Top graduate students celebrated with Governor General's Gold Medal

David Moffette, a PhD graduate in Sociology, and Sarah D'Amour, a Master's graduate in Psychology are this year's recipients of the Governor General's Gold Medal—awarded to the graduate students with the highest academic standing.

photo of David Moffette

David Moffette

Prof. Lorna Erwin, Graduate Program Director in Sociology, said Mr. Moffette's dissertation Governing Irregular Migration: Logics and practices in Spanish immigration policy is "by any standard an exceptional piece of scholarship. The intellectual creativity with which Moffette deals with his topic is stunning. His grasp of political sociology, governmentality studies, critical policy studies and the sociology of the law is likewise remarkable."

While at York, Mr. Moffette's academic excellence was recognized with seven highly prestigious awards and scholarships. Prof. Erwin outlined these achievements, noting "he has been remarkably productive, having published five articles in top-rated, peer-reviewed journals, two book chapters, several book reviews and a number of online reports, in addition to presenting his research at national and international conferences.”

photo of Sarah D'Amour

Sarah D'Amour

In nominating Sarah D'Amour for the Master's prize, Prof. Adrienne Perry, Graduate Program Director in Psychology, commented her "research productivity has been nothing short of remarkable. She has already four publications (three as first author) in good journals and several others in preparation." Ms. D'Amour, who graduated last October, has received awards for both her Master's thesis and her Honours thesis – last month she received the Marian Regan prize for the best Master's thesis in a vision-related topic.

D’Amour’s supervisor, Prof. Laurence Harris, recommended her "because of her exceptional productivity, the quality of the work that has gone into her multiple papers, the importance that they represent for psychology in general—the representation of the body in the brain and embodied sensory processes is finding far-reaching implications—and because of the high hopes I have for Sarah as a psychology graduate student in the immediate future and as a career scientist.”

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. 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.