Several women with University of Guelph connections will be honoured in this year’s YMCA-YWCA of Guelph annual Women of Distinction celebration. Of the 20 women being recognized this year, half are U of G faculty, staff or alumna.

Women of Distinction celebrates women who are role models, pioneers and exceptional achievers in Guelph and Wellington County. This year’s U of G honourees are as follows:

Prof. Manjusri Misra, School of Engineering and Department of Plant Agriculture, in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) category. A global expert in the study and development of biofibres and biocomposites, she is a leading researcher in green nanotechnology.

Dr. Dorothy Bakker, lifetime achievement in health, wellness and fitness category, is a long-standing work student health physician at U of G and health advocate. She has a chemistry degree and an MA Leadership degree from U of G.

Jill Gill, community champion category, a dynamic volunteer and a retired instructor of costume design in U of G’s School of English and Theatre Studies.

Indu Arora, community champion category, bachelor of commerce degree from U of G.

Brenda Whiteside, commitment to education, training and mentorship. A 35-year veteran of the University, she served as associate vice-president (student affairs) for 18 years and is interim assistant vice-president (diversity and human rights). She earned a BA and an MA in economics at U of G.

Anita Luu, for work in STEM as a U of G PhD candidate in the emerging field of mechanobiology and the microenvironment of osteosarcoma tumours.

Prof. Beth Parker, School of Engineering and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Hydrogeology, is also a STEM honouree. She is an internationally renowned groundwater expert.

Prof. Jess Haines, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, in the STEM category. She studies prevention of weight-related disorders in children and adolescents.

Sara Sayyed studied environmental science at U of G and volunteers for the Muslim Society of Guelph, helping foster awareness of Islam and reduce Islamophobia.

U of G graduate Raechelle Devereaux, community champion category, is executive director of the Guelph Community Health Centre.

The 2019 Women of Distinction fundraising event takes place Thursday, May 2 at the River Run Centre.