GGDWR will be there! – Nerd Nite KW presents: Dr. Julielynn Wong of 3d4md

Girl Geek Dinners Waterloo Region will be joining Nerd Nite KW on Friday, July 10 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT) at the The Firkin At Tannery

About the event:

Nerd Nite KW proudly presents international renown speaker, maker movement advocate, and woman of science, Dr. Julielynn Wong.

Dr. Julielynn Wong is a Harvard-educated, award-winning public health physician, innovator, and educator. Miss Wong founded 3D4MD (, a program which creates 3D printable medical supplies to deliver healthcare in the most challenging places to those who need it the most.

Topic: How 3D Printing Fosters Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Community Empowerment and Sustainable Innovation in Global Health.

More about the event: Nerd Nite KW special edition: Dr. Julielynn Wong

Registration is free, please register asap, as event space is limited.


A farewell and a hello

As we’ve mentioned over the last few months, this season will be the last for PJ and myself (Melle) as organizers. It’s been a great and enlightening four years, but it’s time to pass the torch. We want to send along our thanks to everyone who’s come out to events, agreed to speak, sponsored, and generally helped us grow. We’ve had Dinners with over 50 people present, and we have a mailing list now of over 150. Who knows what the future will bring!

We’re pretty jazzed about handing Girl Geek Dinners over to some smart, inquisitive ladies. New blood is important to organizations to keep things interesting, and having younger folks in charge who’ll be bringing new flavours of geekery to the Dinners will be awesome for us all.

Many of you have already met Tina and Aleena, but if you haven’t yet, be sure to say hello, welcome them to the fold, and be generous with feedback or input if they’re looking for it. They’re feeling their way along in this for now the same way we did. :) (Fortunately our group is generally up for pretty much anything: you geeks are the best!)

Tina and Aleena have already been working with various local groups on “synergies” as well, so you can be sure you’ll continue to be informed of upcoming events of nerdly or geeky interest, and we’ll be working together on some things. With Nerd Night, Year of Code Waterloo Region, and a gazillion other groups and events, the geeks in this town have never had more fantastic social options in learning, entertainment, and the arts.

I asked Tina to say a few words of introduction, so without further ado…

Hi everyone,

10407716_919849054746323_8827912816266189205_nMy name is Tina Nguyen and I am one of the new main organizers of Girl Geek Dinners, Waterloo Region (GGDWR). I first heard of GGDWR in 2012 and attended the event at the Communitech Hub. Ever since then, I have been keeping tabs on them and when I was pinged by a friend to join the group, I immediately stepped up.

This is one of the most active Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer, Mathematics) groups, compared to others in this Region and I cannot let that disappear. My main educational specialty is in eHealth / Health Informatics and I would like to bring that forth into this group. Topics that are of interest to me are: Start-ups, Artificial Intelligence, Wearable Tech, Electronic Medical Records, Public Health, Community Health and Province/Nation-wide Health Technology Initiatives.

Also, I have a confession: I am a true geek. You can find me gushing over Spider-man, Sherlock Holmes, various gaming systems, cartoons, etc.

Looking forward to seeing how this group could grow! Feel free to drop me a line on how you could get involved via Twitter @tinahvtnguyen :).



So thanks again, everyone, and hope to continue to see you out at Dinners! (Which we can now relax and attend just as members.) :) Stay tuned for info about what’s coming up in July!


Free passes for the SC Congress Toronto Event – June 10-11

Chris Corbin, who’s marketing manager for SC Magazine and SC Congress, kindly offered us a bunch of free passes for the SC Congress Toronto Event coming up next week on Wednesday and Thursday, June 10th and 11th. These normally go for $150 each!

These Expo Plus passes include:

  • 5 Keynotes and 1 editorial session of choice
  • Full access to the Exhibit Hall
  • Up to 6 CPE credits
  • Passport to Prizes ​(including drones, an iPad, Apple Watch, Samsung tablet, and SonicWALL)

Use this link to register:

Or, if you have any trouble with that, register here with the code GGWaterloo

Many thanks to Teresa Sing as well for connecting us with them.


Jenn Haines to present on women in comics

Well, Geeks, the end is nigh. We’ve come to the last Dinner that PJ and I are organizing, but we’re going out in geeky style! (Get tickets now.) Jenn Haines, owner of The Dragon comics shop in Guelph, will be joining us to talk about women in comics. This is going to take a few angles:

  1. the history of women working and creating in the comics industry
  2. the history of women in actual comics
  3. Jenn’s history and experience in the comics industry, particularly as a business owner.

