2021 - BEVERLEY LARSSEN
Beverley is completing a combined Master of Physical Therapy and PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program at the University of British Columbia where she studies rehabilitation therapies for stroke survivors. Using a neuroimaging approach, her research investigates the mechanisms and neuroanatomy that support motor learning/re-learning during physical rehabilitation using error amplification techniques. This work has the potential to help identify who may benefit from such interventions.
In her roles as both a physiotherapist and neuroscientist, she continues to engage in knowledge translation both clinically and in research. Her most recent activities include supporting clinical education through the mentorship of physiotherapy students in the UBC Department of Physical Therapy as well as facilitating knowledge translation opportunities for local stroke recovery researchers in her current role as Chair of the BC Stroke Network. Beverley also shares her passion for physical activity and science with youth through her volunteerism as a community track and field coach and participation in community science outreach programs.
2021- JACQUELINE HAY
Jacqueline is a Ph.D. Candidate and Clinical Exercise Physiologist in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. She is passionate about supporting, advocating, and inspiring others to overcome challenges. Her leadership, academic, and research potential have been acknowledged with numerous awards, including a prestigious Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Vanier Scholarship. Navigating multiple orthopedic surgeries and supporting her mother through her heart health journey motivated her to pursue translational research to promote policy and practices that improve patient outcomes. As a CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Manitoba Chapter Trainee Lead and member of the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance, she promotes the integration of sex and gender in research and clinical practice. In her spare time, she engages with students, physicians, nurses, and pharmacists to increase capacity in the healthcare system to provide meaningful physical activity guidance as a part of care. Jacqueline’s doctoral research focuses on examining sex and gender differences in cardiac rehabilitation outcomes in Manitoba. In the future, she intends to pursue additional training to champion translational research to address disparities in cardiovascular health outcomes.
2020 - Cindy Kalenga
Cindy Kalenga is an emerging leader in women’s cardiovascular health. She is currently a PhD candidate with Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) where she is exploring how estrogen hormones in the form of contraceptives and postmenopausal hormone therapy are associated with cardiovascular risk in women.
Kalenga is widely recognized in the research community as she was recently awarded the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta’s highly competitive doctoral scholarship in Women’s Cardiovascular Health. She also received the Alberta Graduate Award and UCalgary chose her application for the Canadian Institute of Health Research’s Doctoral Scholarship to advance to the national competition, an accomplishment only a few graduate students experience. Kalenga is a highly sought-after speaker at both national and international conferences.
Kalenga is highly committed to supporting women and vowed to optimize the participation of minorities into research to impact the health of all Canadians regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, or gender. As the lead of the Canadian Institute of Health Research’s Sex and Gender Trainee Network at UCalgary, she is working to build awareness and capacity in sex- and gender-based considerations among trainees conducting health research in Canada alongside 18 other Canadian universities. In her spare time, she plays basketball and tutors high school and undergraduate students.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo during a time of great civil unrest, her family relocated to South Africa at the height of apartheid where she experienced challenges due to severe racial tension. Her family later immigrated to Canada, where she yet again needed to adapt to a new environment. Kalenga’s diverse cultural experiences have provided her with a high degree of adaptability and resiliency.
Kalenga is currently working on her thesis which she hopes to complete by 2021.
2020 - Emily Drake
Emily is a passionate and innovative public health leader. A graduate of Acadia University’s Honours Psychology program, and Dalhousie University’s Master’s in Health Promotion program, Emily has been a contributor to the Huffington Post (US), the BMJ Blog, the Cancer Knowledge Network and Oncology Exchange. She has also published in the Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports, the Journal of Global Oncology, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Psycho-Oncology, the Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer, Pediatric Blood & Cancer, the Journal of Clinical Nursing and The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society.
Emily is a PhD in Health candidate at Dalhousie University. Her research focuses on the experiences of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) living with cancer.
A social innovator, in 2013, Emily co-founded and continues to grow Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Societal Movement (#AYACSM) - an active, multi-disciplinary community that is changing the way stakeholders interact and share information regarding adolescents and young adults with cancer.
2019 - Stephanie Gumuchian
Stephanie Gumuchian is pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University. Stephanie is conducting a study on the effects of oxytocin as an adjunct treatment to traditional psychotherapy for patients with Major Depressive Disorder – a debilitating mental health disorder. She hopes to disseminate her findings in an academic realm as well as to clinicians and their patients to help them benefit and learn from her research findings. Stephanie is dedicated to positively impacting the lives of people suffering from mental illness.
