Sept. 11, 2019

Exacting standards, flexible minds

That’s what engineering is all about in 2019, and it’s a message the Schulich School of Engineering once again carried with them as honoured participants in the annual Calgary Pride Parade as part of the University of Calgary’s enthusiastic 13-faculty turnout

“Participation in the Pride Parade – a symbol of diversity and inclusion – is one way that we show our support for a respectful and welcoming culture at Schulich,” says Anders Nygren, PhD, acting dean of the Schulich School of Engineering.

Holding signs with bold rainbow hearts, Schulich students, faculty and staff, along with friends and family, marched with UCalgary’s entry – one of the parade’s largest – led by university president Ed McCauley.

Electrical and computer engineering student Alex Gorkoff, currently on internship at Garmin, says it’s a good feeling to have such a large institution behind the LGBTQ+ community. “It’s the best. I just came out during my first year of engineering. That Schulich and the whole university is behind the pride parade lends a more-easily heard voice to celebrating this community.”

More than 80,000 Calgarians braved a chilly, fog-filled morning on the streets of downtown to watch the passing parade, held the Sunday of the Labour Day Weekend. Afterwards, the university also participates in the Pride in the Park festival on Prince’s Island Park, which includes live music, activities for youth and children in the family zone, and a marketplace.

“Being a minority in so many ways, I am a huge ally of this community and of Calgary Pride,” says fifth-year civil engineering student Stephanie Isilebo, whose family is from Nigeria. “Everyone needs to know that they’re welcome - especially in a space like engineering.”