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International Women’s Day at the University of Guelph-Humber Celebrated the Inaugural GH Women of Distinction Recipients

A group of outstanding women standing together for a photo

Left to right: Alyson Green, Dr. Leslie Auger, Tenisha Noel, Dr. Mary Anne Chambers, Dr. Melanie Spence-Ariemma, Jasmine Bates, Maya Marcus, Aalima Chandiwala, Megan Roopnarine, Dr. Laura MacDiarmid

The University of Guelph-Humber community gathered on March 8th to celebrate International Women’s Day, and to unveil the first-ever recipients of the GH Women of Distinction recognitions, designed to recognize the impactful work that students, employees, and alumni make in the university community and beyond. 

In attendance were Dr. Melanie Spence-Ariemma, Vice-Provost and Chief Academic Officer, University of Guelph-Humber and Dr. Mary Anne Chambers, Chancellor, University of Guelph who both offered opening remarks. Others included Kelly Jackson, Vice President, External Affairs and Professional Learning, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, staff, students, and family members of the recipients. 

In January, the GH community was asked to nominate inspiring women at Guelph-Humber who lead by example and make a positive difference on campus and in their communities.

More than 30 women were nominated, and a steering committee comprised of employees and students determined the seven 2024 recipients.

An individual standing at a podium addressing the audience with a TV on their right the reads, "GH Women of Distinction"

In her opening remarks, Dr. Chambers described reading about the recipients of the inaugural GH Women of Distinction recognitions stating, “Their profiles tell me what this community cares about.” 

Guelph-Humber's Women of Distinction helped their peers, worked to highlight BIPOC organizations, went above and beyond to ensure Guelph-Humber's students excelled and made Guelph-Humber a better place to be for students and staff alike.  

Attendees of the event also enjoyed an engaging panel discussion including Dr. Spence-Ariemma and two GH Women of Distinction recipients, academic advisor, Alyson Green, and fourth-year Justice Studies student, Tenesha Noel.  

The discussion was moderated by fourth-year Media and Communication Studies student, Jasmine Bates.

Three individuals sitting on couches as panelists while one is standing at a podium

While the panelists all took different paths to arrive at Guelph-Humber, they offered the audience authentic stories about their work and academic experiences. Dr. Spence-Ariemma offered advice that entailed trusting yourself and ensuring that you surround yourself with people who will tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear.  

Both Dr. Spence-Ariemma and Green talked about being a strong woman but also being kind at the same time. For Noel, a key piece of advice she offered was to make sure that you pursue your goals no matter what perceived barriers might be placed in front of you.

Congratulations to all of our 2024 GH Women of Distinction recipients: 

  • Dr. Leslie Auger, Program Head, Kinesiology 
  • Aalima Chandiwala, fourth-year Business student 
  • Alyson Green, Academic Advisor, Early Childhood Studies 
  • Dr. Laura MacDiarmid, Assistant Professor, Justice Studies 
  • Tenisha Noel, fourth-year Justice Studies student
  • Maya Marcus and Megan Roopnarine, Media and Communication Studies alumni 2021 

Follow our Instagram account @guelphhumberuni as we unveil portraits of our GH Women of Distinction throughout the month of March.