Anita Acai is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and the Office of Education Science, Department of Surgery at McMaster University. Her doctoral research in the Performance Science Lab involves investigating how principles of social and cognitive psychology can be applied to improve training for physicians, surgeons, and other health professionals. She also maintains active research interests in a number of other areas of health professions education, gender equity and work-life integration in higher education, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Anita’s PhD research is focused on the group decision-making processes of competence committees, which assess residents’ performance in competency-based medical training programs and make promotion recommendations about their readiness for the next stage of training. This research has received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and McMaster Surgical Associates. Beyond her research contributions, the opportunity to give back to my community has long been an enriching aspect of Anita’s life. At McMaster University, Anita is the Graduate Student Representative on Senate for the Faculty of Science, presently serving on the Committee for Recommending a President, Senate Committee on Appointments, Board-Senate Research Misconduct Hearings Panel, and Senate Committee on Student Affairs. She is also a 2013 3M National Study Fellow, board member at the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph, and volunteer with several other organizations in the Guelph area, including the Canadian Red Cross. Anita is incredibly honoured to have been selected as a recipient of a Graduate Student Award of MERIT from the SWAAC. This support will enable her to continue to excel in her graduate studies and hopefully inspire other women to realize their power and potential to make outstanding contributions to research and community service.
Kalee De France is a PhD Candidate in Psychology at Queen’s University. Kalee’s passion for research stems from her years working as a frontline mental health counsellor for youth involved in the criminal justice system, and with youth and families with acute mental health concerns. This ground level work illuminated for her some of the foundational gaps in our understanding of how mental health problems develop and manifest at an early age. Specifically, Kalee struggled with our society’s systematic lack of attention and resources devoted to early risk and protective factors that, if targeted, could help prevent youth from developing mental health problems and criminal justice system involvement.
The impetus developed during her work as mental health counsellor has informed and motivated Kalee’s transition into graduate school. Kalee’s research has focused largely on examining the ways that youth experience and respond to their emotional experiences in order to identify youth at risk. She is particularly interested in how the associations between emotional processes and mental health may manifest differentially across different levels of SES. Since beginning graduate school, Kalee has continued to be an active member of her community. She volunteers her time with several community organizations that aim to bolster youth development and has organized several projects and community workshops to address stigma and deepen understanding of mental health problems.
Kalee is honored to be a recipient of the 2019 SWAAC Graduate Student Award of Merit. She is a strong believer in the power of women recognizing, supporting, and bolstering other women. She wishes to acknowledge the powerful women she has had the privilege of knowing, working with, and learning from thus far, and is committed to using her academic and community positions to encourage women to find and fuel their own power.
Angela Lee is a PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. Prior to graduate studies, Angela completed her BA and JD at the University of British Columbia. Her research is motivated by the desire to grapple with challenging questions that have profound practical implications for law and society, and to give voice to groups, concerns, and viewpoints that are often marginalized. To this end, her doctoral dissertation critically considers the intersections between new and emerging scientific and technological innovations (like genetically engineered animals, lab-grown meat, and a host of “smart ag” technologies), the environment (especially in light of climate change), various forms of justice (including intergenerational, intragenerational, and interspecies), and the law, specifically in the context of the Canadian agri-food sector. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including Canadian Food Studies, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, the Ottawa Law Review, and the Dalhousie Law Journal, and she has presented her work at many national and international conferences.
In addition to her own research, Angela has been actively involved in advancing the growth and development of food law in Canada. In 2016, along with two JD students, she co-founded the University of Ottawa Food Law Society. She was part of the executive organizing committee of the second annual conference on Food Law and Policy in Canada, hosted by the University of Ottawa in 2017, and continues to be involved with the emerging Canadian Food Law and Policy Association. She also co-developed and currently co-teaches a course on Food Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and is co-editing a forthcoming volume on Food Law in Canada. Angela is very grateful to be a recipient of the 2019 SWAAC Graduate Student Award of Merit. She has benefited tremendously from generous mentorship and support provided by women scholars, colleagues, and peers, and she hopes to be able to offer the same to the next generation of thinkers and doers.
Danyelle Liddle is a PhD Candidate in Human Health & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph, where she is studying obesity-related health effects of one-time and long-term apple consumption, as well as barriers, motivators, and effective communication strategies towards increased apple purchase and consumption in Ontario. She also holds an MSc (and BScH) from the University of Guelph, where she studied various mechanisms underlying the obesity-related health benefits of fish oil-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in consumers.
Beyond her research, Danyelle’s passion for science also extends to outreach and education. She continues to serve as an institutional Scientific Journalist, communicating difficult scientific concepts in an understandable but accurate fashion. Towards the same end, she has completed multiple internationally-recognized teaching development programs and has enjoyed mentoring students as an Instructor or Teaching Assistant for several university undergraduate and graduate courses or during their research projects. Danyelle has also enjoyed leading and working with her fellow graduate students in planning fun and engaging science activities for secondary school students, with a particular focus on inspiring girls to explore study and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.
Throughout her graduate career, Danyelle has also been eager to contribute to organizations and events that align with her passions and aspirations. At the institutional level, for example, she continues to serve as the graduate student representative on the Research Ethics Board, and as the peer-elected President of the Graduate Students’ Association, advocating for her peers’ academic, professional, social, and personal well-being. Outside of the institution, she also continues to serve as the Chair of the Canadian Nutrition Society’s Trainee Leadership Committee, working towards establishing and communicating resources and opportunities for her colleagues’ professional development.
Danyelle is honoured and thrilled to receive the SWAAC Graduate Student Award of Merit and hopes this recognition will inspire other female leaders to realize their infinite potential. Elena Uchiteleva is a PhD Candidate in Electrical Engineering at Western University, specializing in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and machine learning. WSNs are used on a large scale to collect, process and transfer real-time data over a network without human interaction. WSNs help make our industries, workplaces and communities safer, greener, cleaner and efficient. Elena’s research focuses on network resource virtualization, security and encryption as well as predictive modeling for data reduction and anomaly detection in WSNs. Currently, Elena is completing a Mitacs Accelerate internship at Tenova Goodfellow Inc., R&D department, where she applies machine learning towards a safer and smarter steel industry. Besides her passion for engineering research and work, Elena is also a dedicated volunteer in various communities and a big supporter of women in STEM fields. Throughout her graduate studies, Elena enjoyed contributing to diverse range of engineering-related outreach programs. She also chaired various committees and groups. From Elena’s perspective, meaningful impacts are best made through team efforts. She believes that leadership is about enabling others to realize their full potential towards a mutual goal. During 2014-2015, Elena served as the Chair of Women in Engineering (WIE) group for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) London Ontario Section. In 2016-2017, Elena led the group nationally in the role of IEEE WIE Canada Committee Chair. In 2017, she initiated and co-chaired the IEEE WIE International Leadership Summit Toronto 2018 (IEEE WIE ILS Toronto’18). Currently, Elena serves as the Chair of IEEE Canada Member Services Group Committee.
For her leadership, community involvement and her contributions to promoting women in STEM, Elena has received several prestigious awards, including the CEMF Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Graduate Engineering Ambassador Award, the IEEE WIE Inspiring Student Member of the Year Award, and the IEEE Canada Women in Engineering Prize.
It is a big privilege and honor for Elena to be selected for the 2019 SWAAC Graduate Student Award of Merit. She extends her sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada for their remarkable support for and empowerment of female leaders across Canada. This support is of a great significance and value