Stephanie has a robust catalogue of publications and presentations as well as being a recipient of many scholastic awards. She is committed to being an active member of her academic and local communities. Her references were very enthusiastic in praising her academic accomplishments as well as her community service and leadership.
2019 - Elisa Guma
Elisa is a PhD candidate in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, QC, under the supervision of Dr. Mallar Chakravarty.
The title of her thesis is "Studying prenatal exposure to maternal immune activation as risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders in mice: from the fetus to adulthood"
"I investigate how exposure to prenatal maternal immune activation, a known risk factor for psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder, affects offspring brain development in mice as a model species. For this work I leverage both longitudinal in vivo MRI and behavioural assessments to study child, adolescent, and adult development as well as ex vivo MRI and post-mortem assays to investigate fetal and neonatal development."
2018 - Alice Musabende
Alice Musabende is currently pursuing a PhD in Politics and International Relations at the University of Cambridge, in the UK.
Alice's research focuses on the effects of external involvement in the policy making processes of the African Union. She investigates if and how a proliferation of international actors impacts collective action of African states and their behavior in the international system.
At Cambridge, she is a Gates Cambridge scholar as well as a SSHRC scholar.
Before moving to Cambridge, Alice was a political journalist based in Ottawa, Canada, where she worked for iPolitics and CBC among other Canadian news organizations.
Born and raised in Rwanda, Alice graduated from the University of Rwanda. She also holds a Master's of Journalism from Carleton University and a Master's of International Development Studies from Dalhousie University.
2018 - Sanjana Shellikeri
University of Toronto
Sanjana Shellikeri's research focuses on characterizing the neural correlates of bulbar Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a fatal and devastating neurodegenerative disease that affects muscles involved in speech and swallowing functions. Her PhD work combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neuropathology of cadaver brain tissue to understand motor and cognitive-linguistic deficits in bulbar ALS.
Over the course of her MSc and PhD programs, Sanjana has published five first-author manuscripts and contributed to four other peer-reviewed publications. She has presented her work at numerous national and international conferences, and recently won the best presentation award at one of the most prestigious conferences in her field. Her academic achievements include two consecutive years of the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and numerous travel awards.
Sanjana is also a full-time caregiver for her mother, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. She shows her support for the ALS community by fundraising annually for the Walk for ALS events and as a volunteer at the ALS Society of Canada. She hosted two online forums on reddit.com to answer ALS-related questions, both in her capacity as an emerging researcher and as an active caregiver for someone living with the disease. She hopes to follow the academic path with the goal of establishing herself as an independent researcher and contribute her growing skills and expertise to improve the lives of people suffering from ALS.
2017 - Anita Acai
Anita impressed the committees with her description of her journey to her current PhD candidacy in the field of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. Her story of confidence gained, lost and transformation borne of failure was very engaging. The enthusiasm she has for the work she is doing shone through in her application.
Her area of study focuses of the role of competence committees in surgical education. Her goal is to create practical guidelines for committees to utilize in reviewing future health professionals by analyzing how they operate in practice, influences at play, the impact of cognitive biases in the decision-making process.
Anita has an impressive list of academic awards and a lengthy catalogue of articles, presentations, reports and publications.
Anita also demonstrated her dedication to community service both within the university as part of student government and as a strong advocate for mental health services for graduate students and as a volunteer with the Red Cross.
2017 - Victoria McPhail
Victoria’s enthusiasm for nature and bumble bees led her to research to determine reasons for decline in populations of rare species of bumble bees. She is proposing to analyze data collected from volunteers through BumbleBeeWatch.org to answer important questions and help fill knowledge gaps regarding population decline and improve and influence conservation policies related to bumble bees.
She has a very impressive body of published work and presentations. Victoria is the winner of many academic and civic awards and scholarships throughout her academic career. In 2014 she was recognized as one of the Guelph Mercury’s top “40 under 40” recognizing her volunteer and professional contributions.
Victoria has also demonstrated an ability to share her findings and passion for pollinators with the public through media interviews, publications as well as implementing programs and workshops to educate people about bumble bees and recruiting volunteers to help monitor bees.
Victoria has also put her passion for nature and bees to work in a volunteer capacity – founding Pollination Guelph which is an organization dedicated to protecting pollinators and their habitats. She is also a long-standing leader in Girl Guides with over 25 years as a guide leader being a role model for girls and young women.
