March 8, 2019

Women's Resource Centre awards leaders for wisdom, resilience and compassion

March 9 event to recognize inspiring female members of the UCalgary community

The Women's Resource Centre (WRC) is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the WRC Awards of Excellence.

The annual awards celebrate outstanding University of Calgary community members. Each year, the Women's Resource Centre recognizes an outstanding female alumna, an undergraduate student and a graduate student for their wisdom, resilience, and compassion. Award recipients embody leadership in their personal and professional lives and strive to make their communities a better place. 

Sara Elkady, WRC Distinguished Alumna 2019.

Sara Elkady, WRC Distinguished Alumna 2019.

Liam McConnell

Sara Elkady, WRC Distinguished Alumna 2019

Sara Elkady, a graduate of the Schulich School of Engineering, has inspired many with her professional and academic achievements and her strength and resolve in the face of tragedy. 

With only four classes left in her Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering, her life was forever changed. Elkady and her family were in a car accident that claimed the lives of her parents and one of her sisters, who was also a University of Calgary student. Elkady's own injuries were extensive, resulting in a nine-month hospital stay and ultimately, the amputation of her lower left leg. While enduring pain and grief, she gained strength from her love for her surviving younger sister and her desire to complete her degree. A plan was put in to place to help her continue her studies while in the hospital, and she graduated 18 months after the accident.

Elkady now balances her full-time job as a process engineer with her commitment to giving back to her community. Through speaking engagements, Elkady inspires the next generation of women leaders in STEM and engages immigrant youth by drawing on her lived experience as a newcomer. Elkady models wisdom, resilience and compassion in her pursuit of understanding social challenges and creating a more equitable world.

Annie Hoang, WRC Distinguished Graduate Student 2019.

Annie Hoang, WRC Distinguished Graduate Student 2019.

Liam McConnell

Annie Hoang, WRC Distinguished Graduate Student 2019

Annie Hoang is a researcher, mentor and student leader. Her commitment to fostering an appreciation of science, promoting women in science and thinking outside the box makes her a trailblazer in her field.

Hoang holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Calgary, and is currently working toward a Master of Science in 's physical chemistry. Hoang contributions to the Graduate Students’ Association, the not-for-profit sector, and the field of clean energy are invaluable to the community.

Hoang is committed to bridging research and public good. She completed a Faculty of Graduate Studies Transformative Talent Internship with GO Technology Foundation, a social enterprise that raises money to fund future technologies, and is now in the process of writing her thesis focused on designing lower cost nanomaterials for environmentally friendly vehicles.

Hoang felt troubled by the limited number of prominent female researchers in her field. She decided to share her experiences and lessons of resilience with young women through the Cybermentor program. Through her involvement with Beakerhead, Hoang became a champion of effective science communication, distilling down the complexities of her work for a general audience.

Hoang's ability to manage the competing demands of her research, mentorship and volunteer pursuits demonstrates her commitment to advancing gender-equality in her field — and making scientific research accessible for all who are interested to learn.

Tina Guo, WRC Distinguished Undergraduate Student 2019.

Tina Guo, WRC Distinguished Undergraduate Student 2019.

Liam McConnell

Tina Guo, WRC Distinguished Undergraduate Student 2019

Tina Guo is a passionate clinician, researcher and activist. Born into a first-generation immigrant family, she understood at a young age the importance of diligence and tenacity.

Personal experiences exposed Guo to the systemic barriers that complicate marginalized populations’ access to resources, services and opportunities. This gave her the experience and insight to understand and be compassionate to the needs of others. Guo's empathy motivated her to found the Students Against Domestic Abuse Association (SADAA), a student group that advocates for survivors of domestic abuse and dating violence.

Guo earned a rare acceptance into the Cumming School of Medicine’s Doctor of Medicine program prior to completing an undergraduate degree thanks to her academic excellence, important research contributions and advocacy against domestic violence. As vice-president finance of the Calgary Student Run Clinic, Guo continues to address the intersections between domestic abuse, mental illness, and homelessness by providing quality, accessible health care.

The organization she founded, her thoughtful approach to leadership, and academic and professional achievements make Guo a true trailblazer. Through her biology and public health research, Guo has made meaningful contributions to both the Department of Biology and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health. Guo has imparted a legacy of community service, volunteerism, and leadership at the University of Calgary.

Awards ceremony to be held March 9 

The invitation-only WRC Awards presentation ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 9 at the University of Calgary. The ceremony will include inspiring stories about the award recipients and a keynote address from Dr. Leslie Reid, vice-provost (teaching and learning). The WRC Awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with the seventh annual Women’s Leadership Conference. The event is supported by the GSA Quality Money Grants.

Learn more about the WRC Awards and past years’ award recipients.