In a place known for bitumen and rugged individualism, Vincella Thompson of Keyano College is leading an interdisciplinary team of academics and helping women. She’s heading a group of researchers from education, psychology, health and counselling on a project examining student mental health and wellness. And this year, Thompson was recognized by Girls Inc., a local non-profit focused on inspiring all girls to be strong and bold, for her work advocating for women. As an educator, a researcher and an administrator, Thompson’s push is to enhance programs and services to better serve the Fort McMurray region. She’s the president of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Wood Buffalo and the dean for the newly formed School of Health, Wellness, and Human Services at Keyano.