Against Entropy: Building Resilience for an Uncertain Future

On the afternoon of February 8th, some 30 graduate students from the department participated in WICTO’s latest Professional Development Workshop, “Against Entropy: Building Resilience for an Uncertain Future”, hosted by communications expert Lil Blume.

The session was inspired by Lil’s previous workshop, “Becoming a Confident Leader and Mentor,” presented at the 2017 Women in Chemistry retreat, which received overwhelming praise and enthusiasm. The resilience session promised to expand upon the confidence-building that began back in May.

Lil certainly did not fail to deliver. The fast-paced, highly engaging three-hour session included everything from group discussion to personal reflection, poster making (see picture) to improvisation activities, not to mention dancing and walking exercises. Participants were presented with practical strategies to tap into and nurture their inner resilience in the face of challenges. As always, Lil’s wholesome and unhesitating words created an inclusive space for open and respectful expression.

As it turns out, many of us in graduate school share the same anxieties, both personal and research-related. Indeed, we are far from being alone in our struggles and can all benefit by maintaining positive and supportive dialogue amongst ourselves.

WICTO is sincerely grateful to Lil Blume for her dedication, heart, and energy which culminated in yet another hugely successful professional development workshop. We hope to see her again in the future!

About Lil Blume

Lil teaches in the Computer Science Department at the University of Toronto and has presented sessions on communication, ambition, goal-setting, and conflict resolution at the Canadian Coalition for Women in Engineering, Science, Trades, and Technology (CCWESTT) conference since 2006. She has worked with women in science groups at universities from Victoria, BC, to St. John’s, NL. For more information, please see

About womeninchemto

Women in Chemistry, Toronto Chapter (WICTO) is student-run initiative started in 2014 to promote gender diversity within the chemistry community through awareness, engagement and advocacy.