet, was something chosen for her love of knowledge and discovery.  The development of discipline, devotion, dedication, and self-confidence, gained through ballet are lessons she puts to use in her studies.

I realized how much I desired to discover. Learning occurs in both academia and the arts, they project themselves differently yet both are environments in which learning takes place, but academia is where I can discover.”

Emily Carlson

Emily dancing

Emily’s was inspired to join a STEM program when her grade 11 physics teacher introduced her to the work of the late physicist Richard Feynman.

I immediately fell in love. I watched all of his lectures, his biography, read his first year lecture texts and autobiography. I love the way that Feynman thought and approached physics. He had a special way of thinking about things and that fascinates me."

HeForShe and the University’s focus on increasing the number of women in STEM programs is something that Emily sees as important locally, and to the greater global community. By promoting STEM and raising awareness for gender equality, it showcases the amazing things women are able to accomplish.

The advice I would give to a young girl interested in the program is simple: be yourself, do what you love, and listen to what you want. Everyone has a beautiful gift if they look inside themselves and listen to their desires."

HeForShe is the UN solidarity movement that promotes the need for gender equality in today’s world. The Writing Centre is hosting a writing contest as a part of University’s commitment to HeForShe IMPACT10x10x10 initiative. Make sure to submit your poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction by the October 14 deadline.                 

This is the second in a series of features on the UWaterloo life blog the will be promoting HeForShe.

 
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