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2018 Fall Reception & Awards Ceremony

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2018 Women and Graduate Student of the Year

2018 Academic Women’s Association Awards – University of Alberta

 (Edmonton, 25 June 2018) The Academic Women’s Association–University of Alberta is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s AWA awards. The two recipients of the Academic Woman of the Year Award are Dr. Janice Williamson (Arts) for her lifetime achievements and Dr. Sara Dorow, Dr. Lois Harder, Dr. Nat Hurley, and Dr. Susanne Luhmann (Arts) for their collaborative initiative, Research at the Intersections of Gender. The winner of the Bente Roed Graduate Student Award is Ms. Brittany Johnson (Arts). The 2018 winners will receive their awards at the AWA’s reception and awards ceremony in the fall.

“This year’s AWA award winners share a fierce commitment to a creative approach to scholar-activism that is intersectional and interdisciplinary, reaching across barriers and silos—be they within our own institution or erected between communities—to draw connections between people in their fight for social justice.”

First awarded in 1992, the AWA’s Woman of the Year Award is given to an academic woman or female-identified person in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of women and equity-seeking minority groups in the University of Alberta community, either over the course of her career or through current achievements in scholarship, teaching, and/or activism. Since 1999, the AWA’s Bente Roed Graduate Student Award, valued at $500, is given to a University of Alberta student in recognition of academic achievement and for community engagement that advances the status of women and equity-seeking minority groups.

The Academic Women’s Association is the major voice for the advancement of women and female-identified persons at the University of Alberta. It provides opportunities for networking and mentoring and recognizes and celebrates the achievements of academic women and female-identified persons.

This year’s awards committee was chaired by Dr. Carrie Smith (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies) and included Past President, Dr. Sheena Wilson (Campus St. Jean), Dr. Nat Hurley (Office of Interdisciplinary Studies/English & Film Studies), Dr. Naomi Krogman (Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences), Dr. Liza Piper (History and Classics), and Dr. Dilini Vethanayagam (Medicine and Dentistry).

Academic Woman of the Year Award—Janice Williamson

JaniceWilliamson_2018_AWA_WomanOfTheYear

Dr. Williamson and her daughter Rae Xiao Bao Williamson

Dr. Williamson receives this award in recognition of her career-long contributions to the advancement of women and equity-seeking minority groups within the university and beyond. Long before the start of Dr. Williamson’s academic career in the Faculty of Arts in 1987, and throughout her 31-year academic career, social justice was her vocation. A teacher, writer, scholar, public intellectual, and community organizer, she is recognized for a lifetime of activism and commitment dedicated to improving the lives of others and fighting injustice on many fronts. Schooled in Canadian and Women’s Studies, her academic work focuses on intersectional initiatives attending to race, gender, sexuality, disability, citizenship status, and family relationships. She has written and edited six books along with award-winning prose essays and poetry. Her joy and work as a devoted single mother emerge in writing about mothering and adoption.

Over her long career, she taught thousands of students in the Departments of English & Film Studies, Women’s Studies, and the Faculty of Extension Women’s Writing Week program. As well as working with other professors on institutional-level reform, she supported and advocated on behalf of undergraduate and graduate students, colleagues, and visiting scholars and writers. For the past three years, she served as Equity Chair of the 4000 member Association of Academic Staff of the UofA preparing for bargaining equity under the new Alberta Labour Code and working on strategies for salary equity, child care, Indigenous and other initiatives to create an inclusive university that values diverse ways of knowing and learning. In the Faculty of Arts, she participated in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission through curricular and policy changes.

Among other subjects, her work investigates violence perpetrated on women’s, children’s, and men’s bodies. As one reviewer writes: “Dr. Williamson is unique in how she balances her attention among structural critique, policy development, and sharing personal narratives of lives lived inside [systems of structural violence]. Few academics can tell the stories at these multiple registers…. She is not only helping build a better institutional response at the University of Alberta and across Canada, but she simultaneously adds nuance to the cultural landscape in which these stories emerge.” And, as her nominator, reinforces: “Janice Williamson is not only our Woman of the Year; she is our ‘woman of a lifetime.'” It is in this spirit that the AWA awards her this honour. Read more about Janice Williamson here.

