Winners 2020-2021

Value: $11,000

This fellowship, established in 1952, honours Margaret McWilliams, first CFUW President (1919-1923), who dedicated her life to furthering the status of women through improved access to higher education and the active involvement of women in public life. It is awarded to a woman who has completed at least one calendar year in a full-time doctoral program and is enrolled in full-time studies in Canada or abroad at the time of application.

2020-2021 Winner: Jessica Ewald

B.Sc. Engineering Sciences & Applied Mathematical Sciences (Minor), 2017, Harvard University
Ph.D. Natural Resource Sciences, 2017-2021, McGill University

Recent advances in biotechnology allow scientists to measure the concentration of every gene, metabolite, and protein in a tissue. Jessica is interested in finding ways to use this kind of data to predict whether a chemical is likely to be harmful to humans or wildlife. The overall objective of her research is to develop new mathematical methods and software to help people interpret and communicate this complex molecular data within the context of regulatory environmental toxicology.

Value: $8,000

Honours those for whom the CFUW Charitable Trust receives memorial donations. At the time of application, the candidate must be enrolled in masters studies in science, mathematics or engineering. This fellowship is tenable in Canada or abroad.

2020-2021 Winner: Shawna Narayan

B.Sc. Physics, 2018, University of British Columbia
M.Sc. Experimental Medicine, 2019-2021, University of British Columbia

One in five Canadians will personally experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year. With such a high prevalence, a significant number of Canadians will search for resources and support for screening, diagnosis, management and self-care. Health technologies such as e-mental health resources are suited to provide mental health services virtually to ensure more Canadians are receiving the care they need. Shawna’s research explores the experiences ethnic minorities have with anxiety and depressive resources to help support the creation of culturally responsive e-mental health services.

Total Value: $20,000

Two awards at the masters level and two for doctoral level study. The value of each award is $5,000.

Dr. Alice E. Wilson, CFUW member, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the first woman to hold a professional position at the Geological Survey of Canada won the 1926 CFUW Travelling Fellowship. Awarded to mature students returning to graduate studies in any field after at least three years.

2020-2021 Winners:

Kelly Cochrane

B.Sc. Biology (Hons), 2007, University of Guelph
Primary Care Paramedic Diploma, 2009, Conestoga College
Advance Care Paramedic Graduate Diploma, 2011, Algonquin College
Masters in Public Safety (M.P.S.), 2019-2021, Wilfred Laurier University.

Kelly has dedicated her profession to serving her community on the frontlines of paramedicine and being a strong female servant leader. Her studies in Public Safety and Emergency Management are focused current events that are shaping the emergency management landscape. Kelly’s research is collaborated with multiple agencies professionals across the Public Safety spectrum to provide a progressive and unified approach to emergency preparedness, response, mitigation and improve the overall safety of Canadian’s locally, nationally and internationally.

Emily Dawson

B.Sc. Life Sciences (Hons), 2013, Queen’s University
M.P.H., 2015, Queen’s University
M.Sc. Epidemiology, 2019-2021, Western University

Total hip replacement is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in Canada. As such, the wait list can be significant, and some patients must wait more than the recommended time. Emily’s research will examine the impact of wait time on the health and quality of life of patients undergoing elective hip replacements, with the goal of understanding how patient health changes over the wait period and the impact this has on outcomes after surgery.

Lori Anne Heckbert

B.A. Political Studies (first class standing), 1988, University of Prince Edward Island

M.A. Political Science, 1993, University of Western Ontario (now Western University) 
L.L.B., 1997, University of Victoria

M.B.A., 2010, York University and Northwestern University
Ph.D. Law, 2017-2022, University of Ottawa

Lori Anne’s research develops legal strategies to close the gender gap in leadership roles. It advocates tax credit and other strategies to nudge organizations to implement proven gap-reducing best practices. It leverages Canadian, US and EU legal supports for a recommended reform package that can withstand legal challenge, and includes specific recommendations to accelerate closing this gap for racialized women.

Jennifer (Jen) Murray

B.A. Sociology, 2009, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA
M.Sc. Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 2015, McGill University
Ph.D. Population and Public Health, 2019-2023, University of British Columbia

Jen’s research examines ways to strengthen motherhood journeys of Indigenous women. Using community-based research methods, which is community-driven and -led research grounded in participant ownership and self-determination, Jen is working with a community research team to understand how to prevent an elevated rate of preterm birth in a First Nations community in British Columbia. Jen is a settler and ally in Indigenous health research.

