July 5, 2023

Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team expands to welcome 2 new colleagues

New members will expand capacity in EDI and academic integrity, and disability and accessibility at UCalgary
Sarah Eaton, left, and Gregor Wolbring
Sarah Eaton, left, and Gregor Wolbring Gavin John; and courtesy Gregor Wolbring

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) is pleased to announce and welcome the addition of two new team members as of July 1, 2023, furthering the advancement of the office’s mandate in creating a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible campus in which all members of the campus community can flourish.

At UCalgary, the OEDI serves as the institution’s central hub for collective action toward a more safe, equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible campus and works with all our  faculties, administrative units, and communities to advance inclusive excellence, embed EDIA, and to cultivate an institutional culture of respect and understanding. It is the central office for EDI strategy, policy, education, data and initiatives to create and advance equitable pathways and opportunities for all members of the campus community to flourish.

This includes identifying and removing barriers that have been, and continue to be, encountered by equity-deserving groups including but not limited to racialized/visible minority persons, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ2S+ communities, and working in parallel paths with Indigenous Peoples in the context of the UCalgary’s Indigenous strategy, ii' taa'poh'to'p. The OEDI also supports and advances UCalgary’s commitment to pluralism and cognitive justice.

The addition of two new members both broadens and deepens institutional capacity, knowledge and expertise within the existing team.  For Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (equity, diversity and inclusion), the addition of these new members to the team highlights the demand for, and significance of, EDIA work being conducted at the OEDI. It also highlights the commitment to expand EDIA in everything we do, including teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and engaging with diverse communities.

“Both Dr. Eaton and Dr. Wolbring are world-renowned academic leaders who bring to the OEDI team their research, teaching, mentoring, and community engagement. Their contributions will further enhance the OEDI’s capacity to provide strategic EDIA guidance, supports, and services to advance institutional commitments,” says Smith.

“Individually and collectively they bring the knowledge and expertise needed to deepen our commitments and impact in the areas of academic integrity, disability, and accessibility.”

“The addition of these two academic directors recognizes institutional needs as well as the importance of investing in, and sponsoring internal EDIA  leaders within our campus community who can support, enhance, and expand EDIA work at UCalgary. A strong team of EDIA experts is necessary for this important work to continue.”

Sarah Eaton

Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, (she/her), is a multiple award-winning researcher, educator, and leader. Eaton is an associate professor at the Werklund School of Education and holds a concurrent appointment as an honorary associate professor, Deakin University, Australia. Before joining the OEDI, Eaton served as educational leader in residence, academic integrity at the Taylor Institute (2019-2022) and as chair, Leadership, Policy, and Governance Specialization Area at the Werklund School (2021-2022).

A humanist by training, Eaton has written and presented extensively on academic integrity and ethics in higher education. She advocates for holistic, transdisciplinary, and multi-stakeholder approaches to academic and research integrity that include and extend beyond student conduct. She is known for saying, “There can be no integrity without equity.” She is regularly invited as a media guest to talk about academic misconduct, fraud, and corruption in higher education.

Gregor Wolbring

Dr. Gregor Wolbring, PhD, (he/him), is a tenured full professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, Program in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. He is also a member of the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) in Karlsruhe, Germany and a senior fellow of the Institute for Science, Policy and Society at the University of Ottawa. Wolbring defines himself as an ability studies, disability studies, sustainability studies and science and technology governance studies scholar. 

Wolbring is an award-winning scholar, including  the University of Calgary’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award, Faculty and Postdoctoral Scholars category (2022); runner-up, University of Calgary Sustainability Award, category Faculty Sustainability Research (2020); Tanis Doe Award from the Canadian Disability Studies Association (2017); Bachelor of Health Sciences Research Mentor Award in recognition of making undergraduate students succeed in research (2014, 2016, 2018); the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal awarded by the Government of Canada in recognition of the benefit of his academic work to the greater community (2013); and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities National Award (1998).

Some of the issues Wolbring’s research team works on include ability studies (ability, ability expectation and ableism ethics and governance); disability studies; the social, ethical, legal, economic, environmental, cultural and governance issues of existing, new and emerging sciences and technologies (S&T) such as quantum technologies, artificial intelligence/machine learning and reasoning, cognitive sciences, neurotechnology, genetics, robotics, brain-computer interfaces, and human enhancement. The  research team  also explores the impact of S&T on marginalized populations, especially disabled people; sports; health care (technology assessment, law, care, and policies); sustainability; eco-health; climate, water and energy issues; and burnout; and equity, diversity and inclusion.

Please join us in welcoming Drs. Eaton and Wolbring to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

For more information on the OEDI team, please visit the OEDI website.

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