Cari Gulbrandsen

WRC Distinguished Graduate Student Award Recipient 2016

WRC Award Recipients


Cari discovered her love for social work practice and research in 2009, when she took a participatory action research course in the Faculty of Social Work. She was thrilled to be accepted to the PhD program in 2011. Cari’s dissertation research focuses on older women’s resilience. Publishing feminist scholarship was a “dream come true” moment in her academic experience. Cari published her first feminist article, one that she co-authored with her supervisor, Dr. Christine Walsh, in 2012, and she has continued to contribute to feminist literature. Cari’s academic, work and community experiences have deepened her appreciation of mentorship.  Cari feels fortunate to have met many “womentors” who have modelled wisdom, compassion and resilience. She plans to continue this tradition by supporting other women in the future. 

Cari has gradually discovered and learned to value her leadership style, which she expresses in actions that aren’t traditionally associated with leadership. She values listening, non-hierarchical activism and creating spaces and opportunities for women to share their voices. Valuing and supporting women’s diverse leadership styles is very important to Cari. She has embraced teaching opportunities and contributed to research teams focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning in social work education. She strives to develop her own teaching effectiveness and she hopes to continue facilitating collegial opportunities for professional teaching development. 

Cari served as the vice president academic of the Graduate Students’ Association from 2014 to 2015. She also serves as a board member for the Women’s Centre of Calgary and fulfills varied community volunteer roles. Cari enjoys her part-time community educator at Carya, a human services organization in Calgary.  Cari is very grateful for the support of her family, friends and nominators. She notes that one of her greatest joys in life has been the ultimate feminist adventure, raising her son, Brendan.