Integrative STEM Team Advancing Networks of Diversity (iSTAND)

iSTAND creates a network to recruit, support and increase underrepresented persons in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Integrative STEM Team Advancing Networks of Diversity (iSTAND) actively engages with academic and non-academic STEM professionals to offer informative and engaging events to promote equity, diversity and inclusion across STEM disciplines.

iSTAND facilitates organizational change through the development of programs that build equity, diversity, and inclusion changes in STEM enterprises. Activities such as workshops and presentations, are designed to tackle unconscious bias, equitable hiring, retention initiatives, and teaching to underrepresented persons.

Empower Individuals
iSTAND strives to foster an atmosphere that enables individuals within organizations to unleash their potential, to shape a more diverse mindset, that welcomes inclusivity and respect into their personal and professional life.

Engage Regional & Global Communities
iSTAND creates integrative, interactive, and fun environments that allow one to explore a variety of STEM concepts and disciplines whilst connecting individuals with shared interests.

Jennifer Jakobi, PhD, Associate Chair WWEST

Jenn is an Associate Professor at the School of Health and Exercise Sciences and Associate Dean Academic Programs and Planning for the Faculty of Health and Social Development. She specializes in exercise neuroscience. In particular, she works towards understanding sex-specific age-related decline that contributes to greater loss of functional abilities in women with age. In her position as Associate Chair for NSERC’s Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWEST) and through the integrative STEM Team Advancing networks of Diversity (iSTAND) Program she is committed to increasing diversity across science, technology, engineering and math through providing mentorship, and opportunity to encourage, explore, understand and empower change for underrepresented persons in STEM. This is an exciting time for us at the Faculty of Health and Social Development. We are advancing our reputation by building on strong foundations in health research. Our strengths—including our interdisciplinary approach—drive us forward. Our collaborative faculties and leadership work together to support training our graduates to find answers to questions that improve the health and well-being for the communities we serve: regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Jakobi is also Director of the Neuromuscular – Healthy Exercise and Aging Lab (HEAL) .

Eli Haynes, STEM Outreach Coordinator, iSTAND

Eli completed his Bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics at UBC Okanagan in December of 2017. Since then, he has been working for Dr. Jakobi as both a research assistant and STEM Outreach Education Coordinator.

Maxine van Zyl, Communications and Resource Design Assistant, iSTAND

Maxine is a fourth-year Psychology Co-op student assisting with workshop and summer camp materials design, as well as social media campaigns.

Ann Huang, Communications Assistant

Ann is a fourth-year management student at UBCO. Currently, she commits to promotional materials creation and online presence management for the iSTAND program on a part-time basis.

WWEST ( is the operating name for one of the five NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) across Canada, and a member of the CWSE National Network. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Chair for Women in Science and Engineering Program (CWSE) was launched in 1996.

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STEM Learning Lab
STEM Learning Lab is a company that promotes student engagement in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

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Okanagan College
Okanagan College is a public, post-secondary institution with over 120 certificates, diplomas, degrees and programs including apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship trades programs.

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Women’s Enterprise Centre
Women’s Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organization devoted to helping BC women launch, lead and scale their own businesses. Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC) provides business loans up to $150K, with access to an additional $100K through a new partnership with BDC.

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Invest Kelowna
The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) is a service of the Regional District of Central Okanagan providing economic development services to throughout the Okanagan.

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iSTAND Initiatives

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are catalysts of innovation and advancement. iSTAND initiatives across UBC Okanagan are driving organizational change and advancing equity, inclusion and diversity in STEM fields.

iSTAND is committed to building community through an annual offering of events for youth and adult participants.

To support parents and educators during COVID-19, iSTAND has compiled a list of helpful resources for home learning as well as short STEM activity videos that can be found by visiting our resource page. We will continue to build resources to assist parents, educators and students, and appreciate your feedback to ensure that we are meeting diverse needs. To provide feedback or to inquire about resources, please contact us at

Youth Programs

iSTAND hosts spring break camps, summer camps, and individual classroom visits focused on neuroscience, coding, robotics, and broad sciences inclusive of health and health technologies to increase awareness and participation of women and other marginalized individuals in STEM fields.

Request classroom outreach

Adult/Student Professionals

iSTAND works collaboratively with profit and not-for-profit partners to bring engaging and informative sessions to academic and non-academic STEM professionals.

Activities focus on promoting integration and increasing retention rate of women in STEM fields, both within and outside academia. iSTAND with partners develop strategies to ensure regional opportunities for women and underrepresented persons in STEM.

Explore partnered initiatives

iSTAND Podcast Episodes

iSTAND is proud to present a podcast mini-series, hosted on the Westcoast Women in Science and Technology’s (WWEST) Best of the WWEST Podcast. This mini-series explores the following topics:

Women in STEM at UBC Okanagan.
An introduction to 3 inspirational women in STEM who actively work to support diversity and inclusion. Featuring Dr. Deborah Buszard, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBC Okanagan, Dr. Mina Hoorfar, Director of School of Engineering, and Dr. Bowen Hui, Associate Head of Undergraduate Studies in Department of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics. Listen here.

Upcoming Podcasts

Indigenous STEM Education
This episode explores the struggles Indigenous students face in pursuing STEM and tertiary education, as well as methods to Indigenize STEM education. Featuring Dr. Isha DeCoito, Desiree Marshal – Peer, Shaylene Dekock- Kruger.

Playing for STEM: Applying a Sport Model to Increase the Participation of Women in STEM
A look at parallels between sport and STEM in regards to the lack of participation and support of women, as well as the methods that have been used to counteract it. Featuring Dr. Marge Holman, Reina Iizuka and Anne Cherkowski.

Men in Female Dominated Fields
While current conversation emphasizes the lack of women in male dominated fields, equal attention should be given to the lack of men in female dominated fields.

Women in Male Dominated Fields
Exploring fields in which women are currently underrepresented, the experiences of women in those fields and how we can encourage women to pursue careers despite them being underrepresented.

GrandSTEM DayS – For Grandparents and Grandchildren (Grades 1-3) 

Due to COVID-19 concerns, GrandSTEM Day will be postponed at this time. All registrants will be informed when a new date has been set and will be invited to join us for this event.

Summer Camps (2020)

To learn more about what camps are offered and to register, please click here.


Prof. Jenn Jakobi
Associate Chair, Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWEST)
Associate Dean, Academic Programs | Faculty of Health and Social Development