More than 214 graduate students were honoured at this year’s Scholars Reception to celebrate in excess of $75 million in research funding awarded to York graduate students in major internal and external scholarship competitions between 2010 and 2014.
Hosted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), fellow colleagues, faculty members and York staff came out to recognize the research accomplishments of some of York’s exceptional graduate students.
Karen Krasny, Associate Dean, Academic in FGS, spoke to the importance and breadth of research on campus for the ceremony’s opening remarks. “Today, graduate students make up the largest group of active researchers in the university and their success contributes to York’s capacity for research intensification, reputation, and our ability to recruit,” she noted. “From theoretical cosmology to the quality of intervention for children with autism, from the potential of public housing policy and design to alleviate urban ethnic conflict to the critical role of photography in shaping our notions of culture and national identity, the research undertaken by the graduate award and scholarship recipients in attendance today contributes to the world-class research underway at York University.”
Rhonda Lenton, Vice President Academic and Provost, further highlighted the importance of graduate students’ scholarship successes. “You, our graduate students, are honoured with tens of millions of dollars in scholarships and grants each year, awards that recognize your academic excellence, your research accomplishments and potential, and your commitment to sharing your knowledge and skills within the university and out in the world,” she said.
Anaya Mukerjee-Reed, Associate Vice-President Research in the Office of the Vice-President of Research and Innovation, spoke passionately about the difference recipients are making with their work, and shared insights to her very first graduate students as a young professor, noting those interactions are special and impactful.
Lucas McCann, a PhD student in Chemistry and President of the York University Graduate Students’ Association (YUGSA), reminded the audience how thankful all should be for the safe and encouraging environment both York and Canada as a whole provides students to conduct their work. He referenced the Michael M. Pollard Bursary in Organic Chemistry to which he was awarded, whose namesake, a chemistry professor at York, passed away unexpectedly at a young age. He encouraged all students to involve themselves in a variety of activities and communities to further the reach of their work and to make the most of their opportunities.
Anna Roberts, a PhD student in Organization Studies and recent Elia Scholarship recipient, shared details about her work and the opportunity her scholarship provides in order to pursue her research endeavours. “I would also like to take this time to offer my sincere thanks to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and York University for granting me this funding,” she said. “Due to the [Elia Foundation’s] support, I now am able to pursue my research on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace.”
Guests welcomed the opportunity to meet fellow researchers who they otherwise may not encounter on campus due to the extensiveness of disciplines. Afterwards, YUGSA was gracious to invite all graduate student attendees to their December social at The Overgrad Café to continue the discussion and meet new friends.