Three York University grads are this year’s recipients of a Governor General’s Gold Medal, awarded for achieving the highest academic standing. The medals are the most prestigious recognition presented to graduate students. This year’s recipients are Miranda DiLorenzo, Rebecca Hall and Tamas Nagypal.
“The Governor General’s Gold Medals are an academic distinction that celebrates the very highest level of scholarly excellence in Canada,” said Rhonda L. Lenton, York University president and vice-chancellor. “On behalf of all of us at the University, I am delighted to congratulate Miranda, Rebecca and Tamas on their achievement, which truly is a testament to their hard work, dedication and passion, as well as the impact they have made during their time at York.”
DiLorenzo recently completed her master’s degree in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at York University in Faculty of Health Professor Rebecca Pillai Riddell’s Opportunities to Understand Childhood Hurt (OUCH) Laboratory. DiLorenzo is now a PhD student working in the OUCH lab and conducting her research in the same program. She is focused on examining how the substrates of emotion regulation – a process essential for maintaining psychological wellbeing – develop early in life.
During infancy, children learn how to calm down through coordinating their stress reactivity and regulation states with their caregiver. However, there is a lack a basic understanding of how the process of caregiver-infant co-regulation develops early in development. The goal of DiLorenzo’s doctoral research is to provide a better understanding of the development of caregiver-infant co-regulation (across age and distressing contexts) and to determine the relationships between co-regulation and broad infant mental health indicators.
Hall holds a PhD in Political Science from York University. She takes a feminist political economy approach to questions related to Indigenous/Canadian state relations, resource extraction and gender-based violence. Hall’s scholarly publications have examined multiple sites of contemporary de/colonizing struggle in Canada, including resource extraction, property relations, caring labours and interpersonal violence.
She is the recipient of the prestigious Mary McEwan Memorial Award for feminist research for her dissertation titled, Diamonds are Forever: a decolonizing, feminist approach to diamond mining in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, which takes a feminist political economy approach to the impact of the northern diamond mining industry on Indigenous women. It reveals the ways in which Dene, Métis, and Inuit women’s labours that contribute to the social reproduction of their kin and communities have been both a site of colonial restructuring towards the demands of extractive capital, and of decolonizing resistance.
In July, Hall will take up an appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University.
A newly minted postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at Oregon State University, Nagypal’s scholarship examines the biopolitics of neoliberal capitalism in film and media through the optics of historicity, affect, aesthetics, race and gender. His dissertation, Film Noir as the Sovereign-Image of Empire: Cynicism, White Male Biopolitics, and the Neoliberal Cinematic Apparatus, offered a historical account of American film noir from the Second World War to the era of globalization. It tracked the transformation of the genre through the changing images of the sovereign white male body it put forward in different periods.
Nagypal is now working on a book manuscript titled “Illiberal Cinema in Post-Socialist Eastern Europe” that looks at the cinema of disillusionment that emerged during the region’s failed transition to liberal democracy. His research has been published in journals such as Mediations, Film International and the Journal of Religion and Film, as well in the edited volume Žižek and Media Studies: A Reader.
More about the Governor General’s Academic Medals
Lord Dufferin, Canada’s third governor general after Confederation, created the academic medals in 1873 to encourage academic excellence across the nation. Over the years, they have become the most prestigious award that students in Canadian schools can receive.
The Governor General’s Academic Medals are awarded at four distinct levels: Bronze at the secondary school level; Collegiate Bronze at the post-secondary, diploma level; Silver at the undergraduate level; and Gold at the graduate level. Medals are presented on behalf of the governor general by participating educational institutions, along with personalized certificates signed by the governor general. There is no monetary award associated with the medal. (Source: the official website of the Governor General of Canada.)