UNB Alumni
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UNBers receive NB government award for excellence in championing gender equality

Author: UNB Alumni

Posted on Mar 13, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton , Inspiring Stories

Photo credit: Government of New Brunswick

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the New Brunswick minister responsible for women’s equality has announced the recipients of the third annual Minister's Awards for Excellence in Championing Gender Equality – VIVE.

VIVE is an award that promotes gender equality in our lives, workplaces and government. The VIVE Awards were created as a way to highlight and acknowledge New Brunswick individuals that are forging paths and advancing gender equality. The five categories are: Community, Youth, Business, Everyday and Government Champions.

The UNBers recognized include:

Youth Champions – Caroline Stephen and Kate Palmer
Caroline and Kate are both students at UNB Fredericton and alumni scholarship recipients. They founded the Menstrual Health Society at UNB, a group working to reduce period poverty at UNB and in the community. Their vision is to promote safe and inclusive spaces on campus by working to eliminate stigma around menstruation through promotion, initiatives, and projects.

Read more about the society.

Business Champion – Natasha Dhayagude (BSc’14)
Natasha is the CEO and co-founder of Chinova Bioworks, whose primary mission is to use nature to reduce food waste. Since its start, Natasha and her co-founder, David Brown, have wanted to make an environmental and social impact in the world.

She is committed to a strong, socially impactful company and has built a diverse team. As a female scientist, she creates opportunities for other women in leadership and STEM roles.

Read more about Natasha and her company.

Government Champion – Stephanie Sanford (MA‘05)
Stephanie has dedicated a significant portion of her life to improving safety in the lives of women and gender minorities in New Brunswick. She has accomplished this through her educational pursuits as a lifelong learner, as an instructor at University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University, and as a dedicated civil servant.

She has translated her vision for a safer New Brunswick for women and all gender minorities into tangible and progressive measures. Stephanie’s Master’s degree thesis focused on the police response to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in rural communities which subsequently led to the transformation of IPV responses in the province.

Everyday Champion – Abby (Avishag) David
Abby is the Strategic Program Director with the McKenna Institute at UNB. In this role she leads initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the tech industry and beyond, empowering women and diverse underrepresented groups to develop pathways to careers in tech.


Read the official government announcement and learn more about the recipients.