Professor Cristina Amon (MIE), Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering was awarded, May 18, the prestigious YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction Award.
The annual award honours recipients who work to improve the lives of girls and women in their community. Dean Amon was being acknowledged in the science and engineering category.
Over the years, she has been a tireless advocate for increasing diversity in the engineering profession and developing engineering outreach programs for under-represented groups.
“In my Faculty, we pride ourselves on our inclusiveness and diversity,” she said at the ceremony. “I believe engineering can be a turning point for young women as well. Too many, too soon lose their love of invention, of understanding how things work and how they can innovate and offer solutions to a world in need.”
As the first female Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto, she has worked to close the gender gap, among faculty and students.
Dean Amon has recognized mentorship as a valuable tool for motivating young women. She has created numerous mentoring initiatives, like the popular “Skule ™ Sisters” program between the University of Toronto engineering students and high school girls. While at Carnegie Mellon University she also developed two major engineering outreach programs: “Moving 4th Into Engineering,” a program for minority fourth-grade students, and “Engineering Your Future,” a program for female students from Pittsburgh’s inner city high schools.
“She’s a real trailblazer,” said Sarah Blackstock, YWCA Toronto’s Director of Advocacy and Communication. “She encourages women in engineering inside and outside the University of Toronto.”
Her past achievements stretch far beyond her time at U of T Engineering and include being twice named one of America’s most important Hispanics in technology. She was also recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education and the Canadian National Academy of Engineering.
“We are proud of this outstanding recognition,” said David Naylor, President of the University of Toronto. “It is a tribute to the innovative and passionate leadership Dean Amon has brought to the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.”
Follow the link to learn more about this year’s YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction award.