Vashti Campbell is completing their PhD at the Faculty of Medicine, Division of Community Health and Humanities at Memorial University. Their specialization in social equity and health research is informed by their commitment to social justice and anti-oppression studies in social work. Vashti has always seen their pursuit of academic excellence as an extension of their social activism; for Vashti, the personal, political and professional remain intrinsically interwoven. Vashti’s passion for social justice fuels their engagement within their university community where they sit on numerous governance committees.
Vashti has been working with LGBTQ communities and as an ally with communities of colour for many years. This activism has profoundly affected them, particularly organizing the Salaam Toronto / Al-Fatiha International Conference, providing support for the People with AIDS Foundation’s Friends for Life Bike Rally, and offering counselling services during screenings with difficult content for the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.
Using an auto-ethnographic approach, Vashti’s research is informed by intersectional feminist and anti-oppression practice frameworks. Vashti seeks to situate theirself fully in their research, and to model methods for decolonization of research and practice. Examining the intersections of culture and psychiatry and addressing issues of colonialism and systemic racism through critical discourse analysis, Vashti aims to improve health care for marginalized communities locally and globally. As a white, Canadian-born settler and scholar, critical reflexivity is an essential tool for examining their own social locations in this work.
They are grateful to have received a Women’s Health Student Experience Award for research on LGBTQ mental health, and a Canada Graduate Scholarship (Masters) for research related to sexual violence and mental health earlier in their career. They are humbled to receive the Graduate Student Award of Merit from the SWAAC in recognition of their commitment to academic excellence and community leadership.
Kristin Dinning is a Ph.D. candidate in Biology at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), where she studies juvenile lobsters and their habitat use. Identifying and protecting lobster habitat can help protect the species and its fishery, while still allowing development of other coastal industries to diversify our coastal economy. Kristin first identified mud seafloor as juvenile lobster habitat during her M.Sc. research at UNB. She also holds a B.Sc. from Dalhousie University, where she studied seafloor communities using a remote-controlled undersea observatory. Kristin has been generously supported in her studies by several scholarships and awards.
Kristin strives to share her research with the people who rely on our oceans. She has presented her research to both fish harvesters and scientists at fishing industry meetings, and at numerous regional and international conferences. Her love for the marine environment began as a volunteer performing coral reef surveys and compiling fish species lists in Borneo, where she also helped teach English and marine conservation to local schoolchildren, and taught reef survey methods to local SCUBA divers. Kristin continued volunteering at university by serving several terms as president, vice-president, and elections officer of her graduate student association; by representing students on several university committees; and by volunteering in a literacy program at a primary school.
From 2010-2017, Ms. Paynter served as Chair of the Halifax Branch of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, a national organization working to advance substantive equality through feminist litigation, legal reform and education. Ms. Paynter serves as a Director on the Board of the Atlantic Milk Bank Coalition, a non-profit working to advance access to human donor milk in Atlantic Canada.
Ms. Paynter delights in writing and speaking about Nursing Advocacy and women’s health. She is published in the Journal of Human Lactation, the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, and Healthcare Policy. She delivers keynote addresses nationally and internationally.
For her dedication to activist nursing and community volunteerism, Ms. Paynter has received numerous honours, including awards from the Canadian Nursing Student Association, the Canadian Nurses Foundation, and Dalhousie University. She is supported by doctoral scholarships from Dalhousie University, the Maritime Support for Patient-Oriented Research, the Canadian Nurses Foundation, and the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Graduate Scholarship. In November 2017, Ms. Paynter received the Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal for volunteer service to the country. Kristin Williams is a feminist scholar, critical historiographer, non-profit leader, sector advocate and youth mentor. Kristin is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Business Administration (Management) and a Nova Scotia Research Scholar at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. Her dissertation research is exploring the lost contributions of historical women leaders. She is also interested in the way women leaders get lost in the first place and the broader commentary it evokes on the field of management and organizational studies itself (as narrowly conceived and gendered). Her research has been presented at the following conferences: Academy of Management, Critical Management Studies, Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, and the European Group of Organizational Studies. Kristin has two book chapters and an article slated for publishing this year. Her co-authored article featuring Frances Perkins published in 2017 in the Journal of Management History received the Highly Commended Award from Emerald.
The last 10 years of Kristin’s professional career have been in the non-profit sector. Under her leadership as Executive Director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, the Society won 8 industry awards for game-changing programs. Since joining Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia in 2013 as the President and CEO, Kristin’s focus has shifted to supporting youth through vocational training, labour attachment strategies, workforce capacity building, and poverty alleviation. Under her leadership, the organization has become the fastest growing charter in Canada, diversifying and increasing program offerings, expanding core delivery and increasing financial resources by nearly 50%. Kristin has also developed curriculum for students ages 18-25 and personally mentors several young adults. In late 2017, she launched JA’s Legacy Project which involves two capital installations featuring Nova Scotia business leaders inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.
Kristin is an active volunteer, currently serving as a student representative in the PhD program, a strategic advisor for the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning, the immediate past chair of the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia, and as a member of the advisory board for the Centre for Employment Innovation. In the past, she has volunteered with the Federation of Community Organizations, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia, and many other non-profit organizations and industry working groups.
Kristin is thrilled and honoured to receive the SWAAC Graduate Student Award of Merit and hopes this recognition will inspire other female leaders to realize their infinite potential.