Nicole Mfoafo-M'Carthy

Excellence in Leadership 2020

Sheila O'Brien Award recipient


Nicole Mfoafo-M'Carthy is a fourth-year health and society student at Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) with a concentration in anthropology. Throughout her time at UCalgary, Mfoafo-M'Carthy has been working on a thesis on gender at work and the factors and practices that impact employees’ experiences with mental health in masculinized workplaces compared to feminized ones. She also assesses current mental health policies in order to suggest gender-responsive policies that account for intersectionality and diversity in the workplace. Mfoafo-M'Carthy is part of this year’s Scholars Academy cohort as well.

Alongside her academic pursuits, Mfoafo-M'Carthy’s contribution to and presence at the Women’s Resource Centre have made an immense impact on both visitors and fellow volunteers since she joined in fall 2017. She started off as part of the WRC’s volunteer engagement and development team and is now in a leadership role for the events and education team.

Mfoafo-M'Carthy created meaningful volunteer experiences and invaluable learning notably by hosting Critical Lens, where attendees watch an episode from a popular TV show and discuss different themes and issues, as well as coordinating the screening of the documentary, Black Hair. She was able to create a safe space for individuals to be vulnerable about their experiences as well as room for allies to learn about their role in supporting others. It was important for Mfoafo-M'Carthy to celebrate her blackness openly and honestly and is grateful for places like the WRC that allow her to do so.

Volunteering at the WRC has allowed Mfoafo-M'Carthy to fully express and be her authentic self while fostering a passion for serving others and becoming a lifelong learner. Her time at the WRC has allowed her to become comfortable with being corrected and hearing other’s perspectives. She credits her experience at the WRC and the people she has met there for a lot of her personal and professional growth.

Mfoafo-M'Carthy was selected by her WRC volunteer peers to be recognized for her commitment to fostering an inclusive, compassionate and supportive atmosphere that allows everyone to thrive.