Chemical technologist honoured provincially as 2023 ASET Volunteer of the Year Award winner

30, May, 2023

EDMONTON, May 30, 2023 – Sherwood Park resident Senia McPherson has been honoured at the provincial level by her professional association, the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). She is the winner of the 2023 ASET Volunteer of the Year Award.

The award was presented to McPherson, a certified engineering technologist (C.E.T.) who works in chemical technology for the oil and gas industry, during an awards event at the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) on April 21 in Calgary.

For McPherson, the motivation to become a volunteer can be traced back to her childhood when she and her two siblings were raised by a single mother and lived in low-income rental housing in Edmonton. They were the recipients of a food hamper with gifts from 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.

“The feeling of having complete strangers helping people they didn’t even know has been etched in my memory,” said McPherson.

As an ASET volunteer, she delivers presentations to students at Alberta’s four polytechnics and technical colleges (NAIT, SAIT, Lethbridge College, and Red Deer Polytechnic), introducing them to ASET and educating them about why it’s important to become a member and exemplify the professional ethics and behaviour required of membership. Her presentation has proven so successful that it’s now used as a reference tool for incoming ASET volunteers.

She has also contributed to the development of ASET’s volunteer management system and proudly represented ASET at NAIT’s program advisory committee meetings and at a 1000 Women event through NorQuest College.

Besides ASET, McPherson has volunteered for the JCI Edmonton Holiday Hamper Program for more than a decade, and served as moderator for the Canadian School of Hydrocarbon Measurement. On behalf of NAIT, she has participated in its career fair and as a presenter for career pathing. Closer to home, she has been involved with the Sherwood Park Minor Hockey Association.

As a woman in a traditionally male-dominated profession, McPherson believes it’s important for women to volunteer as it gives them an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills - not in a confrontational manner but in being proud and confident in what they’re sharing.

“I think the biggest strength women bring to the profession is our natural ability to empathize. Working in oil and gas empowered me to highlight this trait. When volunteering, I share about the obstacles and challenges I’ve faced and lessons I’ve learned,” said McPherson. “It thrills me to see the increasing numbers of women in various technology industries.”

“It is meaningful that the inspiration for Senia McPherson’s commitment to volunteerism for ASET and other organizations was her own experience of having received volunteer services during her childhood,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. “She has shown that so often the best way to give back is to pay it forward. ASET is fortunate to have an outstanding volunteer like Senia helping advance its mission to serve and support engineering technology professionals across the province.”

About ASET
ASET is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 17,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and more than 120 occupations across a multitude of industries.

Media Contact:
Michele Penz, Calico Communications for ASET


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