Academic Woman of the Year Award—Research at the Intersections of Gender (Sara Dorow, Lois Harder, Nat Hurley, and Susanne Luhmann)

The collaborative team behind the initiative Research at the Intersections of Gender (RiG)—Dr. Sara Dorow, Dr. Lois Harder, Dr. Nat Hurley, and Dr. Susanne Luhmann—has been named 2018 AWA Woman of the Year together with Dr. Janice Williamson. Find out more about RIG here.

Spearheaded by this team of outstanding feminist scholars, RiG has been named one of three University of Alberta Signature Areas. RiG is multicampus collaboration at its very best, bringing together the expertise of numerous researchers on campus. Through their visionary leadership, dedicated organization, and courageous collaboration, Drs. Dorow, Harder, Hurley, and Luhmann have developed a Signature Area that showcases the UofA as the premier institution in Canada for gender-based intersectional research. In the words of their nominator, RiG is a “game changer for researchers, graduate students, undergrads and administrators across all 18 Faculties, and it responds to EDI commitments at every level of government.” These four scholars have led institutional change that positions the university as a global leader in feminist, gender, and intersectional research.

RIG_Hurley_Luhman_Dorow_Harder_AWA_WoY

Left to right: Dr. Nat Hurley, Dr. Susanne Luhman, Dr. Sara Dorow, and Dr. Lois Harder

Dr. Sara Dorow is currently Chair of the Department of Sociology and Alberta Team Lead for the SSHRC-funded On the Move partnership, a major project taking an intersectional approach to studying mobile work in the Alberta oil context. Her research and teaching are in the areas of gender and family; migration and mobility; transnationalism and racialization; and qualitative methods. She is the author of the book Transnational Adoption: A Cultural Economy of Race, Gender, and Kinship (NYU Press, 2006).

Dr. Lois Harder is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and incoming Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College. Her research engages issues of citizenship determination, birth and family status. She is a former Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Arts and is a strong proponent of interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Recent publications include “Does Sperm Have a Flag? On Biological Relationship and National Membership” (Canadian Journal of Law and Society) and Patriation and Its Consequences: Constitution-Making in Canada (co-edited with Steve Patten).

Dr. Natasha Hurley is currently the Senior Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies. Her research and teaching take as their focus the fields of American Literature, Children’s Literature, Queer Studies, and Critical Theory. She is the author of Circulating Queerness: Before the Gay and Lesbian Novel (Minnesota 2018) and co-editor of Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children (Minnesota 2004).

Dr. Susanne Luhmann is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research agenda is broadly concerned with pedagogies or epistemologies of implication. Recent publications have grappled with ways to un-settle queer and feminist pedagogies. Current projects include a co-edited volume Feminist Praxis Revisited: Critical Reflections on University-Community Engagement (forthcoming from Wilfrid Laurier University Press); a co-edited collection (with Marie Lovrod) Prairie Sexualities: Theories, Archives, Affects, Communities, and a monograph in progress: Domesticating the Nazi Past: Gender and Generation in Recent German Cultural Memory.

AWA Bente Roed Graduate Student Award—Brittany Johnson

Ms. Brittany Johnson has been awarded the Bente Roed Graduate Student Award. Since 1999, the AWA’s Bente Roed Graduate Student Award, valued at $500, is given to a University of Alberta student in recognition of academic achievement and for community engagement that advances the status of women and equity-seeking minority groups.