Given the amount of sturm and drang in the last while over things like Thor becoming a woman (possible spoiler alert in there), and the treatment of Black Widow in The Avengers (and its merchandising), this is going to be timely and fascinating stuff.

Jenn has been head honcho of The Dragon since 1998, including winning a Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award, so she knows a thing or two about this biz. They pride themselves on making the store friendly to women and kids (no Comic Book Store Guy here!) and as a woman and a mom, she has some experience in how you DON’T want to be treated in these venues.

Jenn is also a CLLDF board member and sponsor of the annual Dragon Prize awarded for best kids comic at the Joe Schuster Awards.

For a full bio on Jenn and The Dragon, check out this Guelph Mercury profile.

We’ll be getting together at the Communitech Hub for this one, kicking things off at 6pm on Thursday, June 25th. We have the Executive Briefing Room booked (that’s the one where you go through the doors on the left before reception, go down to the end of the aisle, then turn right). If it proves too popular, we’ll see about expanding. There are also rumours of farewell cake…

Tickets are available now, and we’ve had a LOT of advance interest for this one, so don’t wait! This Dinner will be totally kid- and family-friendly, and all comics geeks are welcome (including men and boys). Kids in superhero costumes are especially welcome, cuz those are awesome. 😉


Ashley Sametz to present on online privacy and anonymity

Hey Geeks! We’re in the home stretch of this season, and our last two Dinners are going to be fantastic! For May we’re putting on our security hats. We’ll be meeting up at Magnet Forensics’ fabulous new office, and welcoming Ashley, who with co-presenter Lindsay will be presenting on maintaining your privacy and anonymity online.

Tickets are going to go fast for this one, and it’s important info for all of us. Register today and bring a friend!

We’ll be meeting on Wednesday, May 27th, kicking things off at 6pm as usual. Magnet’s new office is at the old RIM 5 building at the corner of Columbia and Phillip in Waterloo. (There’s a big M on the building and a freestanding sign out front now.) There’s plenty of parking at the back of the building, and we’ll be coming in the employee entrance at the back.

The Magnet folks have been great Girl Geek supporters and sponsors, and we’ve had Jad in to present at a past Dinner as well.

Fitting for the environment, Ashley Sametz and her colleague Lindsay will be joining us to talk about online privacy and anonymity and how we can maintain it and keep ourselves secure. She’ll talk about some “spooky free tools” used to track people, and unpleasant ways that people can exploit the Internet, apps, etc. to stalk and scare (usually female) users. Very relevant and important stuff.

So what are our speaker’s bona fides?

Ashley Sametz is the hate crime, extremism and terrorism analyst for HCEIT, a network of 15 police services across Canada. Her degree in Criminology has served her well in her previous roles as a fraud investigator, close protection agent, cyber threat researcher and travel security coordinator. When not stalking bad guys online, Ashley enjoys running (literally) to Stratford, testing the limits of her company’s HR policy and teaching her infant son how to blog.

(We’ll be adding more about Lindsay shortly.)

This is going to be really interesting stuff, and we expect it to be super popular, so don’t wait to get your tickets!


Stephanie Rozek to present on audio engineering

Welcome, spring, and we’re back with our April Dinner! This month we’re welcoming Grand Dame of local tech and Girl Geek Stephanie Rozek, who will be telling us about audio engineering. Get your tickets now!

We’ll be meeting up on Thursday, April 23rd at the Communitech Hub again, in the Jelly Bean Room (same as in February). We’ll be kicking things off at 6pm, and Taco Farm will be supplying the tasty eats (their stuff accommodates vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free folks).

Steph is a well-known fixture in the local tech scene. She’s the founder of Hackademy Canada, which focuses on teaching coding and tech literacy. She runs AvocadoDog Marketing agency, is the KW Ambassador for TechGirls Canada and is on the Women in Engineering committee at the University of Waterloo. And that’s just the beginning. Check out her full bio here.

Before all that, Steph earned her Engineering degree from University of Waterloo. She’s also a musician and singer (primarily jazz), hence her love of music and involvement. She’ll be telling us a bit more about her background, and why she knows about this stuff, for starters.

