Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 16, 2003

U of G faculty, staff among Women of Distinction recipients

Four members of the University of Guelph a vice-president, dean, professor emerita and research technician have been named recipients of the 2003 Women of Distinction Awards by the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph. The eighth annual event was held May 15 at the River Run Centre.

Fifty-eight women were nominated for their achievements in seven categories: arts and culture; business, labour, the professions and entrepreneurs; education, training and development; lifetime achievement; voluntary community humanitarian service; wellness, health and active living; and young woman of distinction.

Parvathi Basrur, a retired U of G professor of veterinary medical genetics received the lifetime achievement award. She became the first female professor in a Canadian veterinary college when she joined the Ontario Veterinary College faculty in 1959. Basrur's dedication to research, teaching and volunteerism has been an inspiration to her students and colleagues for more than four decades. She has supervised and mentored 45 graduate students throughout her career and has participated in more than 15 international projects.

Nancy Sullivan, vice-president (finance and administration), is the recipient of business, labour, the professions and entrepreneurs. In addition to supervising financial and administrative affairs at U of G, Sullivan has chaired committees for the Rotary Club, the Board of Trustees for the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre and the university's United Way campaign. To encourage women to enter careers in the trades, Sullivan introduced an apprenticeship program for women working in the university's hospitality operations.

The education, training and development award was presented to Isobel Heathcote, dean of graduate studies. A professor of engineering and environmental studies, Heathcote provides leadership as an educator, mentor and administrator. A graduate of the University of Toronto and Yale University, she joined U of G in 1991. She oversees the university's 26 doctoral and 49 master's programs, provides accreditation information on those programs to the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies and administers about $1.5 million a year in University graduate scholarships and research scholarships.

Tannis Slimmon, a U of G plant agriculture research technician, is the arts and culture recipient. Slimmon's musical talents have touched the community since she arrived in Guelph in 1980. She has performed with the Reverbs, Big Smoke, Crows Feet, Benji, the U of G choir, Choral Stimulator and the Crying Out Loud Choir. She released three albums and toured North America for 11 years with the Bird Sisters, a three-women a cappella group.

First launched in 1977 by the YWCA of Winnipeg, Women of Distinction Awards are now celebrated by YWCAs and YMCA-YWCAs in communities across Canada. The event celebrates the unique and outstanding contributions that women make to the advancement of women and to improving the quality of life in the community.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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