University of Calgary

Academic Women’s Association

UToday HomeJanuary 9, 2012

By Carly Moran

Adrienne Kertzer, advisor to the president on women’s issues, sees the renewal of the AWA as integral to creating a supportive environment for academic women on campus. Photo by Riley BrandtAdrienne Kertzer, advisor to the president on women’s issues, sees the renewal of the AWA as integral to creating a supportive environment for academic women on campus. Photo by Riley BrandtThe University of Calgary’s Academic Women’s Association (AWA) is in the early stages of revitalization, and is asking all academic women—including graduate students—to get involved in the process.

“Many academic women who completed a survey I sent them last spring regretted the absence of the AWA and stressed the many ways such an association could be of value,” says Adrienne Kertzer, advisor to the president on women’s issues. “The renewal of the AWA on campus will help shed light on issues facing academic women, and will work to remove barriers affecting their career advancement and promotion.”

The mandate of the AWA is to support academic women through advocacy and raising awareness of women’s issues in collaboration with other women-centered organizations on campus. They seek to advance career development from earliest stages to post-career.

A new Terms of Reference has been established to help guide the group’s membership and executive committee.

“The AWA is being revived on the foundation that academic women have unique concerns and accomplishments,” says Kertzer. “Its revival also signals the university's strong support for addressing women’s issues and facilitating structures that will help move us forward. It will be up to the AWA to deliver on the work needing to be done.”

The group is calling for nominations for the AWA executive committee. The elected executive will focus on defining the work that will be required to support and celebrate women on campus. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 16.

“Whether you’re a graduate student or an emeritus coming off decades of service, our work as academics fills so many corners of our lives,” says Kertzer. “It’s up to us to share our wisdom, passion and experiences with one another in an effort to highlight the remarkable impact academic women have—both on campus and in the community.”

The Academic Women’s Association will officially launch on Tuesday, Mar. 13 with a free luncheon for all members. Special guests will include President Elizabeth Cannon and Provost Dru Marshall.