2017- Catherine Shaffer
Simon Fraser University
Catherine’s research is focused on finding ways to reduce adolescent dating violence by adapting the risk management tools used assess and manage the risk of spousal violence for use with adolescents. She hopes that the guidelines that she develops will be used by professional to help facilitate the case management of offenders and safety planning for victims. Catherine hopes that her research will improve policy and decision-making processes in the justice and mental health fields. To reach her goals she will assist with the development of approaches to help reduce violence, conduct research to examine factors associated with forms of intimate violence and design community outreach initiatives for violence mitigation. She also hopes to continue teaching and mentoring and has taken training to that end.
Catherine has been an active member of her university community throughout her university career holding positions in student government and faculty organizations. She has demonstrated her dedication to her area of study with action by volunteering with an organization that supports violence prevention and intervention services to battered women.
Catherine has demonstrated great success in academia, she has received many awards over her academic career. She has garnered praise for her future potential and demonstrated outstanding leadership as a teacher and mentor as well as a researcher.
2016 - Sara King-Dowling
Sara King-Dowling is studying Developmental Coordination Disorder a neurodevelopmental condition where children have persistent problems with fine and gross motor coordination. Her work is studying the impact on the cardiovascular health of children with this condition.
Sara has spent her academic career at McMaster University. She has been the recipient of several awards and has a strong catalogue of publications.
She is active in her school community as a graduate student, union representative and intramural athlete. She is also a volunteer in the wider community organizing running events and mentoring at-risk youth in school based physical activity programs.
Sara’s goals are to continue to improve the health and well-being of children with motor coordination difficulties through research and a career in academia.
2016 - Kimberley LeBlanc
Queen's University School of Nursing (skintears.org)
Kimberly LeBlanc is a registered nurse studying the impact of skin tears on the elderly patients in long term care with a goal of prevention and saving individuals from pain and suffering from these injuries.
Kimberly has a distinguished career as a nurse with prodigious publications and presentations as well as being the recipient of several awards. Her academic career began at McGill University where she was also a student athlete, representing McGill in volleyball. She is currently doing her PhD at the Queen’s University School of Nursing.
2016 - Lisa Kennedy
Trent University, Avian Ecophysiology
Lisa Kennedy is studying the impact of snow goose migration into arctic shorebird breeding grounds. Her work includes assessing the direct and indirect impacts of geese on shorebirds and the carryover effects in shorebird migration as the populations of geese continue to increase. This study is an attempt to understand the impact of overabundant geese in the Arctic on habitat and other wildlife and the conservation challenges this presents.
Lisa started her academic career at University of Western Ontario obtaining her B.Sc. Honours and M.Sc before moving to Trent University to pursue her PhD.
Lisa’s goals are to contribute to the scientific community through research and teaching particularly in the areas of animal ecophysiology and avian conservation. A career in academia to promote these issues is her future goal.
She has developed a successful science outreach website describing issues in arctic ecology research and is dedicated to promoting science and conservation.
In addition to her academic work Lisa is involved in her community with interests such as taxidermy and working with Therapeutic Paws of Canada as well as mentoring students in the Arctic Research program.
2015 - Yvonne Su
Yvonne is studying modes of aid distribution by NGO’s in times of disaster. Specifically she is examining the effectiveness of distributing cash and migrant remittances as part of the emergency response versus the traditionally directed aid.
Yvonne started her academic career at University of Guelph, obtained an M.Sc. at Oxford and has returned to University of Guelph. Yvonne’s goals are to put her academic research findings into practice by working with organizations such as the U.N. to create and implement humanitarian relief programs. She also has the goal of entering public service as an M.P.
Yvonne demonstrated great leadership in her involvement as an activist. During the 2011 federal election Yvonne was a co-founder of the Vote Mob movement which aimed to increase political literacy among young people and to encourage them to vote. She has continued this advocacy as executive director of Vote Savvy which aims to continue the momentum of the vote mob movement in the 2015 federal election. In addition to her Canadian political activities she has worked on international projects such HIV/AIDS education in South Africa, climate change advocacy in Copenhagen and Greenland.
Her academic achievement includes a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship, a Commonwealth Scholarship, a Mackenzie King Traveling Scholarship, a Lincoln Alexander Chancellor’s Scholarship and a YWCA of Guelph’s Young Woman of Distinction Award.
2015 - Brienne McKenzie
Brienne is investigating how specialized immune cells with the brain impact brain damage caused by MS and she hopes that her research with help to develop new medical treatments to help patients suffering from MS. She intends to draw upon her expertise in brain cancer developed during her MSc with her current neuro-immunology studies to establish a research program exploring immunotherapeutics for high grade brain tumours.
