2008 Recipient - Julie Ashford
Assistant to the Chair, Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research
As assistant to the Chair of the Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research, Ashford is described as an inspirational person.
A constant feature since the inception of the Centre for Women's Studies and Feminist Research 20 years ago - and more recently the Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research - Ashford is said to have the attitude that ‘no question is trivial, no student crisis too small or emotional meltdown too troublesome.’
“Julie is the living embodiment of a culture of respect. She treats with dignity all those who seek her assistance, and she commands the instant respect of everyone who meets her,” says Arts and Humanities Dean Kathleen Okruhlik .
“Julie has been a role model for students, staff, and faculty members, making Western a better, more equitable place to work and study.”
Failure to solve a problem is not something Ashford would accept. The more complex the problem, the more she seems to thrive on the challenge. Her attention to detail and thoughtful consideration for students has served many of them well.
Ashford’s dedication to students stems from a faith in the power of education to transform the individual and make the world a better place. She takes pleasure in watching the growth from a confused first-year student into a confident, mature and focused graduate.
“It is without a doubt that she exemplifies the criteria of this award by showing a genuine commitment to enhancing students' experiences,” says graduate student Jaclyn Isen. “She continues to be a source of information and encouragement, always placing student success and well-being at the centre of her personal philosophy.”
With Ashford’s pending retirement on June 30, the department is honouring her and her strong commitment to feminist education by organizing a conference in her name next spring.
by Paul Mayne
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.: Scott May
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