Congratulations to former Communications Manager Emi Sasagawa, who has received the 2021 President’s Staff Award for Advancing Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence.
Emi recently moved to the Faculty of Arts in July 2021 as a Communications Manager, but was awarded for her work at Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS). She was nominated for her work to advance anti-racism and inclusive excellence through her communication and collaboration with others. In her three plus years at G+PS, she demonstrated a strong committment to anti-racism and inclusion, and worked to improve understanding of these issues.
"Emi exhibits and embodies every criteria identified for the President’s Staff Awards, and she is richly deserving of this honour," says Susan Porter, Dean and Vice-Provost of G+PS.
Her work in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion were noticed by staff across UBC. Minelle Mahtani, Senior Advisor to the Provost on Racialized Faculty says Emi was "the first choice for me to invite" when organizing the recent Forum on Anti-Asian Racism. "She was the most thoughtful contributor, taking the discussion to a much higher level," says Mahtani. "I am lucky to work with Emi and believe that she, as a woman of colour who has a very strong skill set in communications and race, is absolutely deserving of this award."
During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emi worked tirelessly to ensure that graduate students were receiving relevant information and support from the university. "From FAQs posted to the faculty webpage and coordinated with university-wide efforts, to various mailings, social media messages, etc., Emi ensured that our decisions were communicated as widely as possible and remained open to feedback for further revision," syas Julian Dierkes, an associate dean at G+PS and a professor in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.
Lastly, her work with students has earned praise from the entire UBC community. Graduate Student Society President Kimani Karangu says Emi worked not only to provide information for students, but displayed a "sincere desire to celebrate the contributions graduate students make."
To view the entire list of winners, visit the Focus On People website.