Meet Sheila MacMahon: Interview with a New Board Member

Sheila MacMahon’s most recent travels took her to the Pantana to try to spot a jaguar.


If you’re a regular reader of the CRPA Bulletin, you know Chief Editor Dave Niven makes a habit of interviewing interesting people involved in radiation protection. In this issue, Dave talks with Sheila MacMahon, a new member of the CRPA board of directors.

Tell us a little bit about yourself—work life, family life, or any fun facts about yourself.

I am currently a medical physicist and radiation safety officer at BC Cancer – Vancouver. I did my master’s degree in medical physics and my medical physics training in the United Kingdom before moving to Vancouver in 2002. I am part of the radiation safety team for a radiotherapy and cyclotron centre.

Outside of work, I can be found reading, hiking, and enjoying life on the west coast. I also enjoy travelling, especially if I can see wildlife at the same time. My most recent travels took me to the Pantana (the world’s largest tropical wetland located mostly in Brazil with portions in Bolivia and Paraguay) to try to spot a jaguar.

When did you first join CRPA and why have you continued to be a member?

I joined in 2007 and attended my first conference in Saint John, NB, that year. I remember a very friendly conference (I still remember the lobster dinner at the banquet). The association has helped me connect with other professionals across the country. I look forward to the annual conference and try to attend as often as possible. It’s been a great way to connect with others and compare issues. I usually come back with lots of ideas. I enjoyed catching up with friends and meeting new people at the Halifax conference in May 2023.

Why did you decide to run for the CRPA board of directors?

I was asked to run a few years ago and I decided that, after having been a member for all this time, it was time to give back to the association. I hope I can bring some new ideas and connect with more members. I am also happy to represent our West Coast members.

You’ve probably been to at least one board meeting by now—is it what you expected?

I am not sure exactly what I expected; however, everyone has been very friendly, and I am slowly figuring out how I can contribute to the board.

Are there any specific goals or projects that you’d like to take the lead on as a board member over the next two years?

I have taken the role of director of external affairs, and I am just beginning to work with the liaison committees and groups. I feel that it is still early days for me; I am sure that, as I get more sure in the role, things will progress. I am happy to hear from members if they have any comments or suggestions.

Where would you like to see the association five years from now?

I would like the association to continue to grow and represent radiation professionals from all areas. I would also like the association to continue to support the members in their professional development.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers, both members and non-members?

CRPA is a great organization to be part of. There are many benefits to membership. If you are involved in radiation safety in any capacity, it’s a very useful organization to be a part of. They also have the friendliest conferences of any association I have ever been part of.

To members, I would say, please reach out and let us know how we can improve the organization for you. I hope we will see as many of you as possible in Edmonton.

Do you want to read more articles like this?

The Bulletin is published by the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA). It’s a must-read publication for radiation protection professionals in Canada. The editorial content delivers the insights, information, advice, and valuable solutions that radiation protection professionals need to stay at the forefront of their profession.

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