Brienne boasts an impressive list of awards and scholarships throughout her academic career including consistently being on the University of Calgary’s Dean’s List throughout her undergraduate and masters programs, the Alexa W. Church Award in Medical Sciences, the Alberta Graduate Student Scholarship, the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Award, and a CIHR M.Sc. award. Her passion in her field of study is evidenced in the prodigious number of publications on which she has been a collaborator.
Brienne is also an enthusiastic volunteer on and off campus – working as a positive role model and mentor for young women interested in science, a peer mentor and engaging in fundraising for such organizations as Kids Help Phone and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She also makes time for personal interests such as painting and dance and white water rafting.
2014 - Kristen Barton
Kristen Barton is taking her PhD at University of Calgary, as a follow-up to two BSc Degrees (in Biology and Kinesiology), and an MSc in Biomechanics. Her PhD is focused on osteoarthritis and specifically, looking at the long-term impact of early knee and ligament injury and how this damage and inflammation can be treated differently in order to improve the long-term health of people who have suffered knee injuries in their 20s and 30s. She is a promising researcher, working with one of the most distinguished clinicians in her chosen field.
Her awards and distinctions include the Alberta Graduate Citizenship Award (for three years running), and Dean’s List, 3 years consecutive, two Queen Elizabeth II Awards, many NSERC awards and the Achievers in Medicine Recruitment Award.
Kristen is also a student-athlete, having played on the University of Calgary Dinos Soccer Team for 5 years and now serves as their coach. She is also involved in the Medical Science Graduate Students Association and volunteers with Center Street Church and Big Brothers Big Sister Calgary.
2014 - Megan Engel
Megan Engel is a Rhodes Scholar studying at Oxford, following her undergraduate and graduate degrees at University of Alberta. She has been recognized widely for her academic pursuits including the Julie Payette NSERC Research Scholarship, the Louis S. Crosby Gold Medal in Physics, a three-time winner of the Vega Prize for Astronomy, Lehmann Prize in Chemistry, an annual Dean’s Honour Roll achiever.
Her topic of study involves studying photosynthesis (the biological process plants use to transforms sunlight into the usable chemical energy that sustains life) to determine whether renewable energy can be regenerated.
Megan is not just an incredibly promising scholar, she is also an acclaimed musician. She was a contestant on the CBC television show ‘How do you Solve a Problem like Maria’ that searched for the lead role in the musical production of the Sound of Music. She is a recorded artist and a Top 100 finalist for Canadian Idol. She sings in the Christ Church College Choir in Oxford and is a Companion of the Order of Malta, an organization that ministers to the homeless. Megan has a strong track record of leadership and involvement within her community, and fully invests in her surroundings wherever she goes.
2013 - Alicia Grubb
University of Toronto, Software Engineering.
2013 - Lauren Wallace
McMaster University, Anthropology.
2013 - Kiyoko Gotanda
McGill University, Biology.
2012 - Katherine Wyper
University of Alberta, Educational Psychology.
Katherine’s research focuses on neurodevelopment and neuropsychology in vulnerable populations. Her interest is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and how it relates to high-risk behaviour and involvement in the justice system. Her project seeks to merge the justice system with FASD clinical services in Alberta’s Alexis First Nations community. It has been determined that justice services for FASD-affected offenders, are not being effectively provided. Katherine’s project will document a new process that involves FASD-offenders first being referred to and assessed by an adult FASD diagnostic clinic. The assessment will be used by the courts as a guide to the court for FASD-informed considerations. The project will be evaluated in three ways; to determine whether FASD-informed justice services improve the outcomes for offenders; to enhance offenders’ experience of the justice process and finally to increase awareness of FASD among members of the community, justice system and clinical service providers. Katherine’s group hopes the findings will relate to ways of reducing offenders to re-offend and thereby improve lives of offenders with FASD and their communities.
