Recognizing the women who inspire us

Stories of women who impact Queen’s students

Image by: Amna Rafiq
Family members

In honour of International Women’s Day this past Wednesday, I gathered a group of responses from the Queen’s student body to spotlight various women who inspire us every day.


My younger sister is a woman who inspires me greatly.

She takes some of our parents’ best qualities and uses them to reach her full potential. In her, I see my mother’s strength and my father’s work ethic, making her truly unstoppable when she puts her mind to things.

Even though she’s finishing high school right now, she has a schedule I could never hope to match and a seemingly unrelenting drive to keep busy. Whether it’s with school or an endless litany of projects she takes up on the side, she never lets up.

While I thought I might never finish high school—let alone university—she surpasses the hurdles and pitfalls of such a time with an ease, which is mind boggling.

I can’t wait to see what she’ll do in the future as she approaches high school graduation and the world opens up to her.

— Isaac Fahy, ArtSci ’24

My flute teacher of five years is one of the most inspirational women I’ve worked with and been mentored by. She’s been sincere, kind, and patient with me as I’ve grown into a mature musician.

Because of her, I learned to develop my skills as an artist, but more importantly I learned how to face rejection, a skill that’s imperative to any future. It’s rejection that teaches you the resilience needed to succeed in everyday life.

I was a curious learner, and lessons of resilience were instilled in her teaching. It made me a better flautist and all-around individual.

I’m grateful for her and for all her mentoring.

— Emily Yeung, HealthSci ’24

One of the most inspirational women I’ve learned about is Margaret Hamilton.

Hamilton was a computer scientist who, in 1969, revolutionized coding and space travel. She essentially helped send us to the moon for the first time.

She named the discipline of software engineering. She later founded two companies: Higher Order Software in 1976 and Hamilton Technologies in 1986.

I find her inspiring because of the challenging nature of her work and her ability to thrive in such a male dominated field, especially in a time when being a woman in STEM was even harder than today.

— Elsa McKnight, ArtSci ’24

It might be an obvious answer, but when I think of an inspiring woman, I think of my mom.

She’s one of the people who continues to push me and inspire me to achieve everything I have and more. Since I was born, she’s always been a great support, and in the hardest years of my life, my mom has been there with hard truths, great advice, and gave me comfort when I needed it.

Besides being a great mother, my mom has always been a tour de force in general. As an African immigrant, she’s faced a lot of barriers, but overcame all of them to become the person she is today.

She went from coming to Canada knowing limited English to getting her undergraduate degree, then got a Master’s degree, and is currently working on getting a second Master’s degree. Each time she’s been awarded any certificate, diploma or award, she did it while juggling a full-time job and three kids.

I admire her perseverance and her god-like time management skills.

— Clanny Mugabe, Assistant Lifestyle Editor


Empowerment, inspiration, International Women's Day

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