Four UBC members were honoured with the 2014 YWCA Women of Distinction awards in recognition of their inspiring achievements.
Law professor Janis Sarra received the Education, Training and Development Award. As director of the Peter Wall Institute at UBC, she created new programs of research and education and connected early-career female scholars to world-leading researchers. As founding director of the UBC National Centre for Business Law, she helped educate and place women in business and finance, developing innovative new courses to ensure all law students, particularly women, are well prepared to assume leadership roles.
Clinical professor emeritus Victoria Bernstein received the Health and Wellness Award. In her 40 year career, Bernstein has become an authority in cardiology and medical innovation after establishing an internationally-recognized Centre of Excellence at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). In the early 1980s she was an early adopter of using beta blockers in heart failure. Bernstein joined VGH in 1974 and was the only female cardiologist there for more than three decades.
School of Population and Public Health assistant professor Jennifer Gardy received the Technology, Science and Research Award. Gardy’s research work has revolutionized how infectious disease is approached and established the field of infectious disease genomic epidemiology. Gardy has also produced and hosted science shows including the Nature of Things and the Daily Planet and has been called “the new Suzuki” by the Globe and Mail.
Third year medical student Isabel Chen received the Young Woman of Distinction Award. In 2011, Chen founded the Keep Safe Initiative, a grassroots organization that develops GPS-based panic alarms for sex-trade workers in the Downtown Eastside. She is also co-founder of the Reading Bear project, an innovative community outreach program to improve health and literacy outcomes of inner-city children.
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