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Distinguished Women Scholars Awards

The Distinguished Women Scholars (DWS) Awards and Lecture Series were established by the Vice-President Academic and Provost to highlight and honour outstanding research and creative achievements by female-identifying scholars. The purpose of these awards is to celebrate, recognize and share the impact of outstanding research and creative achievements by women at any stage of their careers.

DWS award winners participate in a public event organized by the nominating unit (such as a lecture or panel discussion) to showcase and share the impact with our broader community.

The lecture series hosts visiting/guest recipients to create an opportunity for our community to be inspired and impacted by the accomplishments of DWS. The series celebrates outstanding and high calibre accomplishments at any career stage (the level of accomplishment commensurate with career stage). It also aims to provide opportunities to engage with and inspire students and collaborators through class participation and group events. 

Lectures are free and open to the public. Please contact academicqac@uvic.ca for more information.

Call for nominations

Gretta Pecl by the ocean

Nominate a DWS

The nomination period for 2024/25 is now open!

How to nominate

Up to four nominations will be selected to receive funding based on scholarly excellence. Nomination submissions must include:

  1. A complete curriculum vitae or record of professional achievement and impact for the proposed DWS.
  2. A short proposal (approximately 2 pages) that includes the following:
    • a) brief introduction to the proposed DWS that addresses excellence in scholarly, creative or artistic endeavours;
    • b) a statement of potential impact and relevance of the proposed DWS events; and
    • c) an outline of the nominee’s proposed events during the visit, which may include information about the proposed public lecture by the scholar and the scholar’s participation in the nominator’s own and other academic units during the visit, presentation as part of a course/seminar, studio tour, curated content, and the creative and intellectual process.
    • The committee welcomes innovative approaches that speak to the goals of the DWS series. Proposals may be collaborative and draw in multiple areas; consider ways to engage your alumni in the proposed events. Units are encouraged to consider nominating candidates that further UVic’s commitment to decolonization, reconciliation, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  3. The proposed DWS’s agreement to be nominated (please attach an email confirming this agreement).
  4. Contact information for the primary host and support staff; the host unit is responsible for all scheduling and logistics (the Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost will provide a template for posters or other advertising to promote DWS events).
  5. An estimated budget and proposed honorarium (nominees will receive an honorarium). Budget would normally include travel, accommodation, meals, advertising for the public talk, and an honorarium. Nominators should not commit to an honorarium amount until final approval of nomination. Please consult with the Deputy Provost on the honorarium in advance of offering an honorarium amount to a prospective DWS.
  6. The Dean’s and/or Chair’s commitment to provide funding to cover expenses if the total approved budget is exceeded.
  7. Other criteria that may be considered include: support by multiple constituencies or academic units; sponsorship by an academic unit that has not hosted a speaker in the series recently, and sponsorship by a unit in which there is an under-representation of women.

Please send the above information to the Provost’s Office (academicqac@uvic.ca) via the Department Chair and the Dean.

Scope of activities

  • Selected scholars will give one public lecture suitable to the university and the wider community, as well as lectures/seminars and meeting with students within academic unit(s) on campus.
  • Visits are usually two to five days in length, i.e., if there are budget constraints, it is reasonable to limit the number of days.
  • The nominating faculty member/academic unit(s) is (are) responsible for arranging the details for the speaker's visit and are expected to act as host(s).
  • The nominating faculty member/academic unit(s) must inform the Provost’s office of the dates of lecture(s) and provide the posters(s)/announcement(s) to the Provost.
  • All poster(s)/announcement(s) must indicate that the lecture is sponsored by the Provost’s Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture Committee.

The nominator(s) must submit a report of the scholar’s visit to the VPAC Office within 30 days after the DWS’s visit, to be used an annual report. The report and proof of budget spending should be submitted together to ensure budget transfer from VPAC to the department.

Committee membership

  • Helga Hallgrimsdottir (Chair) - Deputy Provost
  • Dale Ganley - Peter B. Gustavson School of Business
  • Vacant - Faculty of Education
  • Rustom Bhiladvala - Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Merrie Klazek - Music, Faculty of Fine Arts
  • Sarah Wright Cardinal - Child and Youth Care, Faculty of Human and Social Development
  • Lisa Kahaleole Hall - Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Humanities
  • Sara Ramshaw - Faculty of Law
  • Laura Cowen - Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science
  • Kara Shaw - Environmental Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences

Latest Distinguished Women Scholars

  • Dr. Constance McDermott (2023/24) - Host: Department of Geography
  • Dr. Anne Drymond (2023/24) - Host: Department of Art History and Visual Studies
  • Dr. Brianna Turner (2023/24) - Host: Department of Psychology
  • Dr. Shalene Jobin (2023/24) - Host: School of Indigenous Governance
  • Dr. Emma Ladouceur (2023/24) - Host: School of Environmental Studies
  • Dr. Katherine Dixon-Gordon (2023/24) - Host: Department of Psychology
  • Dr. Maydianne Andrade (2023/24) - Host: Department of Biology

