From left to right: June Francis, Stephanie Simmons and Tammara Soma. Photos courtesy of YWCA Metro Vancouver.

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Three SFU leaders nominated as YWCA Women of Distinction

March 19, 2021
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By Hyva Saraie

Every year, YWCA Metro Vancouver hosts the Women of Distinction Awards, celebrating women and organizations that are making a difference in Metro Vancouver through their research or initiatives. Three of this year’s nominees are current SFU faculty members.

The 38th YWCA Women of Distinction Awards gala will be held virtually on June 7, 2021.

June Francis has been nominated in the category of Education, Training & Development. She is the director for the Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement (IDRE), a co-founder of the CoLaboratorio Project and an associate professor at Beedie School of Business. Her research has identified the lack of racial diversity on Lower Mainland Governance Boards, convened public and private organizations to strategize solutions and spearheaded recognition for historically undervalued racial/cultural communities.

Stephanie Simmons has been nominated in the category of Research, the Sciences & Technology. She is the founder and chief quantum officer of Photonic Inc., a Tier 2 Canada research chair in Quantum Nanoelectronics, an assistant professor of Physics and CIFAR research fellow at SFU. Her work garnered notable recognition and two Physics World Top 10 Breakthrough of the Year awards.

Tammara Soma has been nominated in the category of Environmental Sustainability. She is the co-founder and research director of the Food Systems Lab and an assistant professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management at SFU. Her expertise has resulted in work with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, the National Academies of Science and the United Nations.

As well, congratulations to SFU alumni Stephanie Allen, Armin Amrolia, Jo-Ann Archibald, Vivian Chan, Vanessa Lebourdais, Melody Lim, Natasha Mhuriro, Annett Rozek, Jane Jae Kyung Shin and Denise Williams and SFU student Rochelle Prasad who are also part of this year’s exceptional list of nominees.

Congratulations to everyone on being nominated for this outstanding achievement.