Shelley Pacholok was named a Capital News’ Community Leader of the Year in the mentor category at the 4th Annual Kelowna Capital News Community Leader Awards.

Community Leader Awards: Shelley Pacholok

The Kelowna Capital News honours those who give back in the community

Shelley Pacholok was named a Capital News’ Community Leader of the Year in the courage category at the 4th Annual Kelowna Capital News Community Leader Awards, held at Okanagan College, Oct. 23, 2017. The Community Leader Awards are given to local members of the community who demonstrate exceptional commitment and leadership.

By Mike Straus

Shelley Pacholok has faced adversity and risen above it, using a story of personal tragedy to advocate for brain injury patients and earning a 2017 Courage Award as a Community Leader.

Pacholok formerly served as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia, where she regularly worked 60-plus hours per week teaching, writing, and researching. She is also the author of the 2013 book Into the Fire: Disaster and the Remaking of Gender, which examines the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire and the dynamics at play that destabilize gender patterns in times of crisis.

However, her academic career came to an end on a sunny July morning when, while cycling down a winding stretch of road, she was hit by a truck. Upon awakening in hospital two weeks later, Pacholok discovered she had suffered a brain injury and was forced to adjust to an entirely new life.

Despite facing issues such as vertigo, fatigue, and slower mental processing time, Pacholok is still dedicated to her work, and she often speaks with media on behalf of BrainTrust Canada and at United Way campaigns, including at the September 2017 United Way charity breakfast at the Coast Capri Hotel, where she shared her story and discussed her current research projects and charity work.

Pacholok was nominated for this award by Magda Kapp of BrainTrust Canada.

“Shelley takes every opportunity to share her personal story, and because she has insight into her injury and is a professional, she can express herself in a way that most people with brain injuries cannot,” said Kapp. “She regularly goes above and beyond to help BrainTrust bring awareness to this important cause, and her presentations often move people to tears.”

Pacholok says that telling her story is fulfilling because it demonstrates that anyone can end up needing the services of a local non-profit organization.

“Brain injury can happen to anybody. And it takes a lot of resources to recover from a brain injury. I was lucky, but most people with brain injuries don’t have access to the resources they need to recover.”

Pacholok is now working on a book about living with a brain injury. A hybrid memoir-anthology, the book addresses brain injuries as an invisible epidemic.

“The book is about people who aren’t typically talked about when brain injury comes up, like women who sustained a brain injury as a result of partner violence, or sex workers, or prison inmates.”

Previous:

Curtis McTavish – Leader of the Year

Phil Von Unruh – Coach

Dean Kennedy – Coach

Samantha Kilmartin – Coach

Betty Cleland – Mentor

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Shelley Pacholok was named a Capital News’ Community Leader of the Year in the mentor category at the 4th Annual Kelowna Capital News Community Leader Awards.

Just Posted

Car crash causes traffic delays along Highway 97

An accident has been reported on Highway 97 and Leathead Road

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

A mother’s warning: Man follows Peachland teen to her home from Kelowna

The teen’s mother is warning others about the incident

Residents of Oliver OK with 9 per cent tax increase

The increase is a result of the cost of policing being turned over to the town

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Thieves steal bottles, mattress from recycle depot

Chase RCMP still investigating theft of tires, generator from commercial garage

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Regional district seeks $13 million to get rolling on Rail Trail

Federal grant would pay for a paved path from Sicamous to Armstrong

Cold War Cabaret offers song, slam poetry and sock puppets

Devon More returns to Shuswap with Berlin Waltz, March 16

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Shuswap athletes help Team BC to podium at Canada Winter Games

Speed-skater wins bronze, ringette player contributes to playoff victory

Most Read