Past Distinguished Women Scholars

  • Dr. Grace Iarocci (2022) - Host: Department of Psychology
  • Dr. Emily Huddart Kennedy (2022) - Host: Department of Sociology
  • Dr. Greta Pecl (2021) - Host: Department of Biology (virtual)
  • Dr. Lisa Sauermann (2021) - Host: Department of Mathematics & Statistics (virtual)
  • Dr. Joy Connolly (2021) - Host: Department of Greek & Roman Studies (virtual)
  • Dr. Cecilia Bitz (2021, postponed from 2020) - Host: School of Earth & Ocean Sciences (virtual)
  • Dr. Caroline Coljin (2019) - Host: Department of Mathematics & Statistics
  • Dr. Victoria Ann Bungay (2019) - Host: Department of Sociology
  • Dr. Mikiko Hirayama (2019) - Host: Department of Art History & Visual Studies
  • Dr. Ingela Nystrom (2019) - Host: Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Pamela Sugiman (2018) - Host: Department of History
  • Dr. Virginia Marshall (2018) - Host: Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Sabrina Doyon (2017) - Host: Department of Anthropology
  • Dr. Sherry Farrell Racette (2016) - Host: Department of Art History & Visual Arts
  • Dr. Anne Wizorek (2016) - Host: Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies
  • Dr. Julie Klein (2016) - Host: Interdisciplinary Academic Programs
  • Dr. Kate Brown (2015) - Host: Department of History
  • Dr. Camille Norment (2015) - Host: Department of Visual Arts
  • Dr. Ruth Gates (2014) - Host: Department of Biology
  • Dr. Ruth Slack (2014) - Host: Division of Medical Sciences
  • Dr. Alice Shapley (2014) - Host: Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Dr. Madeline Kētēskwew Dion Stout (2014) - Host: School of Nursing
  • Dr. Sali A. Tagliamonte (2013) - Host: Department of Linguistics
  • Dr. Abbie Conant (2013) - Host: School of Music, Department of Women’s Studies, Department of Theatre
  • Ms. Jessica Yee/Jessica Danforth (2013) - Host: Department of Political Science
  • Dr. Deidre McLoskey (2013) - Host: Faculty of Business
  • Dr. Dorothy Smith (2012) - Host: Department of Sociology
  • Dr. Paula Fass (2012) - Host: Department of History
  • Dr. Yoko Tawada (2011) - Host: Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies
  • Dr. Maureen Dennis (2011) - Department of Psychology
  • Dr. Sylvia Earle (2011) - Host: Department of Biology
  • Dr. Isobel Armstrong (2010) - Host: Department of English
  • Dr. Belita Koiller (2010) - Host: Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Dr. Tundi Agardy (2009) - Host: Department of Geography
  • Dr. Velvet Brown (2009) - Host: School of Music
  • Dr. Susan Clarke (2009) - Host: European Studies Program, School of Public Administration
  • Dr. Alison Okamura (2009) - Host: Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Lynne Howell (2008) - Host: Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology
  • Dr. Elizabeth Stone (2008) - Host: Department of Anthropology
  • Dr. Betty Davies (2008) - Host: School of Nursing
  • Dr. Marjorie Senechal (2008) - Host: Department of Philosophy
  • Dr. Lynne Viola (2007) - Host: Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies
  • Dr. Kathleen Coleman (2007) - Host: Department of Greek & Roman Studies
  • Dr. Ratna Kapur (2007) - Host: Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Elaine Chew (2007) - Host: Department of Computer Science
  • Dr. Henrietta Mann (2006) - Host: Indigenous Governance Program
  • Dr. Nancy Folbre (2006) - Host: Department of Economics
  • Dr. Sandra Faber (2006) - Host: Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Dr. Ann Streissguth (2006)
  • Dr. Julie Cruikshank (2005) - Host: Department of History
  • Dr. Lynne Talley (2004) - Host: School of Earth & Ocean Sciences
  • Dr. Mary Jane Mossman (2004) - Host: Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Carol Peterson (2004) - Host: Department of Biology
  • Dr. Margaret MacMillan (2004) - Host: Department of History
  • Prof. Rosemary Knight (2003) - Host: School of Earth & Ocean Sciences
  • Dianne Loomer (2003) - Host: Department of Curriculum & Instruction, School of Music
  • Dr. Helene Foley (2003) - Host: Department of Greek & Roman Studies
  • Dr. Susan Hagness (2002) - Host: Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Carla D. Savage (2002) - Host: Department of Computer Science
  • Dr. Susan Lees-Miller (2002) - Host: Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology
  • Dr. Karen Rice (2001) - Host: Department of Linguistics
  • Dr. Dorothy Severin (2001) - Host: Department of Hispanic & Italian Studies
  • Dr. Janet Rossant (2001) - Host: Department of Biology
  • Dr. Jenefer Robinson (2001) - Host: Department of Philosophy
  • Dr. Christina Mynhardt (2001) - Host: Department of Mathematics
  • Dr. Joyce Zemans (2000) - Host: Faculty of Graduate Studies, Department of History in Art
  • Dr. Elizabeth A. Wichmann-Walczak (2000) - Host: Department of Theatre, Department of History in Art, Department of Pacific & Asian Studies
  • Dr. Dale Spender (2000)
  • Ms. Beth Brant (2000) - Host: Department of Women's Studies, Department of Writing
  • Dr. Chua Siew Keng (1998) - Host: Department of Women's Studies
  • Ms. Margarethe von Trotta (1998) - Host: Department of Germanic Studies
  • Dr. Beryl Rawson (1998) - Host: Department of Greek & Roman Studies
  • Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover (1998) - Host: Department of Biology
  • Dr. Maria Klawe (1997) - Host: Department of Computer Science
  • Dr. Janett Salaff (1997) - Host: Department of Sociology
  • Dr. Gail Hershatter (1996) - Host: Department of History
  • Dr. Madhu Kishwar (1996) - Host: Department of Women's Studies
  • Dr. Judith Howard (1996) - Host: Department of Chemistry
  • Dr. Vandana Shiva (1996) - Host: Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Maria Mies (1996)