Katherine’s colleagues speak highly of her; she is intelligent, learns quickly and has superior interpersonal and social skills. She can take on a variety of tasks; she demonstrates academic excellence and service to her community. Katherine currently volunteers at an alternative high school in St. Albert. She is completing a practicum in therapy/intervention by providing counseling, consultation and assessment to student with needs related to learning, cognition, socioemotional development and behaviour. At the Old Strathcona Youth Society Katherine develops workshops designed to teach youth about mental health and positive coping strategies. She was a note-taker, assisting a hearing-impaired classmate in university. Katherine spent two years as a study buddy with elementary students struggling with reading, writing and math. Most of Katherine’s community service has been with agencies and individuals working with special needs children, youth in crisis, physically aggressive children and adolescents. Within the university, Katherine is a mentor to first year students, a liaison between students and faulty and a co-representative for the Counseling Program at the SHINE Youth Clinic, providing free healthcare services to under serviced inner city Edmonton youth.
2012 - Carolyn Oliver
University of British Columbia, Social Work.
Carolyn has been working in child welfare social work for sixteen years. She is undertaking a PhD to research how social work programs might most effectively educate and support a new generation of social workers to serve their clients and community. Carolyn will focus on how child protection social workers implement strengths-based practice with mandated adult clients. Strengths-based practice focuses on strengths, resources and capabilities, rather than the traditional problems, negative labels and deficiencies. Her model involves qualitative interviews and surveys. Her findings will be directly applicable to informing and supporting child protection workers who apply strengths-based ideas. Carolyn’s plans are to implement the strengths-based practice with state care youth and follow the youth as they transition to adult life and continue follow-up. Her goal is to have national involvement.
Carolyn, in the words of her colleagues, brings to the classroom a refreshing creativity and capacity for original thought. When teaching she combines theory and practice. She challenges students to integrate what they already know with new ways of looking at issues. Her research will affect social work professionals and support how they deliver resources thereby improving services to their clients.
Carolyn dedicates her community service to working with, in her own words, “some of Canada’s most marginalized social groups”, within the realm of social work. Her volunteer work with individuals facing addictions, poverty, mental illness, violence and oppression, gives her a broad perspective not only with marginalized individuals, but also with the professionals working with these individuals. Carolyn teaches in the child welfare professional training program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, she provides suicide intervention training to community groups, she instructs one course as a sessional instructor at the School of Social work at UBC; she has developed initiatives to support the social work student community through online networks and is currently working with students and faculty within the UBC School for Social Work PhD program to develop a training program in support new teaching assistants. Quite amazingly, Carolyn is a participant of the Vancouver Marathon and recently Triathlon. She volunteers at the hot lunch program at her daughter’s school.
2012 - Samantha Benton
University of British Columbia, Reproductive and Developmental Sciences.
In Samantha’s own words, her research investigates a new blood test involving a protein called placental growth factor (PIGF) to diagnose intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). IUGR is a pregnancy complication where fetal growth is significantly reduced. The placenta does not supply the fetus with enough nutrients and oxygen to grow. This blood test has the potential to dramatically improve the diagnosis for the presence of intrauterine growth restriction and be easily adapted into clinical use.
Samantha’s peers know her as an eager learner, always increasing the breadth of her knowledge. Samantha adapted so well to the first year of her Master’s program, that upon completion of that year, she was encouraged to transfer out of her Master’s and into the PhD program. She is reliable, committed and genuinely interested in the world around her.
Samantha makes a remarkable contribution to her community through service. At UBC, she is the student representative for her program, welcoming new students and helping them settle in. Samantha acts as a liaison between the Dean and the students. She is a partner in organizing a bi-weekly journal club that encourages peers to interact and engage into discussions and presentations. She mentors undergraduate students, by sharing her own experiences.
Samantha is a volunteer at UBC’s Let’s Talk Science, an outreach program engaging youth to experience science hands-on and minds-on. She volunteers at a shelter for homeless youth, where she tutors young people to help them finish high school. Samantha also volunteers at a child immunization program welcoming children and taking height and weight measurements. Weekly she is a palliative care volunteer at Lion’s Gate Hospital as a floor services volunteer. Samantha is a volunteer dog walker at the local SPCA and she is an avid curler!
2011 - Parisa Bastani
PhD, University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Automotive Engineering and Economics.
Parisa aims to quantitatively model the transportation system under real world uncertainties and compute the cost of emissions reduction for the on-road vehicle fleet in the US and UK. Alicia’s work will be to pool together and analyze the performance of available new transportation technologies, their costs and practical use as well as the effect on greenhouse gases. Parisa’s work is linking technology, uncertainty and economics into one model. Her work is of particular interest to policy makers, economists, industry leaders and governments.
