2023 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Awards honours winners

Feb. 16, 2023

UCalgary celebrates students, faculty and staff advocating for positive social change

2023 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Awards honour winners

The University of Calgary celebrates inspiring change-makers and another year of working together to achieve a more equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible campus community during the fifth annual Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Awards. The awards, hosted by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI), took place Feb. 8 as part of the university’s EDI Week.

The ceremony opened with a blessing provided by Elder Colleen Sitting Eagle, followed by greetings and award presentation by UCalgary President and Vice-Chancellor Ed McCauley, and Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost, equity, diversity and inclusion and associate vice-president research (EDI).

“At UCalgary we are on a journey to advance and embed our commitment to EDI and accessibility, and to effect systemic and sustainable change, which is why we continue to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the courageous EDI champions who are the risk-takers and leaders in our community,” says Smith.

“We very much appreciate the contributions of colleagues who nominated and selected the 2023 EDI Award winners. We are a better community because of them and the work they do. I especially want to extend my profound thanks to the OEDI team.”

No major event on campus is possible without the support of many individuals and units across campus. The 2023 EDI Week events were led by Dr. Sevan Beukian, PhD, OEDI’s director of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. “I want to extend my appreciation to the nominators for taking the time to nominate their colleagues, students, faculty members, and postdoctoral fellows for EDI Awards” says Beukian.

“We are grateful to the EDI Awards adjudication committee for this year who dedicated time, effort, and passion in reviewing the excellent nominations and selecting the recipients. We also want to thank the UCalgary events and communications teams for their support.”

The EDI Awards celebrate UCalgary’s campus community by honouring students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, staff and teams for their work to advance a more accessible, equitable, diverse and inclusive university. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in practice, events, applied research, policy, programs, or other activities that foster positive social impact, especially for members of equity-deserving groups (women, racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community).

2023 EDI Award winners

Student Award – Tanmoy Newaz, cellular, molecular and microbial biology student, Faculty of Science

Newaz has used his position at the University of Calgary and lived experience as a second-generation immigrant to advocate for equity-deserving groups in science and medicine. Early in his undergraduate degree, Newaz founded the Canadian Organization for Undergraduate Health Research (COUHR) to mitigate the barriers faced by undergraduate students from equity-deserving backgrounds in attaining health science-related research opportunities.

Since 2018, the COUHR program has matched hundreds of students with researchers and research experiences. The program also provides workshops on a variety of topics aimed at helping students develop soft skills such as resume writing and financial literacy.

Newaz’s interest in serving equity-deserving groups remains as he pursues a career in the health-care industry, focusing on aiding marginalized individuals in accessing medical treatment.

Faculty Award – Dr. Patrina Duhaney, PhD, assistant professor, Faculty of Social Work

Duhaney has over 14 years of experience working with various racialized and marginalized populations and has conducted over $1.3-million worth of research focused on creating spaces for Black and racialized people. Duhaney’s passion for teaching and service work has led to a critical, engaged and transformative approach to teaching which exposes students to different ways of knowing.

Duhaney has undertaken several initiatives that advance EDI and strengthen UCalgary’s commitment to addressing anti-Black racism. Her continued support of the development of EDI policies culminates in her leadership of an Anti-Black Racism Task Force — one of many across Canada. Her campus-wide study on anti-Black racism at UCalgary is a first step toward an extended research project to address anti-Black racism across Canadian universities.

Postdoctoral Fellows Award – Dr. Jean Kaya, PhD, postdoctoral associate, adjunct assistant professor, Werklund School of Education

Kaya’s research on intercultural competencies explores how linguistic and cultural diversity among pre-service teachers advances intercultural understanding and social justice. The project also draws on scholarship in the area of critical literacies to investigate the intercultural understandings of pre-service teachers.

Kaya’s work is informed by his own experiences of teaching in Congo (Brazzaville) and instructing and supervising field experience students in the United States. His overall research program and projects demonstrate his contributions to the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of Calgary. His focus is on unearthing the potential to help students to think critically and become socially just citizens who will one day impact communities worldwide.

Team Award – Dr. Brae Anne McArthur, PhD, director of the University of Calgary Psychology Clinic, instructor, Department of Psychology; Michaela Patton, PhD candidate, Department of Psychology; Caroline Luszawski, clinical psychology student, Department of Psychology

This research team took on the creation of training for trans and gender-diverse mental health care. The project was student-driven and designed to improve the training of clinical psychologists from an EDI, social justice and cultural humility lens. The team partnered with the Skipping Stone Foundation to design a trans-affirming mental health-care workshop for students, faculty and staff. The team also created an accessible mental health service at UCalgary’s Psychology Clinic for trans and gender-diverse people who often experience higher rates of mental-health difficulties compared to their cisgender peers.

The team is working to amplify the voices of those with lived experiences, support the advancement of trans and gender-diverse mental health care and highlight trans and gender-diverse health issues within UCalgary and the broader Calgary community.

For more information visit the 2023 EDI Awards page.

The University of Calgary is committed to 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-deserving groups, particularly women, Indigenous Peoples, visible/racialized minorities, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S+. 

Learn more about upcoming and past events from the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.