Total Value: $12,000

One award of $7,000 for doctoral level study and one award of $5,000 for masters study

Commemorates the fourteen women students murdered at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. For graduate studies in any field. The applicant must justify the relevance of her work to women.

2020-2021 Winner:

Jillian Campbell

B.A. Political Science, Minor in Economics, 2008, University of Calgary
B.Sc. Biology (Hons.), 2019, Vancouver Island University
M.Sc. Biology, 2019-2021, University of Victoria

Marine biodiversity data are limited due to the challenging, dangerous, and time-intensive methods of collecting species diversity and abundance data. Jillian’s research will determine the applicability of using tidal current as a proxy for fish biodiversity in data limited areas and establish its value as an ecological indicator for use in marine conservation efforts. Ten locations in British Columbia with differing current regimes were studied using SCUBA to determine the variations in fish community composition.

Suzie Dunn

J.D. with a Specialization in Law and Technology, 2015, University of Ottawa
L.L.M. with a Specialization in Law and Technology, 2017, University of Ottawa
Ph.D., Law, 2017-2023, University of Ottawa

Suzie’s research centers on the intersections of gender, equality, technology and the law, with a specific focus on the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, deepfakes, and impersonation in digital spaces. As technology evolves, perpetrators of gender-based violence have found ways to use these new technologies to harm women. Suzie’s research examines what legal, social, and technical response could help prevent this form of violence against women.

Value: $5,000

Georgette LeMoyne was one of the first women to receive a university degree in French Canada. She devoted her life to the promotion of education and employment for women. It is for graduate study in any field at a Canadian university. The candidate must be studying in French and write the Statement of Intent (Section I) of the application in French.

2020-2021 Winner:

Sonia Michaelsen

B.A. Psychology, 2011, McGill University
M.Sc. International Development, 2017, University of Birmingham
Ph.D. Global Health, 2018-2023, Université de Montreal

Gender-based violence is a serious public health and human rights issue worldwide. Forcibly displaced women, particularly within the context of humanitarian crises, are more at risk. Sonia’s research will focus on exploring South Sudanese refugees’ (within Uganda) experiences of gender-based violence, comparing women who live in settlement areas to those who have chosen to self-settle in urban areas. The goal is to better understand the socio-ecological factors in these 2 unique environments that may contribute to the risk of gender-based violence.

Value: $6,000

The fellowship is open to candidates enrolled in studies in Human Ecology including Family and Consumer Sciences, at the masters or doctoral level. The applicant must be accepted or enrolled in a post-graduate program in Canada at the time of application.

The evolving studies in Human Ecology include: human nutrition, food science, housing/shelter and aesthetics, architecture, financial resource management, clothing and textiles, family relations, human sexuality, and human development.

2020-2021 Winner: Jessica Furtado

Bachelor of Applied Science, 2014, University of Guelph
M.S.W., 2016, University of Toronto
Ph.D., Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, 2018-2021, University of Guelph

Jessica’s dissertation project builds on her Master’s of Social Work thesis in which she explored how children interpret hospitalization as potentially traumatic and/or resilience-building. In moving forward, Jessica intends to extend these understandings to include how children and their families experience medical challenges and how they can together build relational resilience and wellbeing. She brings a clinical application perspective to both her research and her practice as a Child Therapist, with the intention of extending these findings into care models provided to children and families.

Value: $6,000

Honours a founding member of the Nova Scotia Home Economics Association who dedicated her professional life to home economics education. At the time of application, the applicant must be enrolled in masters studies that focus on one or more aspect(s) of the field of Human Ecology/Home Economics/Family and Consumer Studies. Special consideration will be given to those pursuing a postgraduate degree in education. She may be studying abroad.

The evolving studies in Human Ecology include: human nutrition, food science, housing/shelter and aesthetics, architecture, financial resource management, clothing and textiles, family relations, human sexuality, and human development.

2020-2021 Winner: Hannah Charnock

B.Sc. Chemistry (Co-op), 2018, University of Victoria
M.Sc. Biological Sciences, 2019-2021, Brock University

Hannah’s research focuses on a specific system of chemical reactions, known as the Maillard Reaction, which occurs in many food and beverage systems and contributes to the distinct bready, roasted and caramel aromatic qualities of aged sparkling wine. This research not only identifies strategies to improve food and beverage quality, but also plays into food sustainability, innovation, and consumer health.