Parisa takes on various roles within the university and community. She has involvement with the Student Advisory Committee; the Professional Activities Fund Committee; the Engineering Design Centre Committee, the Engineering Advisory Council and the Engineering Undergraduate Committee. She chairs the Engineering Student Team Council, providing over 400 students with technical, academic and leadership opportunities. She mentors international students in leadership and teamwork as the GoldenKey International Honour Society’s senior mentorship coach. Within the greater community, Parisa volunteers as Vice President of the Cambridge University Energy Network, raising awareness about climate change and advocating energy sustainability in industry and business. She has served as the International Development Executive for the Cambridge Engineers without borders, which help young engineers design and tackle poverty through sustainable engineering. Parisa had chaired the Cambridge Technology Enterprise Committee and was elected to the Cambridge Alumni Advisory Council and she is Leader and Chief Technical Advisor of the Formula SAE Student Racing ream and the University of British Columbia. Parisa has been awarded $2500.
2011 - Andrea Edel
University of Manitoba, Physiology and Human Nutritional Science.
Andrea is studying Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). Knowing the relationship between chronic diseases and nutrition, the early identification of disease using disease biomarkers can result in early detection, treatment and ultimately prevention of (PAD), peripheral arterial hardening, the hardening of large arteries that run through the arms and legs, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the extremities, resulting in difficulty walking and possibly could lead to heart attack. To avoid the damage and expenses related to the late detection of CVD, Alicia is testing humans; known, nutritional interventions, analyzing her findings and using breath samples to identify biomarkers in breath. This identification is a non-invasive, easily and readily obtainable test for CVD.
Andrea is deeply involved in the community. She offers her time to guide tours around the St. Boniface Research Centre; she gives chemistry and healthy heart presentations at elementary schools; she is a judge at high school science fairs. Andrea volunteers as a preschool teacher and recently completed a 5 year term as nursery co-coordinator, thus giving her a position on the Board allowing for her to provide input into the structuring of children’s programs and community outreach opportunities. Being a musician, Andrea plays trombone in the Manitoba Provincial Honour Band and plays the piano; she is an accompanist at music competitions and weddings; once a month she leads a young people’s group at her local church and also leads the congregational singing. Andrea is involved in Love Winnipeg which cleans playgrounds and sings in senior’s homes. Finally, Andrea finds time to coach the varsity girls’ volleyball and basketball at Springfield Collegiate and the University of Winnipeg Collegiate respectively. Andrea has been awarded $2500.
2011 - Alicia Semaka
PhD, University of British Columbia, Centre for Molecular Genetics and Therapeutics.
Alicia is working on Huntington Disease (HD); through genetic testing the gene mutation for HD has been identified and testing can be performed to determine “at-risk” individuals. These at risk persons have a predictable ability to pass HD onto their children who are at a 50% risk of inheriting the disease. However, some people who test for HD receive an unusual result called an intermediate allele (IA); these people will not develop HD but a risk remains in the children of the (IA) parent. Alicia’s work addresses the likelihood of an (IA) parent having a child who develops (HD) later in life and the psychosocial impact of this knowledge. Alicia is the first University of British Columbia, genetic counseling graduate to pursue a PhD, and will be one a few in the world with a PhD.
Alicia’s community involvement is vast; she has volunteered for Edmonton’s Sexual Assault Centre 24 hour crisis phone line; Edmonton’s Down syndrome Society providing childcare; the Winifred Stewart Association for the Mentally Challenged; Science 101 providing science education for individuals living on Vancouver’s Downtown East side; she has mentored local elementary science students in “let’s talk Science”; she mentored new graduates of the Centre for Molecular Medicine & Therapeutics Social Committee; and is extensively involved in the Huntington Disease Society of Canada (HSD) at an annual camp for individuals with HD; she is lead organizer of the HSC Annual Hayden laboratory Tour for Patients & Families; finally Alicia is developing an educational brochure of her research . Alicia has been awarded $2500.
2010 - Joanna Soo Min Kim
University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Dept. of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.
Joanne is investigating the best method to translate science into clinical practices to improve public health, specifically how to effectively use genomics in the health care system. She is a molecular biologist by training and has participated in the Human Genome Project. She is also a violinst, as part of the Chamber of Strings at University of Toronto, Hart House.
2010 - Kristi Kenyon
University of British Columbia, Dept. of Political Science.
Her specific study is in choosing rights: the puzzle of the Rights frame in HIV/AIDS advocacy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kristi is investigating how organizations approach and define their issues of concern, i.e. defining social and ecomnomic rights as opposed to civil and political rights. She is also a founding member of UBC Graduate Student Mental Health initiative, “Movember”.
