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Posted June 12 , 2013


Laurier Professor Ginette Lafrenière wins Leading Women, Building Communities Award

WATERLOO – Laurier Associate Professor Ginette Lafrenière, who was recently appointed to the role of director of the Manulife Centre for Healthy Living, was recognized by the Ontario Women’s Directorate with an award titled “Leading Women, Building Communities.”

Lafrenière was recognized for her contributions to social initiatives across Waterloo Region, including being an active volunteer with the Violence Against Women Forum of the Central West Region of Ontario. She also founded the Social Innovation Research Group at Laurier.

The awards ceremony took place recently at Knox Presbyterian Church in Waterloo. Three other women, Shannon Dea, Jessica del Rosso and Diane Freeman, were recognized that day as well. Catherine Fife, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo, nominated all the recipients.

“Usually Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work is giving awards to people in the community for their service, so being recognized was both humbling and fun,” said Lafrenière.

As the new director of the Manulife Centre for Healthy Living, Lafrenière will focus the work of the centre on community-university connections. She hopes to set up a number of research clusters that focus on different social determinants of health, such as Global Health and Development, Women and Gender, University-Community Collaboration, Indigenous Healing, Masters and Doctoral Students’ Research, Social Entrepreneurship, and Poverty and Social Justice. She plans to create a research-training hub that connects local and international academics with community partners.

In October 2013, the centre will fund a talk from Professor David Caron from the University of Michigan. He will speak about healthy living in relation to men living with HIV/AIDS.

The Manulife Centre for Healthy Living was created in 2006 with an $800,000 endowment. While housed in the Faculty of Social Work, the centre strives to be community-based by reaching beyond the faculty and the discipline of social work to community partner organizations and individual community stakeholders as well as other faculties and disciplines.

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