February 28, 2020
In 2020, two UBC Applied Science researchers have been nominated for the prestigious YWCA Women of Distinction Awards: Karen Cheung (Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering) under the category of Research, the Sciences and Technology, and Leonie Sandercock (Professor, School of Community and Regional Planning) for Education, Training and Development.
Recognized nationally, the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honour extraordinary women leaders, while highlighting YWCA programs and services that improve the lives of thousands of people each year across Metro Vancouver.
Karen Cheung’s research areas are in Biomedical Technologies and Emerging Micro/Nano Technologies, and include lab-on-a-chip systems for cell culture and characterization, inkjet printing for tissue engineering, and implantable neural interfaces. She is a member of both the BioMEMS and Microsystems and Nanotechnology research groups.
Leonie Sandercock’ main research interest is in working with First Nations, through collaborative community planning; using the medium of film as a catalyst for dialogue on the possibilities of healing, reconciliation and partnership. Sandercock’s 2018 film, SGaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife) received multiple accolades including: the Sun Jury Prize, and the Vancouver International Film Festival awards for Best Canadian Film, Best BC Film and Most Popular Canadian Feature. Through the use of multimedia, Sandercock explores the importance of stories and storytelling in planning theory and practice.
In addition to the award category in which they were nominated, nominees are eligible to win the Connecting the Community Award, which helps raise awareness for YWCA programs as well as vital funds for women and children across Metro Vancouver. Each nominee champions a YWCA cause for a chance to donate $10,000 — courtesy of Scotiabank — to that program.
Cheung’s chosen program is Early Learning and Care. "As a biomedical engineering professor, I see firsthand how eager our students are to gain the skills they will use to transform lives in emerging areas of medicine. I choose to support early learning because childhood science and engineering education is essential to give young children the fun, engaging activities that empower them to see themselves as problem solvers," she says.
Sandercock’s program to support is Healthy Choices for Youth. They aid in stopping the epidemic of Indigenous youth suicides, which in Canada, occur at a rate three times higher than in non-Indigenous populations.
Leading up to the YWCA Metro Vancouver Women of Distinction Awards we ask you to support our nominees in their campaigns for the Connecting the Community Award. Voters can vote once per day from March 4 to April 24, 2020, so please help us support these incredible women and their achievements by bookmarking the page and casting your daily vote!
Follow our campaigns using the hashtag #VoteYWCAWOD and like and reshare to show your support!
Previous nominees from UBC Applied Science include Sheryl Staub-French (2019) and Sally Thorne (2015).