University of the Fraser Valley

UFV presents International Women’s Day panel with “Choose to Challenge” theme — March 8

UFV presents International Women’s Day panel with “Choose to Challenge” theme — March 8

International Women’s Day is typically a major event at UFV and, despite pandemic restrictions, this year is no exception.

UFV will present an online panel on Monday, March 8, at 12:30 pm. It will be moderated by Dr. Carin Bondar, an internationally known science communicator who is also an adjunct professor of biology at UFV and a newly elected Chilliwack school trustee.

Panelists for the event will included rising star writer and UFV alumna Jasmin Kaur (BA ’17), new teacher and recent BEd grad Tsansdlia Van Ry (BEd ’20, BKin ’18), and Dr. Jacqueline Ashby, a researcher and educator in the environmental and health fields.

The panelist will discuss how they handle life’s challenges, the connection and overlap between art and science in their career, advice to younger women, and how they have responded to the specific challenges posed by the pandemic.

Register for the panel on the Zoom platform here:

UFV’s event will tie in to the official theme for the day this year, which is Choose to Challenge. It will also be part of the UFV President’s Leadership Lecture Series.

“Focusing on the theme of ‘Let’s All Choose to Challenge’ for this year’s event recognizes that challenge can bring awareness and positive change,” says UFV President Joanne MacLean. “I hope that members of the community will tune in for an engaging discussion and participate in our interactive social media campaign leading up to the event.”

To participate in the #ChooseToChallenge social media campaign, download the ChoosetoChallenge Selfie cards, strike a pose, and take a #ChooseToChallenge selfie.

Then customize it with a challenge you’re passionate about, such as:

  • “I will demand equality for women in sport”
  • “I will support women in tech & innovation”
  • “I will build inclusive workplaces where women thrive”
  • “I will increase visibility of women in creative sector”

Share your selfie! Tag #goUFV #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021 (and women who inspire you).

Moderator and panelist information

Dr. Carin Bondar is a biologist, author, and philosopher. She is author of the books Wild Sex and Wild Moms (Pegasus, New York). She is writer and host of several online series based on her books, which have garnered over 120 million views. Bondar’s work appears on National Geographic, TED, Animal Planet, Netflix, and The Science Channel. She is an adventurer and explorer, having discovered 11 new species of beetles and snails in the remote jungles of Borneo. Bondar is an adjunct professor of biology at UFV, where her work focuses on increasing science literacy in the general public. Bondar lives in Chilliwack, with her four children, two dogs and one cat.


Jasmin Kaur

Jasmin Kaur is a writer, illustrator, and poet living on unceded Stó:lō territory. Her writing, which explores themes of feminism, womanhood, social justice and love, acts as a means of healing and reclaiming identity. As a spoken word artist and creative writing facilitator, she has toured across North America, the UK and Australia to connect with youth through the power of artistic expression
Named a “rising star” by Vogue Magazine, and a “writer to watch” by CBC Books, her work has been celebrated at the American Music Awards by musical icon Jennifer Lopez and shared by celebrities like Tessa Mae Thompson and Reese Witherspoon. She has been featured by Harper’s Bazaar India, Huffington Post, The Indy 100, Elle India, Popsugar and other publications.

Jasmin completed her Bachelor of Arts in English with a focus on creative writing at the University of the Fraser Valley. She went on to become a public school teacher and is now completing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

Her debut poetry and prose collection, When You Ask Me Where I’m Going (2019), is available with HarperTeen in North America and with Penguin Random House in the Indian Subcontinent. Her sophomore novel, If I Tell You The Truth, is available now with HarperTeen.

You can find Jasmin on Instagram at @jusmun.

Tsandlia Van Ry

Tsandlia Van Ry is a Stó:lō educator working in her ancestral territory of Ts’elxweyeqw, a part of the greater Stó:lō Nation. She holds a General Studies diploma from Thompson Rivers University; and both a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree and a Bachelor of Education from the University of the Fraser Valley. Her professional work focuses on critical indigenous education, culturally responsive frameworks within the K-12 curricula, and elevating within Stó:lō epistemologies in learning environments within Stó:lō territory.

Tsandlia was the 2020 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor General Medal for Inclusion, Diversity and Reconciliation at UFV as a part of her role in igniting change in her local community. She most recently shared her passion for cultural equity by participating in TedX Abbotsford 2020: Perception.

She currently works at a middle school in the Chilliwack School District, and is pursuing further education at Simon Fraser University in curriculum & instruction.

Dr. Jacqueline Ashby

Dr. Jacqueline Ashby is an environmental researcher and educator intrigued by the transactional relationship between people and place. She has studied this dynamic over the past 14 years resulting in her award-winning dissertation “Designing for the future: A post- occupancy evaluation of the Peter Jones Learning Centre”.

She has a doctorate in education and currently works for the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine’s Family Practice department as both a program coach and researcher. Jacqueline also serves as a technical advisor and mentor for the Primary Compassionate Care Initiative, located in Abuja, Nigeria, that advocates for SDGs 3, 4, and 5 through public health mentorship and women empowerment. In addition, she is a member of the Sedna Epic Expedition 2020/21 team that works with women and youth in developing our knowledge and practice in tackling societal and climate challenges. On the weekends, Jacqueline can be found diving in the deep sea, climbing waterfalls, and sliding down snow-covered mountain tops.

Last year’s International Women’s Day event at UFV, held on March 6 at the Abbotsford campus and featuring Tamara Taggart, Shahana Alibhai, an Kate Horsman, was one of the final public events held in person at UFV before the COVID-19 pandemic prevented live events from taking place on campus.