Ban Righ Foundation

Inspiring Women Awards

Leadership & Mentorship

Ban Righ Foundation Inspiring Women Awards

In October 2016, in conjunction with Queen’s 175th Anniversary, the Ban Righ Foundation hosted the first Inspiring Women: An Evening at the Isabel awards event. 

Since then, and building on Ban Righ’s long history of fostering community and building connections, the annual Inspiring Women event has celebrated and recognized women’s contributions to the Queen’s and to the broader Kingston community.

Each year awards are presented to two inspiring women. the Ban Righ Foundation Mentorship Award recognizes a Queen’s University faculty member (current or retired) who self-identifies as a women and who has supported women in achieving their goals, inspired students, and demonstrated mentorship and knowledge sharing. The Ban Righ Foundation Leadership Award recognizes an individual who self-identifies as a women and who has built capacity and fostered opportunities for others, made positive contributions within the broader Kingston community, and been inspirational.  These awards are made possible through a gift from an anonymous benefactor.

The Inspiring Women event looks a little different every year.  Drawing on the talents and experiences of women students, alumni, supporters and friends, the event has featured music, poetry, panel discussions and impassioned keynote addresses.  This year, 2022-23, we are combining our Student Spring Awards event under the banner of Inspiring Women - after all, some of the most inspiring women we know are the students who pass through our doors.

At the event this year we will present the Inspiring Women Mentorship and Leadership Awards, along with selected Student Spring Awards at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, the evening of April 27, 2023.   All are welcome.


Inspiring Women 2023

Leadership Award Winner

Yasmine Djerbal

Yasmine Djerbal

Yasmine Djerbal is first a daughter, a sister, an auntie, and a friend. She works as an Educational Developer in anti-racist pedagogies and inclusion at the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen’s. Yasmine is a community organizer committed to social justice and social change. She has been involved with various organizations including the Reelout Queer Film Festival, OPIRG Kingston, the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, and the Mutual Aid Kingston Garden Network. She is the co-founder of Roots & Wings, an organization aimed at girl, trans, and gender-non-conforming youth of colour. She first came to Canada as an international student from Algeria a little over 10 years ago and holds an MA in Gender Studies and a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s.

Yasmine was nominated by a diverse group of colleagues and friends on campus and in the community. The nomination letters noted the broad impact she has made in many grass-roots community initiatives in Kingston as well as the work she has done over the years in making Queen's campus a safer and more inclusive place for so all.

"Yasmine does everything she does in service of others. She is always promoting other people's strengths and abilities, helping people connect to new opportunities. Yasmine is a woman who inspires because she recognizes the inspiring qualities of others".

Mentorship Award Winner

Dr. Sara Nabil

Dr. Sara Nabil

Dr. Nabil is an Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design at the School of Computing at Queen’s and the founder and director of the iStudio Research Laboratory. Her great passion for interior design colours her research and drives her innovative work on smart homes and interactive furniture. Her work supports the quality of life of marginalized groups including refugees and people with physical disabilities. In Dr. Nabil's vibrant studio-like laboratory, her research group celebrates cultural and gender diversity, which empowers more women and visible minority students to advance in STEM fields.

Dr. Nabil’s nominations letters described her attention to the “whole student”. She helps women students find their voice in a complex technical field - opening new doors to the world of computing. Her students feel seen as individuals and supported to do excellent professional work as scholars and technicians.

“She dedicates time for 1-on-1 coaching for students, particularly women, apart from supervisory meetings. She tailors her coaching and mentorship to their specific needs, gives generous advice, or simply devotes that time for listening to their thoughts and/or challenges. She’s truly committed to creating a safe, accepting environment.”

Past Winners

Inspiring Women 2022 Winners

Leadership    Alejandra Zamora Flores

Mentorship    Dr. Rena Upitis

Check out the BRF Celebration 2022  



Leadership Award

Georgette Fry

Susan Belyea

Mara Shaw

Georgina Riel

Terri Lynn Brennan

Alejandra Zamora Flores







Mentorship Award

Katherine McKittrick

Karla McGrath

Kim Renders

Louise Rang

Burçu Baba

Beverley Mullings

Rena Upitis