If you’re new to the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology (CH&E), it’s not uncommon to be invited to share a meal with department head secretary Kathy Evans.
“When (students) have extra time from their studies, I’ll ask them if they like to cook,” Evans said.
Evans welcomes the students into her home and has everyone cook a meal together. She also takes the group to the grocery store to purchase ingredients they would normally use. With a number of international students in the department, cooking and sharing a meal in someone’s home transcends cultures.
“I love to cook and share that with others,” Evans said.
It’s one of many things that Evans does to establish a welcoming community environment and make an impact on faculty, student and staff lives in the department.
Evans has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Sydney Inskip Award. The award is presented annually to a College of Medicine employee for their outstanding service and commitment to the college.
“I was raised that volunteering and community was an important thing,” Evans said.
When she found out that she had been selected as the 2019 recipient, Evans said she felt overwhelmed by the wide array of letters and notes of support from students, staff and faculty for her nomination.
“You come to work and do what you do, and be who you are,” she added. “I just want to be the best I can be. I enjoy people and I think that came through.”
Evans has been in her position with CH&E since 2008 and is an active volunteer in the Saskatoon community. She is also a strong advocate for mental health and has been working with the Schizophrenia Society of Saskatchewan for 10 years. Evans has sometimes taken on the role of caregiver for her daughter and mother, both of whom have mental illness.
“Advocating helps me to feel less helpless in a crisis when others can work together so we can support each other when things are not working well,” she said.
Evans learned the importance of advocacy from an early age.
“Advocacy is mentored,” Evans added. “I was mentored by my dad, who always thought about community, which is really interesting for me to end up in Community Health and Epidemiology.”
“We always thought about community at home.”
The annual staff award was created in memory of Ms. Sydney Inskip, a college staff member who is remembered for her kind spirit and exceptional contribution to student lives in the college. Former students Dr. Ivan Jen (MD’60) and Dr. Suzanne Yip (MD’60) created the award in her memory in 2017.