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International Women's Day 2024: Meet the Women of FES!

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Women of FES Operations (from left to right: Abigail David, Kaitlin Pylypa, Valerie Miller, and Elyse Dzenick)

Women of FES Operations (from left to right: Abigail David, Kaitlin Pylypa, Valerie Miller, and Elyse Dzenick)

Meet: The Women of FES

Since 1977, March 8 has been recognized as International Women’s Day—a day to celebrate achievements made by women across the globe and in all fields of work and study. But the first celebrations for Women’s Day can be found with roots stretching all the way back to 1908, during the United State’s labour movements

The recognition of this day is critical because, even in 2024, women all over the world and across all fields of STEM are still advocating and fighting for equal rights, equal pay, and equal opportunity. For 2024, the United Nations’s theme is “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”. That means implementing a gender-equity approach to programming and budgeting, ending poverty, shifting to a green economy and care society, and supporting feminist change makers. Creating equal opportunities for women across all parts of society is the most effective way we can reach a more sustainable future for all. 

This year for International Women’s Day, Future Energy Systems is recognizing some of the hard-working women of the Operations Team. Meet the women of FES!

Abigail David, Administrative Professional


Headshot of Abigail David

Abigail recently joined the FES team in January 2024. She comes from a background of administrative support across various offices at the University of Alberta, having worked in academic writing services, office administration, and student advising. Working with a research unit is an exciting new opportunity for Abigail. She very much appreciates the vast areas of research covered by researchers in FES, and is enjoying being a part of such a wonderful team:

“It is a very busy unit and there’s always something new to learn! The FES office is also a dynamic place, with so much going on with project management, office, and outreach support.” 

In her free time, Abigail likes to work on creative writing projects and read fantasy novels. She also loves animals, especially cats, and volunteers at the animal shelter when possible.


Elyse Dzenick, Research Communications Coordinator


Headshot of Elyse Dzenick

Joining FES in December 2022, Elyse hails from a background in professional communication, and performing arts. As Research Communications Coordinator, she works closely with the researchers to help promote energy transition research and build connections into the energy industry sector. Elyse is a storyteller, an event-planner, a content creator, and an artist, but her favourite part about working at Future Energy Systems is learning how the research is improving the future of energy for everyone:

“I like that the researchers we work with are aiming to make the world a better place, they’re solving real problems related to the climate emergency and energy transition. And the lab tours—I really like the lab tours because I love seeing the results up close and personal and why they matter.”

Outside of work, dance has always been central to Elyse’s life. She’s a member of the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers and enjoys spending time with her dance community. 


Kaitlin Pylypa,  Multimedia Content Producer


Headshot of Kaitlin Pylypa

Kaitlin graduated from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She joined FES in 2021 and has since been building the program’s online and social media presence. As Multimedia Content Producer, she creates outreach materials and communication assets such-as video work, illustration and photography. She also illustrates the children's book series The Energy Adventures of Tommy and Remi

“I love doing the book series, it’s been such a fun way to bring science and art together. And with our third book coming out this year, it’s been cool to work with energy experts and come up with new ways to illustrate energy science.”

She is a painter, weaver, and illustrator in her free time, and loves spending time with her 17-year-old Maltese dog, Scooter. 


Valerie Miller, Outreach and Engagement Lead


Headshot of Valerie Miller

Valerie has officially been part of FES since 2019, but before joining the team, she volunteered as a science communication mentor with FES for over a year. Valerie has a doctorate in Land Reclamation and during her studies focused on building soil using mine waste at a diamond mine in the Northwest Territories. As Outreach and Engagement Lead, Valerie has spent the past five years bridging the gaps between science, education, and communication, including partnering with schools around Edmonton, TELUS World of Science - Edmonton (TWOSE), and the Edmonton Public Library for speaker series and various programming. She also authored The Energy Adventures of Tommy and Remi book series and is the 2024 Science Fellow at TWOSE.

“I don’t think people realize that storytelling is a big part of science. It’s always special to help experts find creative ways to talk about their research and why it matters, and to help people understand that science is cool!” 

While Valerie is passionate about science communication in all areas of her life, she also enjoys theatre, writing, swing dance, exploring her community, and curling up with a good book. 


Want to meet the rest of FES Operations or Principal Investigators? Check out our team page and researcher directory



Background | International Women's Day | United Nations 

International Women's Day 

International Women's Day | United Nations