Inaugurated in 2012, the Equity & Inclusivity Award recognizes a member or affiliate of the University community whose actions have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to improving equity, inclusivity, and/or diversity at the University.
SWEC Equity Fellows (past recipients)
2017: The Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre
The Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre (WAEC), founded in 2003, facilitates the sharing of Indigenous knowledges and provides culturally relevant information and support services for all members of the Waterloo community, including Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, staff, and faculty. Their work is premised on understanding, respect, and trust, as well as a recognition of, and sensitivity to, the different cultural values and rights of Aboriginal peoples.
WAEC exemplifies community strength, and with tremendous success has established decolonized spaces that celebrate and share Indigenous knowledges. Developing networks across our campus and broader communities, the centre brings people together for support and education, and to work toward respect and reconciliation.
2016: FemPhys, co-founders Emma McKay, Jennifer Reid and Sarah Kaiser
FemPhys is an organization that provides mentoring, education and awareness-raising initiatives, improving the environment for undergraduate and graduate students in physics and the STEM community at the University of Waterloo. By founding the organization FemPhys, these women have raised awareness and education around key issues of inclusivity through their lecture series and discussion groups.
FemPhys creates a welcoming and supportive environment for female students in STEM through mentoring, ongoing peer support at weekly Tea & Talk sessions, and other events.
2014/15: Jeremy Steffler, faculty relations manager, Co-operative Education and Career Action
Jeremy has demonstrated tremendous and sustained leadership and dedication, both at the University of Waterloo and in the broader Kitchener-Waterloo community, towards addressing injustice and championing equity and diversity, particularly for LGBTQ people.
His work with the Waterloo Region Rainbow Coalition and with the LGBTQ Advisory Committee here on campus stand out as examples of effective and strategic leadership in support of people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
2013: Women in Engineering
The Women in Engineering Committee (WiE) has shown tremendous leadership and dedication, both internally and externally, towards addressing equity issues facing women at all levels in engineering, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. They are committed to their objectives to give women of all ages the opportunity to choose engineering as a career, to increase the number of women students in engineering at Waterloo, and to build an inclusive atmosphere within Waterloo Engineering.
WiE has also been instrumental in the development of outreach programs such as GoEngGirl, Badge Day, the CATALYST women’s conference and Women in Engineering applicant events towards meeting these goals.
2012: David DeVidi, professor, Department of Philosophy
During his tenure at the University of Waterloo, David has improved the lives of women and other members of equity-seeking groups on campus through his work in policy development; political and collective bargaining advancements; and organizational leadership, including many years of service to the Faculty Association. He has also served as a quiet champion for many faculty members in need, which has had a huge impact on the lives of these individuals despite being largely invisible work.
- Nominees will normally be an individual, group, or unit associated with the University of Waterloo (Waterloo) or the Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo (AFIW). It may occasionally be appropriate to consider nominees who, although not formally affiliated, have nonetheless made a demonstrable impact at the University.
- Nominees will have shown an exemplary commitment to improving the lives of women and/or other members of equity-seeking groups on campus. The impact of their efforts or actions should be demonstrable and shareable. These efforts or actions could be in, but are not restricted to, the following areas: outstanding academic or administrative service; policy development or improvements; education or awareness-raising efforts; political, legal, or collective bargaining advancements; relevant scholarship; and organizational leadership.
- Current members of the Status of Women & Equity Committee (SWEC) will not be considered.
- The award will normally only be awarded once to an individual, group, or unit.
- The award will normally be awarded on an annual basis (one award per year).
- The nominations will be adjudicated by a subcommittee of SWEC struck for that purpose.
- Nominations, once received, will be retained and may be supplemented in future years.
- Nomination packages may include the following: a cover letter by the nominator, a CV or resume, additional letters of support, and any other evidence deemed relevant by the nominator(s). The committee will not undertake to gather missing or additional material in support of nominations. The onus is on the nominator(s) to submit a complete package.
- The award will be announced in the Daily Bulletin and at Senate.
- Awardees will receive a gift, to be selected by the award committee.
- Recipients will be given the lifetime title of SWEC Equity Fellow, in recognition of their ongoing commitment to equity and inclusivity.