Vienna Lam: finalist, Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award

SCWIST is proud to announce that Vienna Chichi Lam, Board Member and Director for Youth Outreach, has been chosen as one of the Top 75 Canadian Immigrants. She is now a finalist for the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award, nominated for her community service, leadership and academic accomplishments.

Let’s support Vienna by voting for her at: https://canadianimmigrant.ca/canadas-top-25-immigrants/vote

Vienna Lam’s nomadic lifestyle as a child has greatly impacted the person she is today. Growing up in an impoverished district of Hong Kong, she took warmth and shelter under the hospitality of generous neighbours. With time and distance, her family spirited her from away from the industrial waterways of her youth to the beautiful shorelines of British Columbia. As an immigrant who has benefited greatly from the kindness of others, she has always viewed her work as an opportunity to reciprocate. In her research at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Forensic Research and School of Criminology, she engages with local newcomer communities about water safety to reduce the risk of drowning. Out in the field, she conducts taphonomic studies on bone decomposition and use of remote sensing technology to help death investigators in their search for the missing and murdered.

The Tri-Council Agencies serve as the oversight and funding source for much of the research that takes place in Canada. In 2018, the agency ranked Lam 8th in the nation for her discipline (Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship), allowing her to secure one of the top Ph.D. awards that would help her continue her work on drowning prevention and aquatic body recovery.

Her other academic highlights include receiving the Provost Prize of Distinction from SFU, being a two-time winner of SFU’s Vice-President Research Award, and has won the Canadian Society for Forensic Science Education Award in both 2016 and 2018. Because of her early gains as a researcher, the Forensic Sciences Foundation and CRC Press named her the top-scoring recipient of this year’s Student Travel Award and Book Prize. By taking first place, Lam was able to share her research on an international forum. 

In her spare time, Lam shares her love of human anatomy at public libraries and schools as a Ms. Infinity mentor (role model and workshop leader) on behalf of the Society of Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST). Travelling across British Columbia, she has helped organize and run workshops for underserved communities to help make science education more accessible. It is also as a Director of Youth Engagement for SCWIST that she has helped secure grants to ensure the longevity of their mentorship programming, and SCWIST’s ability to provide scholarships to the young leaders of tomorrow.