Brittany Johnson_2018_AWA_Student_of_the_Year

Brittany Johnson

Ms. Johnson is a Métis Ph.D. Student in the Department of English and Film Studies in the Faculty of Arts. In addition to being a graduate student, she is a singer/songwriter, burlesque dancer, creative writer, wife, and mother of two. Her cutting-edge research and activism are both grounded in creative knowledge mobilization across different communities. As her nominator writes: “[Brittany] does what she does in order to create communities of support for Indigenous students—in particular, for women and non-binary folks—and she does so with tremendous good humour, charisma, and innovation.”

As a decolonial burlesque performance artist, creative writer, artist, and Métis scholar, she deploys interdisciplinary methods of research creation in her dissertation work to explore Métis identity and sexuality through Indigenous feminism. This interest comes through also in her activist and other creative works. As a trained Indigenous full-spectrum doula, she aims to encourage traditional teachings about bodies and sexualities. Further, her song “Making Bacon Naked” can be heard on CFWE and her poetry can be read at ayikisispoet.com. Other writings appear in the most recent edition Birth Issues magazine and the NDN Country edition of Prairie Fire magazine in Fall 2018.

For more information:

Professor Malinda S. Smith (Political Science)
President, Academic Women’s Association
Email: malinda.smith@ualberta.ca

Dr. Nancy Bray
AWA Communications Officer
Email: nbray@ualberta.ca

Equity at Canadian Universities: National, Disaggregated, and Intersectional Data

Edmonton, 22 June, 2018) The Academic Women’s Association at the University of Alberta is pleased to release three infographics that we believe represents for the first time the academic pipeline for three of four Employment Equity Act federally designated equity groups (FDGs)—gender, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities – and their intersections. The three infographics provide answers to, and visual representations for, the following questions: (1) “Where are the Indigenous Peoples at Canadian Universities?” (2) “Where are the women at Canadian universities?” and (3) “Where are the visible minorities at Canadian universities?” Each infographic presents national and, where available, disaggregated, and intersectional data on Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), the 10 visible/racialized minority groups, and gender (including white, Indigenous, and visible minority women and men).

Disaggregated and intersectional data analyses are indispensable to advancing an equitable academy for all FDGs. The research included in the three infographics was conducted by Dr. Malinda S. Smith in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta, and the visual designs were developed by Dr. Nancy Bray, Lecturer in Communications Fundamentals for Professionals and Writing Studies at the University of Alberta. The research on equity, diversity, and intersectionality builds on and extends previous studies for the AWA initiated and led by Dr. Smith as part of the AWA’s Diversity Gap Campaign. They present data that maps the “academic pipeline” for each equity-seeking group, a process that is necessary to avoid the pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all approach to equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). The infographic data presentation also recognizes the importance of presenting research findings in ways that are accessible to diverse publics.

The graphics presented here measure only one of the important dimensions of EDI challenges in contemporary Canadian universities. On matters of equity and diversity we know well the adage: “if it doesn’t get measured it doesn’t get done.” Good data are widely recognized as critical to establishing benchmarks in efforts to assess the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion in Canadian universities. Data for equity are important to identify, monitor, and develop relevant policies and strategies to improve the status of FDGs, as well as members of LGBTQ2S communities. This research, as previous research for the AWA, shows that in the cases of persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S there are persistent data gaps.

The full press release and the three infographics can be found here.

For more information on this study please contact:

Professor Malinda S. Smith
Professor, Political Science
President, Academic Women’s Association
Email: malinda.smith@ualberta.ca

Dr. Nancy Bray
Lecturer, ALES & Writing Studies
AWA Communications Officer
Email: nbray@ualberta.ca

For more information on the AWA please visit our website: https://uofaawa.wordpress.com/

Call for Nominations: AWA Awards 2018

The University of Alberta Academic Women’s Association is welcoming nominations, including self-nominations, for the 2018 AWA Woman of the Year Award and the 2018 AWA Graduate Student of the Year Award. Deadline for complete nominations to be submitted via email to the Chair of the AWA Awards Committee, Carrie Smith (carrie.smith-prei@ualberta.ca) is April 15, 2018.

