York graduate student chosen as one of SSHRC’s five best storytellers

Tanya Elchuk
Tanya Elchuk

York University graduate student Tanya Elchuk has a story to tell about theatre and cognitive neuroscience.

Elchuk, who has just completed a master’s degree in theatre in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, is among the five best “storytellers” chosen from among a field of 25 finalists in a national competition held by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The annual Storytellers contest seeks new ways to better communicate the impact of social sciences and humanities research.

As a final five winner, Elchuk will be invited, expenses paid, to give her presentation as part of SSHRC’s 2015 Impact Awards ceremony in November.

“It has never been more important to communicate the value of social sciences and humanities research, and its contribution to Canadians’ well-being,” said Ted Hewitt, president of the SSHRC. “These five talented winners clearly have the skills, knowledge and creativity needed to be successful in their fields. I congratulate all of them.”

The five winning students in the 2015 Storytellers competition are:

  • Naveen Devasagayam
  • Tanya Elchuk
  • Bryan Gallagher
  • Simon Lisaingo
  • Heather Prime

This year’s final round of competition took place in front of a live audience at the 2015 Congress of the Humanities & Social Sciences, hosted by the University of Ottawa.

Judging the competitors were Shari Graydon, author, journalist and founder of Informed Opinions; Paul Kennedy, broadcast journalist and host of CBC’s “Ideas”; Kirk Luther, former Final Five Storyteller and winner of SSHRC’s 2014 Talent Award; Véronique Morin, documentarist, science journalist and contributor to Téle-Québec’s “Le Code Chastenay”; and Stephen Toope, director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and president of the Federation for the Humanities & Social Sciences.

The annual Storytellers competition challenges postsecondary students to demonstrate – in three minutes or 300 words – how SSHRC-funded research is making a difference in the lives of Canadians. The 25 finalists this year addressed a range of issues – from water security and immigration to social justice, education and food security – and highlighted how knowledge from the social sciences and humanities helps Canadians understand and improve the world around us.