Three members of the University of Guelph community received honours from the 21st annual Women of Distinction Awards Thursday night.
The awards were presented by the YMCA-YWCA to Guelph women who inspire and empower others through their work and community contributions.
This year’s U of G recipients are Prof. Karen Landman, Prof. Robin Milhausen and student Julia Romagnoli.
In total, 56 women, including 12 from the U of G community, were nominated for achievements in 11 categories.
Landman, a professor in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, was honoured in the education and training category. A registered professional planner, she studies links between environmental design and planning, including urban agriculture, ecological sustainability for rural towns and green infrastructure.
“Get out there and do whatever you want to do,” said Landman, who cited her mother and late folk singer Janis Joplin as inspirations.
The science and research award went to Milhausen, a professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition. A well-known sexuality researcher and educator, she co-chairs the Guelph Sexuality Conference.
“It’s truly an honour to represent the other nominees in this category,” Milhausen said.
Referring to letters supporting her nomination, she said “they recognized that my hard work was making a difference.” Milhausen encouraged others to “find fire in your belly and push your intellectual curiosity.”
Romagnoli, a U of G President’s Scholar, was recognized as a young woman of distinction (aged 20-24) for bringing 4-H Club to the University, helping to run College Royal and serving as president of the Student Federation of the Ontario Agricultural College.
Originally from St. Catharines, Ont., Romagnoli thanked the greater Guelph community for making students feel at home during their years at U of G.
Julia Christensen Hughes, dean of the College of Business and Economics (CBE), served as honorary chair of this year’s awards. Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president (academic), presented the education and training award, sponsored by U of G.
Other U of G members were nominated as follows:
Education and training: CBE professor Melanie Lang, director of the Centre for Business and Student Enterprise.
Health, wellness and recreation: Andrea LaMarre, PhD student; Lynne Skilton-Hayes, fitness program supervisor, Department of Athletics.
Information technology: Heather Leong, senior analyst, Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).
Science and research: Profs. Alison Duncan, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences; Lucy Mutharia, Molecular and Cellular Biology; and Carolyn Kerr, chair of OVC’s Department of Clinical Studies.
Voluntary services: Irene Thompson, director of student housing; Farial Hashimi, undergraduate student.
Young women of distinction (aged 16 to 19): Adrianna Olszewski, student.