U of G Members Named Women of Distinction

May 03, 2013 - Campus Bulletin

Five University of Guelph representatives received honours from the 18th annual Women of Distinction Awards Thursday night.

The awards were presented by the YMCA-YWCA to Guelph women who are inspirational leaders. U of G's Food Laureate, Anita Stewart, acted as the Honorary Chair of the event.

This year's recipients are Gayleen Gray, director of IT strategy and partnerships in Computing and Communication Services; Linda Hawkins, director of the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship (ICES); Lynda Slater, an education specialist in the Centre for Students with Disabilities; Shawna Smith, a U of G student and former director of Student Volunteer Connections; and Julie Yager, a professor emerita in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

They were among 39 women nominated for achievements in nine categories: arts and culture; business and entrepreneur; education and training; health, wellness and recreation; public sector; science and research; voluntary community services; information and technology; trades; young woman of distinction; and the Turning Point Award.

Gray, who is also the staff representative on U of G’s Board of Governors and University Senate, received the information and technology award for helping developing information technology policies and solutions. She volunteers for Action Read and the Guelph Humane Society.

Hawkins received the science, technology and research award for co-founding and directing ICES, and for serving as executive director of U of G’s Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being. She has served with World Vision International and Rural Women Making Change.

Yager was recognized for lifetime achievement in science, technology and research. As one of only seven women in her graduating class, she has been a role model and inspiration to women entering veterinary medicine. She was a professor in OVC’s Department of Pathobiology for more than 25 years. Her world-renowned research in veterinary pathology has been published in more than 100 books and research publications.

The voluntary community services award went to Slater for her work with adults and students with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, anxiety and depression. As a volunteer and leader with Habitat for Humanity, she chairs the women’s building committee, which raises money for housing.

Smith received the young woman of distinction award for outstanding scholastic achievements, leadership and community involvement. At U of G, she served as director of Student Volunteer Connections, organized the Do So Much Weekend conference, served on the U of G committee of World University Service of Canada, and organized a student challenge to raise money for refugees.

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