March 8, 2024

Meet the recipients of 2024 Women's Resource Centre Awards of Excellence

Fouzia Usman, Nabilah Gulamhusein and Carolyn Horwood recognized for their wisdom, resiliency and compassion
2024 WRC Award recipients
From left: Fouzia Usman, Nabilah Gulamhusein and Carolyn Horwood. Adrian Shellard, for the University of Calgary

In honour of International Women's Day, The Women's Resource Centre (WRC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the WRC Awards of Excellence for 2024.

These annual awards showcase and celebrate the outstanding success of University of Calgary community members. Award recipients exemplify outstanding leadership in their personal and professional lives and strive to make their communities a better place for all.

Fouzia Usman  
WRC Distinguished Alumna Award recipient

Dr. Fouzia Usman, PhD'19, works as an educational development consultant at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. She specializes in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), as well as accessibility, and anti-racism in higher education. Usman completed her Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Supervision at Loyola University Chicago in 2011, and her Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Studies at Southeast Missouri State University in 2004. She completed her doctorate in Educational Research (Leadership) at the University of Calgary in 2019.

As a Muslim woman of colour, Usman has experienced racism through the intersections of Islamophobia in North America, witnessing it escalate since September 2001. These lived experiences have informed her approach to advancing EDIA and anti-racism as she works toward centring marginalized voices and calls for advocacy and activism in her work. 

Usman demonstrates deep understandings of systems of oppression, critical theory, and critical pedagogy, which are evident in the work she does to advance EDIA and anti-racism in teaching and learning. With a career spanning K-16 across three countries, Usman’s approach to her role as an educational development consultant is based on her knowledge as an educator, as well as her experiences as a visible minority. Usman has always been drawn to issues of equity, social justice, and empowerment, and that is the foundation for the way she approaches her work

Usman has led the development of numerous research-informed initiatives in the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning (TI) to help educators across the University of Calgary further advance equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in their courses, academic programs and teaching practices. These initiatives include: the EDI Badge, the EDI Workshop Series, the Anti-racism, EDI and Positionality in Teaching and Learning open access online learning module, the EDIA Community of Practice, and the Anti-Racism in Teaching and Learning Badge. Hundreds of participants have engaged in these programs, and many have shared their reflections of transformative impact on their learning. 

She has also engaged in numerous consultations with groups about how to meaningfully, and systematically consider EDIA within the context of new courses and academic program development. Due to her expertise, she has also been invited by the provost and vice-provost (EDI) to serve on the UCalgary Presidential Taskforce for EDIA to co-lead a working group on teaching and learning.  

More broadly, Usman actively works to advocate for inclusivity and anti-oppression in the community and city of Calgary. She is currently serving as an active member on the Calgary Police Services Anti-racism Action committee, and has previously collaborated with The City of Calgary, providing support as they developed an Anti-Racism Strategic Plan. 

In these spaces Usman has actively amplified marginalized and racialized women, highlighting how their lived experiences need to be taken into strong consideration when devising these city-wide anti-racism plans. Usman is a trailblazer as she continuously works to make our campus, and the broader society, more inclusive and equitable specifically for marginalized groups including women. 

Nabilah Gulamhusein 
WRC Distinguished Graduate Student Award recipient 

Nabilah Gulamhusein, BSc'20, is a PhD student in the Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Her research program focuses on the association between female-specific events across the lifespan and blood pressure. Gulamhusein obtained her Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from the University of Calgary in 2020. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her academic achievements. Gulamhusein’s research and advocacy efforts aim to achieve health equity by advancing women’s cardiovascular health.  

Gulamhusein’s remarkable achievements speak to her drive and dedication as a scholar. Despite being relatively early in her graduate training, Gulamhusein has published a first-uthor invited editorial on parity, gravidity, and cardiovascular health (Can J Cardiol 2022) and has three first-author original articles in the field of women’s cardiovascular health that have been accepted for publication (J Amer Heart Assoc, Can J Cardiol Open). 

Through her work, Gulamhusein will address important knowledge gaps which has the potential to improve cardiovascular health outcomes in women and allow for them to make informed decisions regarding their health.  

Gulamhusein is a strong and dedicated advocate for women within the community. She is the graduate trainee lead for Wear Red Canada, a national campaign to raise awareness about women’s cardiovascular health within the community. Furthermore, Gulamhusein is a member of the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, which aims to build capacity for initiatives to close the gap in research, training and care, enabling the best possible care for women. 

In 2023, she was a recipient of the Janssen Fund Graduate Scholarship for Equity and Inclusion. Gulamhusein’s contributions to improving women’s lives through research, leadership and advocacy have been provincially recognized by the Government of Alberta through the Ministry of Culture and Status of Women with a Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Award in 2022. 

Carolyn Horwood 
WRC Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award recipient 

Carolyn Horwood is pursuing a novel dual degree program in both health and society with a concentration in sociology, and international Indigenous studies — the first of its kind in the history of the University of Calgary. Horwood has taken substantial initiative to expand her capacities to promote Indigenous- and community-focused health equity in both local and international contexts.   

Through her coursework, Horwood has been involved in projects exploring local experiences of older Indigenous adults experiencing homelessness in their ability to access primary health care and, during her honours thesis, exploring Indigenous health equity in data system design on a provincial level. 

Outside university, Horwood co-founded the Canadian Adolescent Sexual Violence Prevention Society (CASVPS), a non-profit organization which delivered a series of workshops to educate undergraduate students about sexual violence and consent. Students left the workshop with increased understandings of consent and more knowledge of available sexual violence resources on campus. Horwood is dedicated in seeking to prevent future occurrences of sexual violence.   

Horwood is a confident and well-developed leader and has committed herself throughout her undergraduate studies to developing strong leadership skills, which she has applied to the University of Calgary community. In 2021, Horwood co-led the SDGA's annual Sustainable Development Goals Summit, organizing a week-long event that connected students, community members, and leaders in the sustainability sphere to discuss implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A notable outcome of the summit included the implementation of several student sustainability projects on campus. As a result of her work, the SDGA was recognized in Canada’s 2021 Annual Report on the 2030 Agenda.  

Horwood served as student-faculty liaison committee representative for a two-year term advocating for student accessibility concerns. Horwood has additionally showcased notable wisdom in seeking creative avenues for community engagement, particularly in language learning, and has demonstrated interest in learning many languages.

 As a published poet, Horwood's work seeks to inspire individuals to take sustainable action. Her enthusiastic motivation for connecting with people is impressive and speaks to her capacity to connect with a global community in pursuit of making a difference in the world.  

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.