Winners 2021-2022


Value: $5,000

Dedicated in 2020 to Susan Murphy (1950-2019). Susan Murphy served as a Past National President of CFUW (2010-2014). She was also a Past Chair of the CFUW Charitable Trust Board (2012-2016).

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2021-2022 Inaugural Winner: CAITILIN MCMILLAN

B.A. Global Development Studies (Hons), 2010, Queen’s University

M.Sc. Migration Studies, 2011, University of Oxford

Ph.D. Human Geography, 2019-2024, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Caitilin works with women survivors of war and torture to improve mental health and psychosocial care practices in the aftermath of violence. Psychosocial approaches still remain a relative ‘black box’ within the humanitarian sector, but broadly offer a way of thinking about care that captures the inseparable relationship between an individual’s psychological wellbeing and their embeddedness in the wider social environment. Her work looks at how these spaces of care are produced by civil society organizations and sheds light on the intimate geopolitics of how women alongside their rehabilitation counselors work to heal past wounds while advocating to prevent future violence.


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.

2021-2022 Winner: CINDY CHEN

B.A.Sc. Arts & Science, 2013, McMaster University

B.A. Business Administration (Hons), 2015, Western University

Masters Program in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences, 2021-2023, Columbia University


Recent news stories have revealed gender and racial discrimination embedded in algorithms that make critical decisions such as granting financial credit, determining social assistance eligibility, and prioritizing healthcare waitlists.  Although these discriminatory errors in algorithms are generally unintentional, they are often discovered reactively and consequences. Cindy’s research aims to identify inequities and oversights in algorithmic decisions behind benefits applications, propose improvements, and ultimately formalize a technical framework for auditing algorithms that determine public benefits.


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.

2021-2022 Winner: HEIDI COSSEY

B.Sc. Civil Environmental Engineering, 2015, University of Alberta

M.Sc. Environmental Engineering, 2018, University of Alberta

Ph.D. Geoenvironmental Engineering, 2019-2023, University of Alberta


Pit lakes are a proposed strategy for managing oil sands waste (tailings) indefinitely and integrating tailings into the surrounding landscape. However, the long-term success of this strategy is unknown.

To address this knowledge gap and evaluate the long-term behavior of pit lakes, Heidi is accelerating natural aging processes in miniature pit lakes in the laboratory. The motivation for Heidi’s research is to ensure that pit lakes are an environmentally responsible approach to long-term tailings management.


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.

2021-2022 Winner: JENNA RICHARDS

B.Mus. Piano Performance, 2013, University of Toronto

Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, 2014, Carleton University

Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Research in Music, 2020-2024, University of Ottawa

Jenna’s research explores the relevancy of post-secondary music performance curriculum in the lives of professional musicians, particularly examining the role of extra-musical training, such as arts entrepreneurship, pedagogy, and community engagement. As musicians have no pre-determined pathways to success, it is imperative that higher education institutions cultivate broad skillsets to prepare musicians for their “portfolio careers”. Jenna will correspondingly study identities that are self-ascribed by and/or projected upon individuals as they formulate their divergent careers.


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.

2021-2022 Winner: LAURIANE OUELLET

B.A. Occupational Therapy, 2013, Université Laval

M.Sc. Occupational Therapy, 2016, Université Laval

M.Sc. Public Health, 2020-2022, Université Laval




Lauriane’s research focuses on community resources in Nunavik (northern Quebec) that promote harmonious development of Inuit children.  Her project aims to highlight Inuit promising community support approaches and practices and to facilitate access to these resources for families.  The results of her project will be used to propose consistent recommendations with the values, culture and aspirations of families with a view to strengthening the capacities of Inuit communities and families and to promote empowerment and community mobilization.


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.

2021-2022 Winner:


B.A.Sc. Materials Engineering (Hons), 2019, University of Toronto
M.A.Sc. Candidate, Biomedical Engineering, 2020-2022, University of Toronto

One of the most important factors in nanomedicine design is also one of the hardest to measure: how will materials interact with the body? Samantha is working to decode a subset of these interactions using machine learning, to accelerate the clinical translation of nanomedicines. Samantha’s research will quantitatively model beneficial polymer-protein interactions that allow nanoparticles to adhere and deliver drugs through mucosal membranes. Commercialized mucoadhesive drug delivery systems will improve the treatment and prevention of disease globally by reducing side effects, and in time may enable needle-free vaccine delivery.


