Past winners of CFUW Fellowships and Awards share their stories

Ashli Akins

My thesis asks if the loss of culturally significant art is a human rights violation, and discusses the various legal mechanisms that protect the freedoms necessary for artistic expression. I focus on vulnerable populations, such as women and indigenous communities, for whom these violations would be most detrimental, and propose tangible steps that artists, communities, and governments may take to better fulfil artists’ rights globally.

Thank you, to all of the members of the Canadian Federation of University Women, for investing in young women to be the voice of change. You have single-handedly changed my future. Because of you, I have been able to pay it forward to hundreds of women in need.

And this is just the beginning.

Priscilla Ferrazzi

To date, the notion that health science and rehabilitation models developed outside of the discipline of law can help direct and inform responses to people with mental illness in conflict with the law is not well developed in Canada. Yet, the number of people in jail for whom the underlying cause of their criminal behaviour is linked to mental illness is growing. My health science research career is dedicated to addressing this problem.

My doctoral research—funded in part by the generous support of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW)—is an important step along this path. This work, along with upcoming efforts as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, will help to develop my health research leadership in this area and provide me with unique expertise for bringing health science scholarship and thinking to an interdisciplinary context to improve our understanding of the nexus of mental health and criminal law.

Dana Olstad

It had always been my dream to pursue a PhD in nutrition. Scholarship support from the CFUW provided an important part of the funds I needed to pursue my dream. The recognition of having won a CFUW award helped me to win additional awards in subsequent years that carried me through my program. I have just written my dissertation and will be defending it soon. Title of Thesis: Catalyzing adoption and implementation of the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth in recreational facilities.

I appreciate the tireless efforts of CFUW members to raise funds in support of graduate studies. It is because of you that I am about to accomplish my goal!

Joélle Taillon

The major objectives of my PhD work were to better understand the factors influencing the change in the location, the selection and the use of calving grounds of two migratory caribou herds in Northern Quebec and Labrador and to better understand the factors influencing the body condition of females and calves from birth to weaning. I believe my work can help identifying factors influencing population dynamics and better protecting calving grounds of migratory caribou herds, which are identified as critical habitats for this species. Very few studies have quantified changes in the use of seasonal ranges, yet this data is essential for habitat protection.

Having been awarded a CFUW Memorial Award was a major financial contribution during the final year of my PhD. This award provided security and independence for completing my thesis and also allowed me to pursue my efforts in communicating with general and scientific audiences.