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Professor Brenda McCabe, Civil Engineering Chair.

Professor Brenda McCabe, Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering (CivE), has been selected to receive the 2013 SWAAC Recognition Award from the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada. This award is given to a SWAAC member who has continually demonstrated innovative leadership in advancing the mission of, and achieving outstanding contributions to, her institution.

Professor McCabe joined the Faculty in 1997 and was appointed Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies in 2006 – the first female Vice-Dean in the Faculty. In that role, she championed a new series of courses that brought professional and management learning to our MEng program. These ELITE (Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Innovation, and Technology in Engineering) courses have grown substantially and are now integral to the MEng curriculum.

In 2008, Professor McCabe was appointed Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, making her the first woman to chair CivE and only the second female Chair in the Faculty’s 140-year history. In this role, she has worked to further increase the department’s profile, improve the student experience, integrate sustainability into the curriculum, and promote a sense of community amongst students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Professor McCabe approaches her position as a role model for female students and professors with dedication and responsibility. For example, she recently initiated the creation of five new scholarships acknowledging the first five women to graduate from CivE. Her efforts are successfully increasing the participation of women in a field which has traditionally not been gender balanced.

“Professor McCabe has shown exceptional leadership as a senior academic administrator and serves as an outstanding role model for women academics and engineers,” said U of T Engineering Dean Cristina Amon. “I am delighted that SWAAC is honouring her extraordinary contributions.”

Professor McCabe will receive her award at the annual SWAAC conference’s gala dinner in Brandon, Ontario on May 3.

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