March 27, 2024

Meet the 2024 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Awards recipients

UCalgary changemakers celebrated at annual awards ceremony
A collage of multiple different women
  • Top row from left: Diana Changirwa, Annemarie Summers, Carolyn Emery, Sharon Hou, Bukola Salami. Bottom row from left: Rochelle Lamoureux, Brenda McDermott, Vivienne Jones, Breanna Fang, Fatima Saleem, Jessica Morency.

In an inspiring ceremony held earlier this month during the University of Calgary’s annual EDI Week, the 2024 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Awards celebrated contributions of individuals and teams who have demonstrated a commitment to fostering an equitable, inclusive and accessible campus community.

The EDI Awards, now in their sixth year, have become a cornerstone for UCalgary in recognizing the passionate individuals and teams who are actively promoting equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the living and working environments across our campus communities. Since the awards were first launched in 2019, they have expanded throughout the years and continue to do so. 2024 introduced two new categories;  the sessional instructor award and the leadership award, as well as split the staff and student award categories into management and support staff, and graduate and undergraduate students, respectively.

During her welcome, Dr. Penny Werthner, interim provost and vice-president (academic), spoke to the institutional significance of the EDI Awards when she noted, “The EDI Awards are critical to achieving our vision in Ahead of Tomorrow.”

“It's so good to see these Awards grow each year, just as our commitment I know grows to ensuring that we have an inclusive campus. As we celebrate our remarkable recipients today, let’s continue to look forward and drive change with University of Calgary’s future as a leader in EDI in mind.”

This year’s EDI Awards recipients, representing a diversity of students, staff as well as initiatives across faculties and programs, served as catalysts for positive and sustainable change. The awards ceremony also included a keynote by Dr. Tonya Callaghan on The Urgency of Intersectionality for Addressing Systemic Inequities in Higher Learning. 

Dr. Malinda S. Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (EDI), closed the ceremony with a heartfelt thank you to the UCalgary community for participating in the EDI Awards ceremony and encouraged the campus community to continue participating in EDI Week, which hosted 39 sessions from across faculties and administrative units, including a keynote commemorating International Women’s Day.

“I'm so inspired by our community's collective action to strengthen equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, and to think intersectionally,” said Smith. “Every day we see our community's desire to advance and embed EDI grow, and we see the deepening of the knowledge and the contributions made in the classroom, in research and scholarship, and in community engagement. 

“It takes a village — so I encourage each of you individually and collectively to build on this momentum for our institution, and for the public good.”

Meet the UCalgary’s 2024 EDI Award recipients 

Graduate Student Award

Diana Changirwa
Cumming School of Medicine

Changirwa is a student in the Leaders in Medicine program and Immunology Graduate Program within the Department of Critical Care Medicine and the Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases. She is the co-founder and member of the Snyder Institute EDI Committee, co-lead for the Policy and Engagement subcommittee and the trainee-lead for the Snyder Institute on the Cumming School of Medicine EDI Leads network.

Undergraduate Student Award

Annemarie Summers
Schulich School of Engineering

Throughout her degree, Summers has been involved in countless leadership initiatives the 2023 Woman in Engineering Day Design Challenge a STEM-based tutoring company amidst the pandemic. She volunteered at the Chole Orphanage in Bali Indonesia to discuss engineering and STEM with the students and has been a founding member of the Schulich Change Leader Network.

Faculty Award

Dr. Carolyn Emery, PhD
Faculty of Kinesiology

Emery is a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Cumming School of Medicine, holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Concussion and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and Royal Society of Canada. She’s made outstanding contributions in advancing adaptive and inclusive sports programming and enabling youth with disability to take part in camps and recreation on campus.

Postdoctoral Fellows Award

Dr. Sharon Hou, PhD
Cumming School of Medicine

Hou is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Oncology as well as a registered psychologist. Her research focuses on advancing diversity and health equity in children’s health and well-being and those of their families. Insights from her research are intended to identify equitable and inclusive ways to support the health-care and psychosocial needs of under-represented and underserved populations of children and families.

Leadership Award

Dr. Bukola Salami, PhD
Cumming School of Medicine

Salami has demonstrated outstanding leadership in policy development, promoting diversity in employment, learning and research, and mentorship of diverse trainees. Her research focuses on policies and practices shaping migrant health as well as Black people’s health. She also founded multiple initiatives including the African Child and Youth Migration Network and the Black Youth Mentorship and Leadership Program.

Support Staff Award

Rochelle Lamoureux
Haskayne School of Business

With the Haskayne School of Business, Lamoureux incorporates EDI and community building into the heart of everything she does. She is also a part-time graduate student with the Werklund School of Education, focusing on social justice and anti-oppressive education. Her valuable contributions have included supporting Haskayne’s EDI Week initiatives, EDI education, and Haskayne's Indigenous strategy.

Management Staff Award

Dr. Brenda McDermott, PhD, MeD
Student Access Services

McDermott has a passion for improving the student experience, having worked in student service roles at Carleton University, York University, and University of Calgary. These roles involved working in student learning support, specifically writing development. Currently, she works with Student Accessibility Services, collaborating with faculty members to ensure course designs, particularly assessments, are accessible to all learners.

Sessional Instructor Award

Vivienne Jones, M.Ed.
Continuing Education

Jones worked in diverse fields before moving to Canada and completing an MEd in TESL. Since 2009 they have been a language instructor in the English Language Program in Continuing Education, using their experience with cultural displacement and neurodivergence to help create safe and inclusive spaces for learning.

Team Award

Breanna Fang, Jessica Morency, Fatima Saleem
Support to Entry Program
Cumming School of Medicine

The Support to Entry Program (STEP) is a medical student-led initiative that aims to foster diversity and inclusion in medicine by reducing some of the barriers with applying to medical school. STEP has helped over 145 students from a myriad of equity-deserving groups, including people of colour, students living with disabilities, refugees, LGBTQ2S+ students, Indigenous students, and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Watch the recording of the event.

Together, our community is shaping a more accessible, equitable and inclusive future for UCalgary. Learn how you can nominate an individual or team for the next round of submissions.

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.