University of Calgary Social Work Professor Emerita Mary Valentich (PhD ’75) is an internationally known author, researcher and educator who’s devoted her career to the pursuit of gender equity and freedom from racial and other forms of discrimination. A true pioneer in her field, she was still a doctoral student when she and Professor Jim Gripton developed GSSW’s first course on human sexuality and sexual oppression in 1973, just a year after the APA removed the “diagnosis” of homosexuality from the DSM II. Valentich’s early scholarship faced particular resistance in Canada where she recalls sneaking videos about homosexuality across the border in unmarked wrappers to avoid pornography charges. Founder of the University of Calgary’s Stop Racism Committee, her many honors include the 2008 Order of the University and a 2010 Pioneer Award from the Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health.
Mary Valentich, PhD ’75