Goss, Ms. Kelly

2011 Finalist: Leaders of Tomorrow sponsored by Advanced Education and Technology

Leadership Creates Opportunities For Others To Flourish

Whatever the PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at the University of Calgary chooses to be involved with, she finds her way into a leadership role. She believes that the only way to affect any change is to get deeply involved with the process, and to make those changes from within.

“When I see the potential that exists in people, I want to see it flourish,” Ms. Goss says. “I want to be part of making that happen, not just by observing from the sidelines.”

Pursuing Her Vision

Ms. Goss’s leadership, entrepreneurship and initiative are exemplified by her implementation of the first U of C Graduate Student Research Conference. She began with the vision during her tenure as the Vice President Academic of the Graduate Student’s Association (GSA). She was motivated to improve the graduate student experience. She saw graduate students working in isolation, with at most a few colleagues within their own specialization.

“One of the major needs of graduate students was a sense of academic community and specifically, an interdisciplinary community,” she says. “I envisioned creating a community built on our common interest — research — to create a graduate research conference where we could learn about each other and build bridges with industry.”

Exceptional Support

Ms. Goss attributes the success of the conference on the remarkable support she had. “It was an awesome team. It was amazing to see everyone step up,” she enthuses. The conference attracted 500 students and will be an annual event.

It is for good reason that the university administration turns to Kelly time and time again to ask for her participation in these activities. They know that with her involvement they are going to get tireless service directed towards the task at hand. She is highly respected for her abilities, and is extremely effective in areas that demand collaboration.

Passionate in Every Endeavour

In her other service pursuits Ms. Goss has been no less effective. She has worked on several initiatives, such as starting a university-wide process to have an academic ombudsman; and worked with the university administration to get another career advisor, among several other worthy initiatives.

“I have a passion for education,” she says. “I’d like to change the way education is delivered and to improve the experience for grad students.” She’s equally interested in working with school-age children. “I’d like to share my passion with them and motivate them to go into science,” she says.

Ms. Goss’s desire to make an impact extends beyond education. During her first year of graduate school, she spent one day a week serving breakfast at the Calgary Homeless Shelter. “Once I see a need, it’s hard for me to turn away,” she says.

Ms. Goss pursues this level of service while still engaged in pursuit of her graduate degrees. And her work in this regard is no less excellent, as evidenced by her top level awards from NSERC (Natural Science and Engineering Research Council) and the Alberta Ingenuity Foundation, among others.