March 6, 2020

Women’s Resource Centre recognizes inspiring alumna and students

Recipients exemplify wisdom, resilience and compassion

The Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) is presenting its annual Awards of Excellence to three recipients who showcase wisdom, resilience and compassion in the face of adversity.

The annual award goes to an alumna and also to an undergraduate and a graduate student who exemplify outstanding leadership in their personal and professional lives and are dedicated to the community.

The award ceremony will take place March 7 in conjunction with Women in Work, a one-day conference the WRC is hosting in partnership with Career Services that celebrates leadership, equity and how students can own their futures.

Distinguished Undergraduate Student – Manpreet Deol

Headshot of WRC Distinguished Undergraduate Student Manpreet Deol

Distinguished Undergraduate Student Manpreet Deol.

Nouran Abdellatif, Student and Enrolment Services

Manpreet Deol is a fourth-year student in the Schulich School of Engineering, where she is studying mechanical and biomedical engineering. 

Deol is a recipient of the Schulich Leaders scholarship and is a member of Scholars Academy.

She also has a strong sense of community and is committed to issues affecting women. She has mentored other students through the Women in Science and Engineering Club, the Special Olympics and Best Buddies. As a Students’ Union engineering representative, she was part of the Engineering Diversity Inclusion Action Committee. She has worked with her peers in a series of Scholars Academy service projects.

After she graduates in June, Deol is headed to the University of Oxford as one of two Rhodes Scholars from UCalgary.

Distinguished Graduate Student – Cindy Kalenga

Headshot of WRC Distinguished Graduate Student Cindy Kalenga

WRC Distinguished Graduate Student Cindy Kalenga.

Nouran Abdellatif, Student and Enrolment Services

Cindy Kalenga is an emerging leader in women’s cardiovascular health. She is currently a PhD candidate with Cumming School of Medicine (CSM), where she is exploring how estrogen hormones in the form of contraceptives and postmenopausal hormone therapy are associated with cardiovascular risk in women.

Kalenga is widely recognized in the research community, as she was recently awarded the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta’s highly competitive doctoral scholarship in women’s cardiovascular health. As lead of the Canadian Institute of Health Research’s Sex and Gender Trainee Network at UCalgary, she is working to build awareness and capacity in sex- and gender-based considerations among trainees conducting health research in Canada.

Kalenga is currently working on her thesis, which she hopes to complete by 2021.

Distinguished Alumna – Arshiya Shareef

Headshot of WRC Distinguished Alumna Arshiya Shareef

WRC Distinguished Alumna Arshiya Shareef

Nouran Abdellatif, Student and Enrolment Services

Arshiya Shareef is an epidemiology researcher with Alberta Health Services. She graduated from UCalgary with a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences with distinction in 2018. She co-authored a research paper on exposure of Canadians to cancerous drugs at work, which led to three provinces initiating changes to occupational safety.

Shareef is passionate about community and helping other women. She started an initiative to empower young women by promoting body positivity as an act of self care, and has tutored seven girls in India for English language proficiency tests. Locally, Shareef has done a lot of work to support Syrian refugees and is a blood drive organizer for the Muslim Association of Canada’s Calgary chapter.

Shareef is planning to pursue medical school.