Graduate research celebrated at annual Scholars Reception

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Graduate students, faculty and staff gathered at York University’s Faculty of Graduate Studies’ (FGS) Scholars Reception on Dec. 5 to honour recipients of major internal and external research scholarships.

This includes over $31 million in federal, provincial and other major external awards from 2013 to 2016, and approximately $63.3 million in York University awards from 2012 to 2016.

Fahim Quadir, Interim Dean of FGS, interacting with students

“I am delighted and honoured to be part of this wonderful event, which is organized to celebrate your outstanding scholarly achievements,” said Fahim Quadir, interim dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. “This event is to recognize the many different ways you contribute to York and make the university a better place for pioneering research that contributes to the greater public good. We thank you for making the decision to pursue your graduate education here.”

York University graduate students in attendance at the event

Graduate students from various disciplines spoke about their research and the importance of research support for students. Alison Humphrey, PhD candidate in cinema and media studies and recipient of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, spoke about her research project of creating a science fiction story world titled Shadowpox, exploring civic engagement through the concept of vaccination.

Camellia Bryan, PhD candidate in administration and recipient of the Elia Scholarship, highlighted her work examining the increasing inequality in society by exploring how low-status individuals and groups work to gain agency in organizations.

“The goal of my research is to unlock human potential in organizations through a greater understanding of fairness, diversity, and power,” she said. “Thank you so much for choosing me as an Elia Scholar. Every day I think about the trust and hope that you have placed in me, and each day I work towards living up to your faith in me.”

Erica Tatham, PhD candidate in psychology and recipient of the Vanier Canadian Graduate Scholarship, highlighted her work in developing and validating a questionnaire that measures feelings of normalization with regard to changes in memory and cognition among older adults.

Venilla Rajaguru, PhD candidate in science and technology studies and recipient of the Susan Mann Dissertation Scholarship, spoke about her work on planetary engineering – the process of creating artificial islands that reconstitute planetary spaces into enviro-technological groupings. Rajaguru also shared her hopes of contributing to scholarship in other ways, such as participating in the development of e-learning platforms to improve accessibility to education at the university, and contributing to virtual university networks.

Hosted annually by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the Scholars Reception provides a space for top-tier students from all disciplines to mix, mingle and network – to learn about the diversity of engaging graduate level research happening at York University.