She’ll also give us a quick history of audio engineering, and the nuts and bolts of how sounds are turned into recordings (and vice versa). What happens between voice/instruments, etc., microphone, recording medium, and speakers? Steph will talk about modifying sound, both pre- and post-recording, as well as get into a bit of the debate between analog vs. digital. There’ll be some information about available tools and resources, and maybe a bit about psychoacoustics, which sounds pretty cool if you ask me.

Can’t wait to see everyone, so get your tickets ASAP, and bring along a new friend. We love seeing new faces. :)


No Girl Geek Dinner for March

We won’t be having a Dinner this month, but we’ll be back in April and geeking out over music. Stay tuned for details!


Fly it Forward is back – time for Girl Geeks to take to the skies!

Last March we were graciously invited to take part in Women of Aviation‘s Fly it Forward program, which was centred at our local Region of Waterloo Airport.

Check out our recap with pictures here.

This year, Women of Aviation Week is back, March 2nd to 8th, and the festivities to “Celebrate Women of Aviation – Engage – Experience – Inspire” in Waterloo Region at our airport are on March 7th from 9am to 4pm. We can’t recommend it enough. Let’s Fly it Forward, geeks. (We’ve been the third busiest airport in the world for this event. Let’s get to #1!)

Be sure to reserve your flight spot to go up in a small plane. The view over Waterloo Region is absolutely gorgeous. These flights start at 9am, and are reserved for girls (age 4 and up) and women who haven’t been in a small plane before. Spaces are limited, so don’t wait!

Other cool stuff to check out includes an experiential aviation career expo, a speaker’s panel (with special guest Dee Brasseur, Canada’s first female F-18 pilot and Natalie Panek, who’s an actual rocket scientist), and plenty of other amazing women of aviation.

For more information, check out the Women of Aviation CYKF Facebook page, and keep up with their Twitter feed: @FlyitForwardYKF.

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Girl Geeks Waterloo Region! :)


Melanie Baker to present on The Internets 101

We ended up without a February speaker, and not really enough time to find one, so it gave me a good opportunity to present a topic I’d been pondering. I’ve been working for a domain registrar for nearly a year now, and have learned a LOT about how the Internet works. It’s one of those topics that you can cover at high, mid, or very deep levels, so I’ll try to strike a bit of a balance, looking at the sorts of things we do and use every day.

We’ll be meeting up at the Communitech Hub, in the Jelly Bean room, starting off at 6pm, on Tuesday, February 24th. Taco Farm will be catering. If you’re not familiar with the Jelly Bean room, when you arrive at the Hub and walk toward the elevators, it’s through the glass door on the left, down the hall, through the big doors on the left just before you get to the reception desk. (When we use the EBR room, it’s through glass doors across the hall.)

Huge thanks as well to our sponsors for this month’s event, Communitech and bitHound! (bitHound is in open beta now – you should totally check them out.)

Tickets are available now. Join us!

I won’t be covering how to put a web page or site together, per se, since I’m not a web developer, but rather some of what goes on underneath that. When you type “” into a browser, what happens next? Where does your computer actually get the information that is a web page or site, or an email message, for that matter? What’s the difference between using web hosting and a third-party platform? How do you use instead of or some other service?

I’ll talk some about DNS as well, which involves the different types of records used for websites and email, what they do, and how they reflect the design and history of the Internet.

Bring a friend — we love new faces! Hope to see you on the 24th.


Velocity team to present on the mission, the members, and more

Welcome to 2015! We’re back in action and our first Dinner of the year is coming up fast. Velocity has been fascinating since its inception as a bit of an experiment in entrepreneurial academe at University of Waterloo, and as it’s grown and evolved over the years it’s just gotten more interesting.

We’ll be kicking things off at 6pm as usual on Tuesday, January 20th. We’ll be at the Communitech Hub in the Matrix/Atlas room(s). (Those are the ones you get to when you go through the doorway to the right of the elevators, down the short hall, through the door on the right, and they’re just to the right of the big blue doors.)

Register now!

For our January Dinner we’re welcoming Nancy Heide, Velocity’s Associate Director and Popy Dimoulas-Graham, Velocity member and founder of Charity Republic. (You might remember we’d planned to have Popy join us in the past and were thwarted by a snowstorm.)

The ladies will be giving us the rundown on Velocity: what and where it is, what they do, some of their stories, and what their goals are. We’ll learn about the original core program, and how they’ve expanded with Velocity Science, Foundry, and Garage, as well as the Velocity Fund. Popy will be able to give us a front-row seat to membership and that process, and how it’s working for her and her company.

Tickets are available now. Can’t wait to see everyone!