Angela Mackey, Calgary Journal
March 8, 2021
Three inspiring women receive 2021 Women's Resource Centre awards
The Women's Resource Centre (WRC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the WRC Awards of Excellence for 2021.
These annual awards showcase and celebrate the outstanding success of University of Calgary community members. Each year, women are recognized for their wisdom, resiliency, and compassion in the face of adversity. Award recipients exemplify outstanding leadership in their personal and professional lives and strive to make their communities a better place for all. This year, the awards are being announced on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2021.
Here are our three amazing 2021 winners:
WRC Distinguished Alumna
Creator and curator of Sue's Stokvel Book Club, Sue-Shane Tsomondo is an equity-seeking and community-building trailblazer dedicated to uplifting the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) writers.
Tsomondo moved from Zimbabwe to Canada in 2014 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in international relations with a minor in English at the University of Calgary. As a research assistant in the Faculty of Social Work, Tsomondo examined the quality and quantity of services provided to refugees and immigrants in Western Canada. In her second year, as a community adviser in residence, she helped new students transition to university. Tsomondo later volunteed with the Women's Resource Centre, bringing a valuable intersectional lens and practice to the WRC.
After graduating, Tsomondo joined Student Wellness Services as a peer and intercultural wellness assistant — leading supportive social gatherings for students who encounter barriers to accessing mental health resources on campus. In this role, Tsomondo also served as the Wellness Centre representative for the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Week (formerly Diversity Days) committee.
In the midst of making her mark on UCalgary, Tsomondo dealt with the tragic death of her mother, mental illness and a layoff. Despite these challenges, she remained resolute in her commitment to the campus and surrounding community, developing Sue's Stokvel to shift the narrative and heal through storytelling.
Tsomondo is known for identifying gaps in resources and striving to implement solutions. As a poet focused on BIPOC representation and the intersections of politics, immigration, blackness and womanhood, Tsomondo continues to transform the local literary arts landscape — helping to build a community in which everyone can learn, share and grown together through literary experiences.
WRC Distinguished Graduate Student
Leda Stawnychko earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education from the University of Calgary and will be receiving a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership in June 2021.
She has received numerous awards and recognitions in connection to her career and studies including the International Research Collaboration Award from the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation and the National Student Award from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.
Stawnychko is regarded as an innovator, strategist and role model who is dedicated to the personal and professional advancement of those around her including UCalgary’s students, faculty and staff. She wears many hats as a student, teacher, administrator, social entrepreneur and professional mediator. Her energetic and passionate leadership has directly contributed to the fruition of numerous high-impact campus projects including the construction of new student spaces, the creation of student mentorship programs, and the design and launch of new stackable credentials for graduate students.
Also highly committed to her local community, Stawnychko volunteers regularly for the Community Mediation Calgary Society, the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, and the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council. Through these programs, she helps others, particularly women, to integrate successfully into professional roles while navigating conflict successfully.
WRC Distinguished Undergraduate Student
Jessica Revington is an accomplished student leader and community champion. She holds a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Calgary and is completing her second degree in Biological Sciences.
Revington has been a passionate advocate for students throughout her time at UCalgary, serving as Year One Nursing Council co-chair, Students’ Union (SU) Faculty of Nursing representative, SU vice-president academic and SU president. As vice-president, she expanded awareness of student research opportunities on campus, passed the SU’s advocacy strategy on open educational resources, and raised a record $31,000 for undergraduate research awards and scholarships. As president, she advocated tirelessly for students on many issues such as tuition increases, food insecurity, and access to technology and academic support. For her ongoing service, Revington was recognized as the recipient of the 2020 Alyson Woloshyn Legacy of Leadership Award.
Beyond her advocacy, Revington has volunteered for years at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, collecting patient data to improve quality of care and advance current practices around paediatric pain management. She also is deeply passionate about menstrual equity and eliminating period poverty; Revington is the founder of a startup social enterprise focused on reducing stigmas related to menstruation through education and increasing public access to free menstrual products. When Revington graduates in December, she intends to pursue her passion for research and advocacy in the area of women’s reproductive health.
Finally, being a biracial woman is a deep source of pride for Jessica. She credits her mother, a Cambodian refugee and a survivor of the Khmer Rouge, as her main influence — her mother’s character, drive and resilience inspire her daily.
Learn more about the WRC Awards and past recipients.