Angela Hildyard Recognition Award

About The Award

The annual Angela Hildyard SWAAC Recognition Awards, of $1,000 each,  recognize an influential and an emerging leader who have continually demonstrated innovative and impactful leadership in advancing the mission of, and achieving outstanding contributions to, their institution and/or to higher education.  A donation will be made on each recipient’s behalf to an institution of their choice, in the form of a contribution to an endowment or fund that supports students, or to a registered charitable organization supporting educational initiatives.


All SWAAC members in post-secondary institutions.

Influential Leader Selection Criteria

Evidence of leadership, through:

  • Rich and meaningful contributions at an institutional, community and/or system level
  • Demonstrating a commitment to the advancement of institutional vision, mission, values and major goals
  • Improving the educational experiences of post-secondary students at all levels  
  • Promoting and supporting equity, diversity and inclusion within institutions
  • Engaging the community of institutional stakeholders
  • Communicating a vision and commitment to new initiatives and continually contributing to innovation
  • Demonstrating exemplary support for administration and/or teaching and research endeavours, and held in high regard by colleagues, staff, students and faculty
  • Fostering positive and lasting impact on the department/division/institution, colleagues, faculty, students and alumni
  • Consistently and demonstrably coaching and mentoring the next generation of Canadian educators by providing them with the opportunity, inspiration, and/or best practice tools to pursue professional excellence
  • Enhancing the experience of peers by employing innovative techniques to motivate, mentor and inspire others to realize their potential
  • Providing students with academically challenging, exciting, well-taught programs

Emerging Leader Selection Criteria

Evidence of leadership, through:

  • Demonstrating a commitment to the advancement of institutional vision, mission, values and major goals
  • Promoting and supporting equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Demonstrating leadership on the engagement of the community in relationship to  institutional priorities
  • Communicating a vision and commitment to new initiatives and continually contributing to innovation
  • Held in high regard by colleagues, student, staff
  • Recognized as an outstanding and inspiring mentor within the institution

Each nomination must address the key areas that form the basis for nomination

The nomination should be accompanied by a one page summary and two letters of support from senior colleagues, one of which is written by a constituency that has benefited from the work of the nominee.

The deadline for submission of nominations: February 16, 2024.

The Selection Committee shall be the elected members of the Executive.

Nominations for the 2024 award must be sent via electronic mail to:

Donna Kotsopoulos
SWAAC President

Recent Award Recipients

Dr. Barbara Crow
Influential Leader

Appointed Dean of Arts and Science at Queen’s University in July 2017 after leaving her position as Dean of Graduate Studies, Associate Vice-President, Graduate at York University. Dr. Crow was reappointed for a second term in March 2022.  Her recent academic/administrative experience also includes Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar, York University and Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science, Sociology, Queen’s University.
Dr. Crow’s research interests lie in the areas of feminism, aging, and technology, the ways in which they intersect, and specifically the various impacts of digital technology. She holds a BAH in Political Science and Women’s Studies, and an MA and PhD in sociology.
In her current role as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, (FAS) she is responsible for the overall operations of the Faculty of Arts and Science, including developing and supporting the Faculty’s long- and short-term goals, policies, fundraising efforts, strategic initiatives, and academic priorities.
To that end, Dr. Crow led the development and launch of the first-ever Strategic Plan for the Faculty of Arts and Science in its 130-year history. It was the result of numerous consultations with students, staff, and faculty in our 30+ academic units, as well as the Dean’s Council, alumni, and members of our broader community. Now in the third year of the Plan, 21 initiatives have been completed, 29 are in progress or ongoing. The Strategic Plan also provided a solid basis and guide for many of the difficult decisions that had to be made by leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic..
Dean Crow continues to focus the Faculty on EDII, supporting many initiatives as detailed in the Annual Review and adding new positions to increase support for the efforts being made across the Faculty to advance EDII.

Looking ahead, Dr. Crow is excited by the significant role that FAS will play in championing the Principal’s vision of enhancing the global purpose of our university, attending to the nature and quality of our relationship with our community, and designing and building partnerships for impact. Her strong track record in these areas has been shaped by the value she places on the principles of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Indigenization, and Decolonization.

Dr. Kathryn Hibbert
Influential Leader

Associate Dean, Teacher Education, Western University, and Professor in Curriculum Studies.
She holds a Ph.D. in Education (Western University), an M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies (University of Windsor), a B.Ed. (University of Ottawa) and a B.A. (English and French) (Huron University College).

​Kathy’s first academic position was at Western University, following five years of contracts that led to a cross appointment with Medical Imaging Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. She served as the inaugural Director of the Centre for Education in Medical Imaging, the Director of Continuing Teacher Education, inaugural Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Curriculum as a Social Practice, Associate Dean of Teacher Education and Acting Dean of the Faculty.

Kathy’s work in curriculum, multiliteracies and virtual learning focuses on teaching and learning in the professions. The publication of three edited books on Radiology Education, (the first in the world) led to ongoing collaboration over the past 15 years with the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna Austria. The Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Accident in 2011, inspired an interdisciplinary educational project established between the IAEA and the government of Japan, to create a global disaster curriculum.

Kathy brings a commitment to ensuring that the work of any institution includes the voices and perspective of those it serves. A Curriculum Innovation Framework brought Teacher Candidates together with Faculty and Instructors to ensure the Faculty’s commitments to equity, diversity, decolonization and inclusion were reflected in all courses, policies and practices. She established annual programmatic research in Teacher Education, conducted with students and partners to ensure systematic inquiry was an integral part of the ethos of their work.

Most importantly, Kathy positions herself as a learner-leader. Her desire is to continue her own learning so that she can support those that she works with to do their best work. Serving in leadership roles has helped her identify new things to learn that will allow her to promote and support the work of others – whether they are colleagues in developing countries such as Cambodia, or faculty, staff and students in her own community. This year, she is especially pleased to be part of a senior leadership team in the Faculty of Education comprised of all women.

Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo
Emerging Leader

The founding Vice-Provost of the Labrador Campus and Dean the School of Arctic and Subarctic at Memorial University, living and working on the homelands of the Innu and Inuit in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador.

Dr. Cunsolo is a bold leader, a committed change-maker, and a passionate institution-builder, who has an unwavering commitment to Indigenization, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. She is currently leading the growth and development of the new Labrador Campus of Memorial University, a Northern-focused and Indigenous-led campus dedicated to the educational needs, priorities, and aspirations of Labrador and the North.

Since beginning her administrative leadership roles in Labrador in 2016, Dr. Cunsolo dedicated her focus to creating a full academic campus of Memorial University in Labrador. She has worked in partnership with Indigenous and university leaders to create and launch the Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems (2019), the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies (2020) and the Labrador Campus of Memorial University (2022). Now, together with partners in Labrador and throughout Memorial University, Dr. Cunsolo is leading the complex and historic launch of a new campus of Memorial University, including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate program development, infrastructure expansion, and new governance structures.

Dr. Cunsolo is internationally recognized for her research on climate change, mental health, and ecological grief, is a former Canada Research Chair (Tier 2), and a member of the inaugural cohort of the Royal Society of Canada’ College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists (2014-2021), of which she is now a Member Emeritus. She serves on multiple Northern-focused research and education boards and initiatives, including as an appointed member on the Federal Task Force on Northern Post-Secondary Education and as the Co-Chair of the Canadian Council of Academies Panel on the Future of Arctic and Northern Research.

1137 Western Rd, London Ontario N6G 1G7.

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