Winjoy Tiop, 2021 AWSN Scholarship Recipient
Born in Nairobi Kenya, Winjoy Nyariaki Tiop is the eldest of five siblings born to South-Sudanese and Kenyan parents. At five years of age, the Tiop family immigrated to Canada as a result of the second Sudanese Civil war and concurrent political
instability within Kenya. Currently Winjoy is a senior undergraduate student, pursuing a bachelor’s in chemistry with a minor in computer science at the University of Calgary.
In University Winjoy undertook a number of projects. At the Scantlebury Lab, Winjoy contributes to pediatric epilepsy research. Leveraging her background in software development and strength in mathematics, Winjoy was able to automate
electroencephalogram analysis through the use of time and frequency analysis by way of the Fourier transform, digital filter design and Continuous Wavelet Transform. At both the Chang-Chun Ling Lab and Paul-Arnold Lab Winjoy contributes to wet-lab research focusing on synthesis of inhibitors for tumor-associated glycosyltransferases and the effects of Tryptophan Hydroxylase-1 on Obsessive-Compulsive disorder respectively. Winjoy is also involved in community research, specifically, the Regional 5-year initiative – spearheaded by the Calgary Centre for Newcomers – aiming to standardize the coordination of newcomer youth settlement services. In addition to research, Winjoy is actively involved in the broader technical community. With an international team of undergraduates, she successfully competed in Infosys Summer of Ideas program 2020 (an international Hackathon) under the theme Artificial Intelligence. Her team was successful in using machine learning algorithms (e.g., convoluted neural networks) in developing a proof of concept application aimed at assisting visually impaired individuals, through object and distance detection.
Outside of the formal academic environment, Winjoy is heavily involved in the community. She volunteers with the Football Hockey Link (FHL) and co-founded Golden Mti. The FHL supports new Canadian youth using sports as a tool to assist in integration, develop a sense of belonging and leadership development. Simply put, Golden Mti attempts to addressing barriers to post-secondary education for BIPOC children by equipping youth with resources to succeed through professional tutors, workshops and mentorship.