2010 - Glenys Webster
University of British Columbia, School of Environmental Health.
Glenys is currently working on the effects of PBDE (polybrominated diphenylethers) flame retardants and PFC (perfluorinated compounds) stain repellent chemicals on thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy. She holds dual undergraduate degrees, in Music and Biology.
2009 - Jessica Rourke
University of Victoria, Department of Psychology.
Jessica is investigating Social Personality Psychology, specifically in the field of forgiveness and forgiveness-seeking. She runs forgiveness workshops within the community and helps those who want to forgive but have been unable to do so.
2009 - Laura Nimmon
University of British Columbia, Department of Language and Literacy Education.
Laura works to improve the health literacy levels of marginalized groups. More specifically, she works with disadvantaged youths, who are impoverished, living with physical disabilities, mental illness, and/or struggling with addictions to empower their strengths through theatre.
2008 - Kara Janigan
University of Toronto, OISE.
She is investigating rural female secondary graduates in Eritrea, Africa and to understand the effects of their educational achievement on their lives. Kara has enabled the “unheard voices to be heard”. She wishes to continue working as an educator in Africa and be an effective advocate for girls’ educational and human rights. Kara is a Kappa from the Beta Psi chapter.
2008 - Alexis Knispel
PhD, University of Manitoba, Environmental Conservation Lab.
Receiving this award will allow me to continue my studies in a focused manner over the coming year, facilitating the publication of my findings and the completion of my degree. I am greatly appreciative of the commitment of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation of Canada in providing these opportunities to female doctoral students.
2008 - Betty Kim
MD PhD, University of Toronto, Neurosurgery and Biomedical Engineering.
She is the first Canadian surgical resident (Neurosurgery) to pursue full-time graduate studies in Biomedical Engineering. She conducts research in the fields of bionanotechnology, designing nanostructures for diagnostics and therapies.
2007 - Catherine Lovekin
PhD, Scientist, Observatoire de paris-Meudon
Graduated from: St. Mary’s University, Astronomy and Physics.
"An event like this can make a difference in one person’s life and that is all it takes to be worthwhile."
2006 - Lillian Ting
PhD, University of British Columbia, Pharmaceutics.
2005 - Dr. Adele (Lafrance) Robinson
PhD, C. Psych, Registered Psychologist, Assistant Professor
University of Toronto, School and Child Clinical Psychology.
"When I heard I had been selected to receive the Foundation's Scholarship for Women, I was ecstatic. After having been a university student for 6 years, finances were difficult and between my studies, including a clinical practicum placement, my job, and volunteer activities, there was no extra time. It was also very touching that my hard work and contributions to the community leading up to that point were recognized, and this recognition boosted my motivation and morale as I completed my doctoral dissertation. I am now a registered psychologist and faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Laurentian University where most of my work is focused on women's issues."
2004 - Karen Rideout
PhD, University of B.C., Integrated Studies Land and Food Systems.
2004 - Sheila Singh
MD PhD FRCSC, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences
McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer research Institute (SCC-RD)
Graduated from: University of Toronto, Neurology Molecular Biology.
"The KKG Foundation of Canada scholarship helped me to realize my research goals, as a Canadian woman is pursuit of PhD studies. Young women today face ever more challenges in their attempts to balance starting family with career advancement. Pursuing higher knowledge in any field through a PhD is arduous enough, without the additional grief of being terribly underpaid while struggling to support a young family. The pursuit of a PhD is a sacrifice of time and earning power for most women, and the long term academic results are usually well worth the struggle. The KKG Foundation recognizes this struggle, and promotes women in their studies with both financial and moral support. I will always be grateful for the boost the KKG Foundation gave me during my PhD studies, for not only was I able to successfully publish several papers from my thesis on cancer stem cells in brain tumours, I have been subsequently offered many wonderful research opportunities and will be running my own laboratory at a Canadian university next year. My two sons were born during the course of my PhD, the birth of each marking a seminal publication in my career thus far. With your help, I was able to achieve the balance of work, research and family, as more women will continue to do with the help of foundations like KKG."
2003 - Emily Doolittle
PhD, Assistant Professor of Composition, Cornish college of the Arts
Graduated from: Princeton University, Music.
"The Kappa Kappa gamma Foundation of Canada Scholarship was an enoumous help in enabling me to finish my doctorate in music composition. It provided essential financial support at the final stages of writing my dissertation, when I really needed to be able to concentrate deeply on my work. Even more importantly, it provided outside confirmation that my work was valued and respected. Thank you so much for helping out at such a crucial time in my education."
