Faculty honoured at YWCA 2015 Women of Distinction Awards

Posted: April 28, 2015 3:30 p.m.

Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew, Director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre (IPHRC) VIDEO: Courtesy of CTV Regina

Dr. Jo-Ann Episkenew, Director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre (IPHRC), received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award at the YWCA Regina Women of Distinction Awards.

The YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually based on four criteria: the recipient must be a woman of influence, a woman of exceptional accomplishment, a woman of exemplary character, and a woman of endurance.

Dr. Fatima Pirbhai-Illich, a Professor with the Faculty of Education, was named Woman of Distinction award winner for education and mentorship.

She was recognized for her international expertise in literacy development, her collaborations with educators at alternative schools and the school division to help students develop their literacy abilities.

“I was honoured to be nominated for this award and am very proud to have my work recognized with the other award recipients,” says Dr. Pirbhai-Illich.

Although Dr. Episkenew was unable to attend the ceremony she provided videotaped remarks.

In 1988, as a mature student and single mother of four, Dr. Episkenew began university studies, completing a B.A. in 1991, an Honours Certificate in 1992, and a Master’s degree in 1994, all from the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College. In 2006, she was awarded a PhD magna cum laude from the Institute for English and American Studies at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University in Greifswald, Germany, the first Indigenous Canadian to receive a PhD from a German university.

Dr. Episkenew has had a distinguished career as a professor, academic administrator, and author.  In addition to being the Director of IPHRC, she is an Associate Faculty at Kinesiology and Health Studies and the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and an Adjunct Professor, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan.  She is currently on leave from her position as Professor of English at the First Nations University of Canada.

She is also a member of the Boards of Directors of the Aboriginal Health Research Network, the Lung Association of Saskatchewan and the Lung Health Institute of Canada, and the Indigenous Literary Studies Association and a member of the Regina Riel Métis Council.

Drs. Episkenew and Pirbhai-Illich exemplify the University’s new strategic plan’s commitment to our communities priority area.

For more information on the YWCA Women of Distinction visit:  http://www.ywcaregina.com/Information/News.html