Woman of the Year Award criteria: https://uofaawa.wordpress.com/awa-woman-of-the-year/

Graduate Student of the Year Award criteria: https://uofaawa.wordpress.com/awa-graduate-student-of-the-year/

AWA – Diversity Gap in University Leadership 2018

Leadership Diversity Matters at Canada’s U15 Research-Intensive Universities

Despite decades of employment equity statements, policies and programs in Canadian universities, women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities continue to be underrepresented within the senior ranks of university leadership.

The latest study conducted for the Academic Women’s Association by Professor Malinda S. Smith, and presented in four infographics by Ph.D. candidate Nancy Bray, examines the leadership diversity of Canada’s U15 research universities. It examines social, disciplinary, and professional diversity among senior and mid-level university leaders: (i) board chairs and chancellors; (ii) university presidents and their leadership teams (on average 7-8 people); (iii) the three most senior academic positions (presidents, provosts and vice presidents academic, and vice presidents research); and (iv) the deans of major faculties and schools.

If the current leadership ‘pipeline’ does not change significantly then it is likely that the future will be no more diverse than the present.

The study release and four infographics are available here.

For more information contact:

Dr. Malinda S. Smith
Professor, Political Science
President, Academic Women’s Association
University of Alberta
Email: malinda.smith@ualberta.ca

Ms. Nancy Bray
Ph.D. Candidate, Writing Studies
Communications Officer, AWA
University of Alberta
Email: nbray@ualberta.ca

Fall Reception & Awards Ceremony – October 12, 2017

2017 Fall Reception & Awards Ceremony

2017 AWA Women and Graduate Student of the Year

Edmonton, Alberta, 1 September 2017

The Academic Women’s Association-University of Alberta is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s AWA awards. Dr. Janine Brodie (Arts) and Dr. Dilini Vethanayagam (Medicine & Dentistry) as the joint winners of the Academic Woman of the Year Award and Ms. Danika Jorgensen-Skakum (Women and Gender Studies) as the winner of the Bente Roed Graduate Student Award. The 2017 winners will receive their awards at the AWA’s reception and awards ceremony, which will be held on 12 October at the Faculty Club.

“The AWA award winners all display a powerful combination of activism and scholarship, each working in their own fields and at differing career stages to lead the way in challenging barriers, in addressing the impact of gender and race on university structures, and in assuring our communities remain accountable to working toward a socially just future,” says Dr. Carrie Smith-Prei, Chair of the AWA Awards Committee.

First awarded in 1992, the AWA’s Woman of the Year Award is given to an academic woman or female-identified person in recognition of her contributions to the advancement of women and equity-seeking minority groups in the University of Alberta community, either over the course of her career or through current achievements in scholarship, teaching, and/or activism. Since 1999, the AWA’s Bente Roed Graduate Student Award, valued at $500, is given to a University of Alberta student in recognition of academic achievement and for community engagement that advances the status of women and equity-seeking minority groups.

The Academic Women’s Association is the major voice for the advancement of women and female-identified persons at the University of Alberta. It provides opportunities for networking and mentoring and recognizes and celebrates the achievements of academic women and female-identified persons.

This year’s awards committee was chaired by Dr. Carrie Smith-Prei (Modern Language and Cultural Studies) and included Past President, Dr. Sheena Wilson (Campus St. Jean), Dr. Nat Hurley (English & Film Studies), Dr. Naomi Krogman (Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences), and Dr. Bukola Salami (Nursing).

ABOUT THE AWARD WINNERS

Academic Woman of the Year Award – Janine Brodie

Dr. Janine Brodie

Dr. Janine Brodie

Dr. Janine Brodie is a Distinguished University Professor and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Political Economy and Social Governance in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Dr. Brodie has written extensively on many of the core challenges in Canadian politics and public policy, including women in politics, gendered social policy, citizenship equality, and neoliberal governance. Her 1985 book, Women and Politics in Canada, was the first book published on gender and politics in Canada and is recognized as a benchmark study in this now well-established field. Dr. Brodie is the author or co-author of eight books, including Politics on the Margins (1995), and (with I. Bakker) Where are the Women? Gender Equality, Budgets and Canadian Public Policy (2008). She is also the editor or co-editor of six others, including (with M. Cohen), Remapping Gender in the New World Order, and Contemporary Inequalities and Social Justice in Canada (UTP, 2018).

