Feb. 3, 2022

UCalgary students, faculty and staff honoured as changemakers

2022 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award winners announced

Celebrating inspiring students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, staff and collaborative teams working to advance a more accessible, equitable, diverse, and inclusive university, the University of Calgary’s annual Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Awards took place Feb. 2. 

“The EDI Awards honour those who are working to address inequities within our campus community and bring attention to why and how equity, diversity and inclusion matters,” says Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (EDI).

We all need to do our part to move beyond talk, statements, and commitments to engage in concrete actions to effect systemic change.

The awards recognize outstanding EDI changemakers in practice, events, applied research, policy, programs and other activities that foster equitable, sustainable and measurable change, especially for those who traditionally have been under-represented (women, visible/racialized persons, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S+ persons) on campus. 

2022 EDI Award winners

Student Award – Sarah Marie Reid, graduate student, Department of Geoscience 

Sarah Reid

Sarah Reid

Sarah Marie Reid is a graduate student in the Department of Geoscience. Her contributions to EDI initiatives began when she was an undergraduate student. Based on her own experiences at field school, and in the geoscience department, Reid has been passionate about improving the field school experience and sought resources from a campus-based group to provide consent training before each field-school deployment.

Reid successfully campaigned for the department to include mandatory student-led consent training for all students attending field schools in her program. By advocating for this training, Reid was instrumental in developing consent protocols that protect vulnerable students during fieldwork and field courses.

Now studying for her Master of Science, Reid has been an incredible asset to the EDI committee through her work on designing and implementing the first-ever department-based EDI survey to collect information for future EDI initiatives; organizing the first social networking group for female graduate students and recent graduates from the department; developing EDI meeting protocols to ensure inclusive engagement and discussions at EDI meetings; and developing feedback mechanisms to ensure everyone feels heard at those meetings. Reid has done exceptional work to promote positive cultural change in the Department of Geoscience. 

Faculty Award – Dr. Gregor Wolbring, PhD, professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine

Gregor Wolbring

Gregor Wolbring

The research agenda developed by Gregor Wolbring has exposed his students to the fields of disability studies and ability studies, with an interdisciplinary approach through the exploration of various other fields, such as emerging technologies, environmental activism, and ethics discourses. Wolbring advocates for the importance of EDI awareness to address disability issues and the impact that awareness of these issues has on better acknowledging and addressing systemic barriers.

Through his work, Wolbring encourages his students to act against discrimination and barriers to participation in the university environment. His research focuses on pointing out stereotypical narratives about people with disabilities in various discourses and forms of discrimination, such as genetic discrimination, against disabled people. Wolbring works hard to highlight social barriers, discrimination, stereotypical narratives, and inequity. 

Team Award – Dr. David Este, PhD, professor emeritus, Faculty of Social Work
Dr. Kathleen Sitter, PhD, associate professor, CRC, Faculty of Social Work 
Kimberly Van Patten, project manager, Faculty of Social Work 
Dr. Peter Gabor, PhD, professor, Faculty of Social Work 
Sheliza Ladhani, PhD candidate, sessional instructor, Faculty of Social Work 
Dr. Darren E. Lund, PhD, (dec'd), professor, Werklund School of Education 

Top, from left: David Este, Kathleen Sitter, Kimberly Van Patten. Bottom, from left: Peter Gabor, Sheliza Ladhani, Darren Lund.

Top, from left: David Este, Kathleen Sitter, Kimberly Van Patten. Bottom, from left: Peter Gabor, Sheliza Ladhani, Darren E. Lund.

This research team undertook a study to explore the experiences of race and racism among social work educators and students. Their aim was to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of an anti-racism workshop for post-secondary settings and provide recommendations for change.

Findings from this project indicated a lack of understanding about racism and anti-racism. The study found, for example, that racism was not being effectively dealt with in the Faculty of Social Work. It also found that the experiences of Black, racialized, and Indigenous students and educators were poorly validated and supported in the academic system.

Through the development of an extensive report, the team brought attention to senior leadership on key findings and recommendations for anti-racism workshops and training, curriculum and pedagogy that support anti-racist change initiatives within the university.

Staff Award – Alison Barrett, manager of community and social impact, Schulich School of Engineering 

Alison Barrett

Alison Barrett has made remarkable contributions to the planning and implementation of the Schulich School of Engineering’s EDI work, from engaging students, faculty and staff to promote greater awareness of EDI, to leading outreach events and programs that focus on reaching and empowering under-represented people in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Her initiatives include launching the Schulich Change Leaders Network to engage students from all backgrounds in sharing their experiences, interacting with other students across identity differences, learning about EDI, participating in engineering outreach work, and developing valuable leadership skills while fostering a community of inclusion and support on campus. 

Learn more about UCalgary’s EDI Awards.

The University of Calgary is committed to being an equitable, diverse and inclusive university. It recognizes that diverse faculty, staff, students and alumni benefit and enrich the work, teaching, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and broader community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been, and continue to be, encountered by equity-seeking groups, particularly women, Indigenous Peoples, visible/racialized minorities, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S+. Learn more about the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.