2002 - Julie Ross
PhD, Territorial Archaeologist, Government of Nunavut
Graduated from: University of Toronto, Anthropology.
"The Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation of Canada scholarship was beneficial to my academic endeavour in three ways. The funding allowed me to concentrate on my studies as opposed to finding outside work, secondly, the old saying that money begets money is true and once a funding group has confidence in you other funding groups also have confidence in you which lead to more money. The more a student can support themselves by grants and scholarships the less stress they are under and the more time they have for academic pursuits. Academic pursuits can be lonely and very hard on you moral so it is also a huge confidence builder to receive an award such as the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation of Canada scholarship. I think the most important aspect of the award was the questions that about what I wanted to do in the future. This is different most scholarships ask about your current research. The question really focused my goals and in part played a role in me taking my current job in the North."
2001 - Kelly Shoemaker
2000 - Linda Morra
PhD, Associate Professor, Bishop's University
Graduated from: University of Ottawa, Canadian Literature.
"I am pleased to hear from the KKG Foundation of Canada, from which I had received support during the second last year of my Ph.D. program at the University of Ottawa. I am currently an Associate Professor who teaches Canadian and American literature at Bishop's University and serves as the Vice-President for the Quebec Writers' Federation.
That scholarship was of immense importance to me. I remember as I applied that I had felt discouraged by the number of past recipients who had worked in the medical sciences. I decided to make a case not only for my own research but also for my field of interest, Canadian Studies. I felt that winning the scholarship would mean more than support for an individual, but rather support for an entire field of study--and I was thus initially astonished and then elated by the KKG Foundation of Canada's decision to show such support for my application.
Of course, the scholarship meant something deeply important to me, as a woman struggling to get through the doctoral program. Doctoral programs are rigorous and challenging at the best of times; they demand full concentration and considerable sacrifice on the part of the candidate. Support--financial, emotional--is often difficult to find, especially for women in the humanities. The scholarship the KKG Foundation of Canada conferred was something rare and momentous for me. It gave me that extra incentive to complete the doctorate successfully, to go on to complete a post-doctorate, and, eventually, to find a position in my field.
Thank you, KKG Foundation of Canada. I sing your praises to my own students and encourage them to become involved with the Foundation and its efforts. My best wishes for your continued success."
1999 - Farah Sheikh
PhD, University of Manitoba, Cardiovascular Physiology.
1998 - Leslie Reid
Ph.D., Tamaratt Teaching Professor
Department of Geosciences
University of Calgary
Graduated from: University of Alberta, Geology.
"The scholarship benefited me in two ways. First, it provided financial support to me during graduate school. Second, it provided me with validation that my work was worth supporting through the KKG. This moral support was as helpful at that time as the financial support."
1997 - Maya Evenden
PhD, Simon Fraser University, Entomology.
Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Simon Fraser University, Phyllis M Wrenn, wrote in support of Maya Evenden. ”I am pleased to learn that you were successful in your application for a Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation of Canada 1997 Graduate Scholarship. It is a significant achievement to win this award.”
1996 - Marcia Finlayson
PhD OT (C) OTR/L,
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies (OTD Program)
Department of Occupational Therapy
University of Illinois at Chicago
Graduated from: University of Illinois, Occupational therapy.
"In 1996, I received a $1000 scholarship award for Canadian women in doctoral studies from the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation of Canada. The award helped to support the costs of preparing for my candidacy exams and dissertation proposal, which was greatly appreciated. Having one funding success made it easier to apply for the next one, and then the one after that, and so on. Fifteen years after that award, I am now a full tenured professor who spends a large part of my time designing and implementing research studies, seeking funding to support these efforts, mentoring graduate students and post-docs, and teaching research-related courses to future investigators. The KKG scholarship was small, but it was a first step in learning how to seek funding and feel confident that it could be obtained. This learning has played an important part in a successful academic career."
2005 - Diana McMillan
RN PhD University of Manitoba, Nursing Science.
1994 - Catherine Hajnal
PhD, Founder, Eight Branches Consulting
And former Assistant Professor of Business, Carleton University
Graduated from: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Industrial Engineering.
"Doctoral studies are not the easiest time in one’s life and can be financially draining. The scholarship was both a financial contribution and an acknowledgement of my abilities."
1994 - Sylvie Landry
PhD, University of Toronto, Astronomy.