Trinidad-born Dr. Rhonda McEwen, President and Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University, will deliver the keynote address at the 2nd annual Impact Awards ceremony to be held at the Ontario Science Centre on Sunday.
Dr. McEwan who took on the role of President of the university in July last year, is the first Black woman to lead a Canadian university and the first President to come from the sciences rather than the humanities.
She was formerly Vice-President of University of Toronto Mississauga.
Dr. McEwan completed a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology and management at the University of West Indies, St. Augustine, an MBA in Information Technology at City, University of London, a Master of Science in telecommunications at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a PhD from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information.
In her address at her installation at Victoria University, she said that her role as President and Vice-Chancellor “is to really see, to really discover what has made Vic U such a special place for nearly 200 years, but to also see and anticipate the opportunities and challenges ahead.
“For example, to prioritize mental health for our students and staff. To contribute to our planet’s wellness. To work with the Board of Regents, and the senior administrative management team to determine the best risk versus reward ratios, communicate and implement the activities to bring the plans into reality, and in so doing chart the best possible path for the university in the years to come.”
Dr. McEwan also said it is her sincere hope “that my status as the only Black woman serving as President in a university in Canada, will not be long-lasting.”