Value: $5,000

Established in 2006, in memory of Elizabeth Massey, a young lawyer and member of CFUW whose life was greatly enriched by her love of the creative arts. For post-graduate studies in the visual arts/fine arts, such as painting or sculpture; or in music. The award is tenable in Canada or abroad.

2020-2021 Winner: Elizabeth (Ellie) Anderson

B.A. Music, 2013, University of Alberta
B.A. Education, 2013, University of Alberta
M.A. Music, Wind Band Conducting, 2019-2021, Georgia State University

The depth of music repertoire written for the wind band medium by female composers is slim, especially those of Canadian nationality. In an effort to promote female composers as well as broaden the music available for wind band, Ellie’s research will focus on transcribing choral and orchestral works by women to the wind band setting. Publishing these transcribed works will allow them to be experienced by a larger number of musicians and audiences, resulting in greater awareness of female composers.

Total Value: $6,000

Inaugurated in 2015, the award is named to honour Linda Souter, the only Canadian member of CFUW that has served both as President of CFUW and Graduate Women International (formerly known as International Federation of University Women, IFUW). Awarded to a masters or doctoral student studying in the area of the Humanities. Generally, study in the Humanities is theoretical and does not involve empirical methodology. The Humanities could include the following: English Language and Literature, History, Languages Study, Classics, Philosophy, Film Studies, Communication Studies, and Culture Studies.

2020-2021 Winner:

Desirée Valadares

B.Arts Sc. (Combined Hons), Arts and Science and Art History, 2009, McMaster University
M.L.A. Landscape Architecture (Professional Design Degree), 2013, University of Guelph
M.Arch. Urban Design and Housing (Post-Professional Research Degree), 2015, McGill University
Ph.D. Architectural History, 2015-2021, University of California, Berkeley 

Desirée is a practicing historical landscape architect and interdisciplinary writer with a focus in critical ethnic studies, legal geography and environmental history. Her dissertation is attentive to federal preservation policy and cultural heritage law as it intersects with Indigenous land claims/ Aboriginal title and Asian North American (Japanese American + Canadian) redress and war memory. She places her legal/geographic focus on two former U.S. territories (Hawai’i and Alaska) and unceeded lands in Canada’s westernmost province (British Columbia).

Value Range: $10,000 – $25,000 (Renewable) for 2020 – 2021

Next competition opens in 2021.


In March 2015, the Education Council-Wolfville transferred the proceeds of their education fund to the CFUW Charitable Trust to establish a new award, the CFUW Aboriginal Women’s Award (AWA). This award was designed to honour Dr. Marion Elder Grant’s life-long commitment to education of women. Dr. Grant has an outstanding record of leadership as the 11th CFUW President (1949-52), CFUW Wolfville President, and Dean of Women and Professor of Psychology, Acadia University.

An applicant for the CFUW AWA will be considered eligible on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Canadian Aboriginal woman;
  • Study in Canada;
  • Holds or will hold an undergraduate university degree or equivalent before the CFUW AWA for which she applied is granted; and
  • Must have applied to be a full-time student in any year of an eligible program at a recognized or accredited Canadian post-secondary degree-granting institution.

Eligible programs: are the academic programs for which a CFUW AWA Applicant (or Renewal Applicant) may be studying. They include:

  1. Programs leading to a first degree in law – Bachelor of Laws (LLB); Juris Doctor (JD).
  2. Programs leading to the following first degrees in medicine – Medical Doctor (MD); Doctor of Optometry (OD).
  3. Programs leading to qualifying for a licence to practice as a Nurse Practitioner in the province or territory of the graduate’s choice.
  4. Programs leading to a Master’s degree in fields dealing with important Canadian aboriginal issues at the time the AWA is given as defined by the most recent Canadian report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Nicole Nohr Dawydiuk

B.Sc. Health Sciences, 2019, Simon Fraser University
M.Sc. Population and Public Health, 2019-2021, University of British Columbia

Nicole has followed her passion studying Indigenous health and primary health care accessibility in rural communities for her undergraduate degree. She is continuing her studies in a Master of Science program at UBC, where she also works as a graduate research assistant at the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP). Nicole’s thesis work has been developed in collaboration with community partners at HELP and the Aboriginal Steering Committee. Her research will focus on utilizing parent-toddler data (TDI- Toddler Development Instrument) collected from communities across BC to assess toddler well-being in communities, as a way to better understand how Indigenous families are accessing primary health care and community resources. This project will be used to identify resource gaps and barriers to care, to help communities and stakeholders distribute their resources according to the needs of families.