“Take a deep breath and ask yourself, am I a catalyst for positive change within my community and within myself? How can I give back, considering how much we owe to ourselves and to future generations?“
2023 Top 30 Under 30
What specific issue(s) are you taking on, and what inspires you to do so?
Although all 17 SDGs are important, I am drawn to SDGs 4, 5, and 7. My experiences have taught me that diversity and collaboration contribute to innovation and creativity, which can help tackle global problems to the benefit of humanity. With this in mind, I connected our university department with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity groups across Canada laying the foundation for UCalgary Chemists for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (CIDE).
My motivation to overcome existing issues in our community by developing sustainable solutions led me to work closely with chemical engineers to develop an idea for clean hydrogen.
Finally, as a person with a diverse cultural background, I am constantly looking to connect people who may not usually come together to work on new ideas.
How do you work to ensure inclusion and reduce inequalities in your everyday actions?
As the Chair of UCalgary CIDE, we have been working towards promoting EDI by organizing community-building events such as STEM-Together (a platform for sharing research), STEM-Pals (a mentorship program), and launching a podcast and panel discussions.
As Chief Marketing Officer and then the Chapter’s Liaison for the Canadians Working for Inclusivity in Chemical Sciences, Engineering and Technology Network, I have organized, shared and written articles on national and international EDI-based events such as Leaders Overcoming Gender Inequality in Chemistry Retreat (2021).
Finally, I organize community-building events as a graduate scholar at the Graduate College, which is a community of like-minded scholars who actively strive to connect, enrich, and energize their communities while working toward solving challenges.
What more needs to be done to reduce inequalities and ensure inclusive spaces for all people?
To achieve sustainable development, I believe we need to start from the grass-root level. There is no single best model that fits every community. We urgently need to find the gaps existing within a specific community and then provide a safe platform where all voices are heard and respected. Thereafter, policies providing equal access to resources and the means to utilize them can be developed.
I also believe that collaboration is key to understanding everyone’s needs and creating inclusive spaces that strengthen communities. Every human being matters; everyone is born equal and should have access to basic human rights. Change is slow, but if we try our best, the rest will follow.
Milan receiving the Teaching Assistant Excellence Award which is given to an exceptional teacher who excels in all areas of teaching on a consistent basis.
Milan along with Dr. Holly Fruehwald presenting about the Brief History of the Canadians Working for Inclusivity in Chemical Sciences, Engineering and Technology (CWIC) Network Across Canada and Beyond during the Chemistry Education (Chem ED) Virtual Seminar series of Chemical Institute of Canada.
Milan presenting her Doctoral program in Chemistry research at the “Innovative Approaches to Address Molecular Complexity in Organic Synthesis” symposium during IUPAC-Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (2022).
Photograph of the group from the Graduate College Leadership Forum under the theme, “Alberta: The next 10 years.”