B.Sc. Psychology (Hons), 2016, University of New Brunswick

M.A./Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, 2018-2023, University of New Brunswick

Jennifer’s research focuses on the psycho-social impact of formal policies and cultural practices on the daily lived experiences of sibling caregivers of individuals with intellectual disabilities residing in New Brunswick and Ontario. Her research seeks to identify aspects of the Canadian healthcare and social welfare systems that complicate sibling caregivers’ lives, as well as elucidate how sibling caregivers make sense of, navigate, and cope with the intersecting social, cultural, organizational, political, and ideological influences.


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.

2021-2022 Winners:


B.Eng. Environmental Engineering, 2016, University of Guelph

M.Sc. Geography, 2020-2022, University of Toronto, Mississauga


Air pollutants impact the health of millions of people around the world. Priya’s research is focused on understanding where these pollutants are, and who is breathing them. Her research work at the University of Toronto will use satellite measurements of air quality to understand how pollutants are distributed throughout cities. Her work will allow municipalities to understand which areas of the city and which population groups are the most heavily impacted by air pollutants. In addition to her thesis work, Priya is also working as a researcher with the City of Toronto in Ontario, Canada to understand how COVID-19 has impacted air quality across the city.


B.Sc. Biology, 2014, Université du Québec à Rimouski
Graduate diploma in Geomatics, 2016, Université Laval
M.Sc. Forest Sciences, 2021-2023, Université Laval

Prevailing theory predicts that boreal caribou will avoid recently burned areas due to limited foraging opportunities and high predation risk. However, growing evidence suggests fire has less impact on caribou demography than anthropogenic disturbance, and that caribou response varies regionally. Geneviève’s research will examine caribou response to post-fire habitat changes in the Northwest Territories. Understanding changes in caribou demography and behavior resulting from the effects of global warming is fundamental to conservation, management, and policy.


Bachelor of Environmental Studies, 2012, University of Waterloo
Master of Environmental Studies, 2015, University of Waterloo
Ph.D. Social Science, 2020-2024, Royal Roads University

To conserve water, communities can reuse treated wastewater for activities like toilet flushing, irrigation and drinking. But people are disgusted by the idea of using water that once touched human feces. Drawing from social psychology and communications literatures, Stephanie is investigating how communication tools and messages can be designed to address automatic, emotional disgust responses to water reuse project proposals. This barrier must be managed for water reuse to become a viable water supply solution.


B.Mus. Music Education (Hons), 2015, University of Toronto

M.A. Music and Health Science & Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, 2016, University of Toronto

Ph.D. Medical Science & Collaborative Program in Neuroscience, 2021-2025, University of Toronto

Dementia affects women more than men. Due to a lack of pharmacological progress, alternative interventions have become increasingly urgent. Musical memory in persons with dementia are relatively spared compared to other types of memory, suggesting that music may serve as a modality that can access intact memory networks. Veronica aims to determine the effects of long-known music listening with recall of autobiographical memories on cognitive measures and to investigate underlying neural mechanisms via neuroimaging methods.


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.


B.A. Anthropology, 2010, Université Laval
B.A. Music Education, 2017, Université Laval
M.A. Administration, Policy and Education, 2020-2023, Université Laval


As an elementary school teacher for the past 5 years, Marie has observed that in some programs (with an artistic or athletic content), the enrollment rates between girls and boys are unbalanced: this disparity raises issues of gender segregation in public elementary schools. Marie’s research is particularly interested in the logics of action and the conditions that structure parental choices and the impact of these choices on children’s educational pathways.


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.

2021-2022 Winner:


B.Sc. Forensic Chemistry, 2019, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
M.Sc. Chemistry, 2019-2022, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

3D printed firearms cause a considerable problem in criminal investigations because they do not leave the “conventional” ballistic traces. It is therefore essential to look at the other types of traces they leave, such as chemical traces from the polymers used in 3D printing. The lack of knowledge and the increase in reported cases involving 3D printed firearms make it essential to develop and optimize methods of detection and interpretation of traces related to their use to be better prepared to fight against this growing phenomenon.


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.

2021-2022 Winner:


H.B.A. History/Political Science, 2008, University of Toronto
M.A. History, 2010, Carleton University
Ph.D. History, 2018-2023, Johns Hopkins University

Vincenza is currently a Fellow at the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine at JHU. Her interests include African history; histories of the body and health; gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial studies. Vincenza’s dissertation uses oral history and alternative media to examine the entanglements between non-racialism, feminism, and anti-apartheid health activism in South Africa during the 1980s. Her research delineates the limits and possibilities of non-racial and feminist activism in the 20th century.