Before moving to the University of Alberta to Chair the Department of Political Science in 1997, Dr. Brodie taught at York University where she held the John Robarts Chair in Canadian Studies and served as the Inaugural Director of the York Centre for Feminist Research. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002 and served as the Director of the English social science division of the RSC for five years. Dr. Brodie was awarded a Trudeau Fellowship in 2010 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2014, she received the Royal Society of Canada’s Innis-Gerin medal for “distinguished and sustained contributions to the literature in the social sciences.” In 2017, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Carleton University, Dr. Brodie was named as one of the Faculty of Public Affairs’ 75 most distinguished alumni.

Academic Woman of the Year Award – Dilini Vethanayagam

Dr. Dilini Vethanayagam

Dr. Dilini Vethanayagam

Dr. Dilini Vethanayagam is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (FoMD). She is a Respirologist and Asthma Specialist and developed the Edmonton HHT Center for this rare genetic disease, and the Canadian Severe Asthma Network (CSAN). She developed the outreach initiative for the FoMD, the Refugee Lecture Series, with the curriculum disseminated through a web-based portal, to de-stigmatize and increase awareness of the challenges faced by refugees entering Canada and to review common medical concerns faced by them. She has been an active member of the General Faculties Council at the University of Alberta over the past 4 years, and just completed her 3-year term as the GFC representative to the Council of Student Affairs. Over the past year, she was the GFC rep to the newly formed Dean’s Advisory Committee through the Vice-Provost and Dean of Students. She introduced the FoMD outreach initiative on Student Mental Health last fall. This July, she will be starting her new role as the GFC rep to Senate.

Dr. Vethanayagam was inspired to achieve her own career goals early in life by her mother, who following her immigration to Canada (in her 30’s) had to pursue a completely different career while raising a young family with her husband here in Edmonton. She moved from McMaster University in 2003 back to her hometown of Edmonton with her family (husband Jonathan and two daughters Tiana and Tristan) and started work at the U of Alberta – at that time the only Academic Clinician in her division (Adult Pulmonary). With a lot of active mentorship from many Academic Clinicians within the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics – including another recipient of the same AWA award a few years prior – she was able to encourage other women to enter Academic Practice within Pulmonary Medicine as both as residents and faculty members.

AWA Bente Roed Graduate Student Award – Danika Jorgensen-Skakum

Danika Jorgensen-Skakum

Danika Jorgensen-Skakum

Danika Jorgensen-Skakum is a graduate student in the Gender and Social Justice program in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. Originally from Southern Alberta, she received her BA in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Lethbridge. Her research focuses on the Death Positivity/Acceptance Movement, death studies, and the social justice of death and dying – particularly in the context of the Anthropocene and in the face of mass extinction(s). Danika is also interested in feminist publishing histories, feminist legal studies, and theorizing a transformative justice approach toward the criminalization of minors (and especially girls) for so-called “sexting” behaviour.

Prior to enrolling in her Master’s program, she worked at Boyle Street Community Services and the Bissell Centre in Housing First. When she’s not working on her thesis, she likes to play board games, bake, and explore Edmonton with her partner, Lindsey.

For more information:

Professor Malinda S. Smith (Political Science)
President, Academic Women’s Association
Email: malinda.smith@ualberta.ca

Ms. Nancy Bray (Ph.D. candidate)
AWA Communications Officer
Email: nbray@ualberta.ca

Files for sharing:

PDF version of press release: AWA_2017 Awards Press Release_1Sep2017_FIN

JPG images of the press release: