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Faculty and staff recognized for community involvement

November 18, 2015 — 
Annemieke Farenhorst

Annemieke Farenhorst

Fifteen faculty and staff of the University of Manitoba were recognized for their outstanding community involvement through Outreach Awards at a special reception on Wednesday, November 18, 2015. Annemieke Farenhorst and Vanessa Warne were recipients this year of the Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Campbell Award.

To mark the end of the term of Dr. Ralph Campbell as president of the U of M, his colleagues and friends established a trust fund to support the Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Campbell Award for meritorious service in outreach activities. The honour is given to University staff members who consistently spend countless hours of their own time in community service. This service typically combines professional and scholarly experience with their personal commitment to the people and community around them.

Annemieke Farenhorst, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, was recognized for her tireless efforts in encouraging and empowering women to enter careers in the sciences and engineering. Farenhorst’s workshops and conferences to educate and build support networks have reached hundreds of participants. She has also partnered with other universities and the Assembly of First Nations in the NSERC CREATE H20 program where First Nations science and engineering students will be at the forefront of tackling water services gaps in their communities.

Vanessa Warne

Vanessa Warne

Vanessa Warne, Faculty of Arts, was honoured for her outreach work related to her work as a scholar of Victorian culture and of disability studies. In 2013, Warne rescued and helped re-open Dalnavert Museum, a local Victorian-era home built in 1895, and a national heritage site. In 2015, her SSRC-funded research on the history of Victorian books designed to be read by touch by visually disabled readers led to workshops opening doors to the history of blindness to blind people, including leading activists in Canada’s visually-impaired community, who now follow her work and have helped shape her current research questions.

This year, recipients of Outreach Awards are:

James House, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, for his role as chair of the local organizing committee of the 2015 annual meeting of the Canadian Nutrition Society, held in Winnipeg in May 2015. House’s use of pre-and post-conference workshops and events helped to connect nutritionists, health professionals and industry with each other. His role as a connector has helped Canada’s egg industry identify new markets, has helped graduate students connect with industry and he is now connecting lipids researchers across Manitoba and North Dakota.

Janice Barry, Faculty of Architecture, for actively engaging with Indigenous communities on urgent issues identified by the communities themselves. Barry has garnered praise from First Nations partners and graduate students alike for the caliber of her work and degree of community involvement. Her outreach work has brought honour to the department of city planning.

Iryna Konstantiuk, Faculty of Arts, for her work with the Ukrainian community in Manitoba and beyond. Ms. Konstantiuk developed a teacher exchange program between Manitoba and Ukraine. She shares her expertise and resources in developing new teaching materials to keep the Ukrainian language in North America alive and advises Manitoba teachers of Ukrainian in numerous functions and workshops. Konstantiuk also creates co-curricular opportunities for students at and beyond the university, while bringing international experts of today’s Ukrainian society into community and into our university.

Neil Mcarthur, Faculty of Arts, for his role in organizing public lectures and panels, his facilitation of partnerships and collaborative developments between the U of M and other organizations. He is the co-organizer of the Fragile Freedom lecture series, which is broadcast on CBC Ideas. McArthur also actively presents his ideas through journalism; in 2014-2015 he wrote four articles for popular publications and was interviewed by numerous television outlets.

Fiona Moola, Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, for her work coordinating a volunteer counseling service for children and youth with cystic fibrosis at the Children’s Hospital. Grounded in psychological approaches, this service provides mentorship, support and ongoing outreach to children and families living with cystic fibrosis. In her volunteer role, Moola focuses on listening, counseling, educating about resources, meeting with patients and devising behavioural strategies. As well, in 2014, Moola was invited to join the Board of Directors of Manitobans for Human Rights.

Brenda Gunn, Faculty of Law, for making outstanding contributions to law and policy of significance to Indigenous communities in Manitoba, across Canada, and at the international level. Gunn has been particularly successful in connecting Indigenous law students and the research at Robson Hall with Indigenous communities, legal decision makers and policy-makers. She has been an advocate at the United Nations for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada, a board member of the Indigenous Bar Association, a member of the Federal Court Aboriginal Bar Liaison Committee, and is a member of the national Legal Strategy coalition on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women.

Deborah Mcphail, Faculty of Health Sciences, for her work extending the College of Medicine’s curriculum related to LGBTTQ health and healthcare, by developing a number of sessions for medical students and in her role as theme leader in gender and sexual health for the undergraduate medical education program. McPhail has formed the LGBTTQ advisory panel comprised of community experts. She has also increased access to the College for LGBTTQ people wishing to pursue a medical education; she has created safe spaces on campus for LGBTTQ-identified students, and worked with the LGBTTQ student group to create visibility and community on campus.

Mark Belmonte, Faculty of Science, for mentoring junior high and high school students in cutting edge research. The U of M has gained significant exposure as a result of Belmonte’s efforts in educating, training and mentoring some of Manitoba’s most promising students. Belmonte is devoted to promoting science education and research at outreach events, and has recruited teams of faculty and students for Evening of Excellence, Info Days and Science Rendez Vous.

Horace Luong, Faculty of Science, for sharing space in his laboratories with students from the community so that they can experience a university lab environment and inspire them to pursue science in university. In 2015, Luong has held four events in his laboratories for middle and high school students; such as learning and making soap and experiencing techniques of distillation and analyzing liquid samples with gas chromatography. He also works closely with the Let’s Talk Science student group and provides them with access to his laboratories to they can safely and efficiently prepare their materials for their experiments.

Leanne Leclair, Faculty of Health Sciences, for her extensive service to the profession of occupational therapy through participation on provincial and national committees related to the regulation, promotion and advancement of the profession. Locally, Leclair freely gives of her time to promote children’s health, community development and primary health care. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children, and she also participates in the St. Vital Parent Child Coalition of Healthy Child Manitoba and Altogether Better Health of the WRHA. Within the occupational therapy community, she is generous in the way in which she shares her knowledge and for her mentorship of others.

Denis Bracken, Faculty of Social Work, as an expert in the criminal justice field he reviewed domestic violence programs for offenders and provided advice to the provincial government on ways to reduce overcrowding in prisons. Bracken also draws on the talent, experience and resources within the community in his undergraduate course in the justice system; he asks students to present a brief in front of a three-person panel comprised of members from the justice community. The feedback from the panel is a way to incorporate cutting-edge thinking about current controversial topics from senior justice officials into the course.a

David Arenas Oropeza, Student Life, for his work with the World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program. Arenas Oropeza is on the Board of Directors of World University Service Canada, an international non-profit focused on connecting universities to international development issues and initiatives. In his capacity as a board member, Arenas Oropeza provides support and advice to WUSC students in Manitoba post-secondary institutions. He was also recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation and the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties.

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