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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 28, 2016
Canadian Excellence



Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

Laurierís graduate students continue to shine by winning highly competitive awards

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Jan 7/09

Laurier graduate students demonstrated high academic excellence which led to a high success rate in the 2008-2009 academic year, in national and provincial scholarship competitions, as well as other prestigious opportunities.

The federal tri-council granting agencies allocate each university in Canada a quota of applications that can be submitted for their respective national competitions. The opportunities are exceedingly competitive beginning at each university, where students who apply hope that their application will be among those forwarded for the national competition.

In the areas of social sciences and humanities, the tri-council funding agency Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Laurier saw a 100 percent success rate in the competitions for doctoral and masterís-level awards. Laurierís quota for the national competition for doctoral-level awards was 11, and two applicants won the prestigious Canada Graduate Scholarship, valued at $105,000 over three years. Nineteen Laurier students won the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship masterís award, valued at $17,500. A high success rate resulted in an increase in Laurierís quota and a total of 70 applications for doctoral awards, and 32 applications for masterís-level awards were reviewed for the 2009-10 competitions. Results will be available by mid-April.

An increase in graduate programming in the areas of the natural sciences also generated an increase in applications to the federal funding council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Five of the nine applications forwarded for the 2008-2009 national competition were funded.  For the 2009-10 competition, nine applications from the 24 received were forwarded to NSERC, and results are expected by April.

Through the Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research Ė Primary Health Care program (funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)), PhD student in social work Colleen McMillan was awarded a fellowship award for her transdisciplinary initiatives in the area of eating disorders.

Laurierís success rate in the Ontario Graduate Scholarship competition remained steady in the 2008-200, with 29 awards won for masterís-level study, and 25 awards won for doctoral-level study. Competition for this award remains extremely keen: the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities receives over 11,000 applications for this award (2000 awards are available annually). For the 2009-10 competition, 166 applications were submitted and results are expected by mid-April.

Laurier graduate students demonstrate their academic excellence in other venues too.

Laurier English and film studies PhD student Katie Quanz awarded the Gerald Pratley Award for Advancement in Canadian Film Studies. Katie was chosen from among PhD students across Canada for this award, which celebrates students who undertake innovative research in cinema studies that contribute to the understanding of Canadian and Quebec cinema.

MSW student Bharati Sethi was named one of the first recipients of the Ontario governmentís Hilary M. Weston Scholarship, in recognition by the provincial government for her commitment to mental health issues.

Laurier English and film studies PhD student Jenny Wills received a Fulbright Student Award. The Fulbright Program facilitates bilateral academic exchanges between the United States and over 150 countries where outstanding professionals, scholars and students examine subjects critical to strengthening the relationship between the two countries. Jenny Wills will spend nine months at Harvard University studying representations of transnational and transracial Asian adoption in contemporary Canadian and American fiction.

Kevin Turner, a PhD student in geography, was selected to participate in the International Polar Year's Antarctic Student Expedition. This unique initiative provides approximately 100 students from around the world a learning expedition to the Arctic and Antarctic.

A ceremony honouring these and the many other award winners for the 2008-09 academic year will be held on February 3. For more information on the successes of our graduate students, visit the graduate studies homepage.

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