Ban Righ Foundation

Inspiring Women Awards

Inspiring Women

The Ban Righ Foundation Inspiring Women Awards were created to celebrate the contributions of women who inspire and support others. We acknowledge the outstanding achievements of women through two annual awards, one for a woman who shines as a community leader and one for a woman faculty member who inspires students through mentoring.

Mentorship Award

Recognizes a current or retired Queen’s faculty member who identifies as a woman, and who demonstrates mentorship and knowledge sharing.  She supports women students in achieving their goals and has been inspirational to a student or students.

Leadership Award

Recognizes a Kingston community member who identifies as a woman, and who has been an inspiration in the community.  Her leadership builds capacity and fosters opportunities for others.


Inspiring Women 2022

 Dr. Rena Upitis

Dr. Rena Upitis

This year’s Mentorship Award recipient, Dr. Rena Upitis has an impressive list of achievements and a long history of mentoring students at Queen’s. Currently a Professor Emerita of Education and Sustainability, throughout her career, Rena has mentored countless students in experiential learning, art, and activism.  She has a unique capacity for inspiring and nurturing students and peers alike, in disciplines ranging from Education to Environmental Studies, to Psychology.  From the classroom to nature walks, to a lively dinner table, Rena shares her sharp intellect and her love of nature and the arts

Rena’s interdisciplinary work though her career as a scholar and as an educator, and as the founding director of the off-grid educational retreat, Wintergreen Studios, is a testament of how the arts and humanities can enlighten our complex and intertwined lives.  A group of five current and past women students nominated her for this year’s Mentorship Award.

Alejandra Zamora Flores

Alejandra Zamora Flores

Since her arrival from Mexico in 2016, the warmth, generosity, and compassion of this year’s Leadership Award recipient has had a remarkable impact on diverse populations in Kingston. Alejandra Zamora Flores, puts her skills to work in community agencies including KEYS job centre where she’s taken part in youth and newcomer mentoring programs; the Skeleton Park Arts Festival, Kingston Community Health Centres, and the Kingston Latino Association.  She works with her local school and with area school boards where she shares her insights into the systemic barriers faced by immigrant and  BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) children .  At Kingston Cooperative Housing, she has spearheaded initiatives such as a children’s community garden, helping to acquire playground equipment, and setting up classes for adult wellness and fun. Ale was nominated by a diverse team of friends, colleagues and parents who have experienced first-hand the many welcome gifts Ale has brought to the Kingston Community.  

Check out the BRF Celebration 2022  

Past Winners


Leadership Award

Georgette Fry

Susan Belyea

Mara Shaw

Georgina Riel

Terri Lynn Brennan







Mentorship Award

Katherine McKittrick

Karla McGrath

Kim Renders

Louise Rang

Burçu Baba

Beverley Mullings