Excellence Award

Another Accolade for St. Mary’s University’s Humanities 101 Program

Innovative program wins Excellence Award at DDRC Inclusion Awards

St. Mary’s University’s groundbreaking Humanities 101 program secured another accolade after winning the Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre of Calgary’s (DDRC) Award of Excellence at the DDRC Inclusion Awards earlier this month.

Part of the St. Mary’s fabric since 2003, this Humanities 101 program casts aside barriers to education faced by people from low-income circumstances to create a safe, welcoming place where strength, courage and determination enables people to reach academic goals they may not have thought possible.

Since 1996, the Inclusion Awards have been an important way to recognize the people and organizations that help make Calgary a city where everyone belongs.

“Being nominated for the award, and actually having won it, was a surprise!” said Sabrina Buzzalino, Humanities 101 Program Coordinator at St. Mary’s University. “It’s great to see the hard work that the instructors, the volunteers and I do be recognized by the broader community in Calgary.”

“We all work very hard to ensure that students are provided with a supportive and challenging learning environment. The award highlights the fact that the students who come through the program face multiple barriers, not just financial ones.”

The Humanities 101 program was one of several great initiatives and people celebrated at the Inclusion Awards ceremony, emphasizing the commitment that Calgarians have to making Calgary a more inclusive city.

“It was very humbling to be in the company of others who champion inclusivity and accessibility for those who face barriers in society,” said Buzzalino. “We are all striving to create a place where marginalized Calgarians can increase their skills and capacities for living.”

According to Buzzalino the recognition from the DDRC and the awarding of the Award of Excellence highlights that the Humanities 101 program’s reputation of inclusivity and compassion is being recognized by those who need it most.

“Having won the award helps affirm that the program is widely known and recognized in Calgary,” said Buzzalino. “Many of the students who come to the class come because they heard about it from a friend or are being referred by community organizations.”