The UA Blog

World’s Challenge Challenge Global Final to take place at Western University this May

Western University, a Partner Institution of the Undergraduate Awards, is partnering with some of the world’s best universities for the first international World’s Challenge Challenge in 2016-2017.

Students from participating partner universities will form diverse teams of three to bring ideas forward to address a global issue. Winning teams from each World’s Challenge Challenge partner institutions will present their solution at the Global Final at Western University, in May 2017, for a chance to win $30,000 (CAD). A second prize of $15,000 will also be available.

The World’s Challenge Challenge is an exciting way to engage in discussion and debate about world issues and to bring ideas from many different perspectives to the table. It also presents students with an opportunity to learn more about global issues or problem of interest to them; gain experience preparing and presenting compelling arguments in front of academic and community leaders, and make global connections with others who have a passion for changing the world.

Past winning projects from Western University

Partners institutions of the competition included the University of Alberta, University at Buffalo, Dalhousie University, University of Waterloo, Monash University, University of Otago, Radboud University, the University of Hong Kong and the University of British Columbia.

The finals will be live stream on May 31 from 9 am to 12:30 pm EST from the website here. To find out more about the competition and read more about this year’s Global Final, click here.

The Education category

The Education category has been in The Undergraduate Awards since its first year.

Students of all Education Theory and Practice disciplines, including Early Childhood Education, Adult Education, Philosophy of Education, History of Education and more are eligible to submit to the category.

Entries for this category must be within the 5,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

The 2016 Global Winner of the Education category is Angelica Ng from Nanyang Technological University with her paper titled “Comparing Cyberbullying Perpetuation on Social Media Between Primary and Secondary School Students“. The judges commended the paper as “extremely well researched and well written”, saying:

The work was impressively organised, the literature review was both extensive and inclusive of recent studies in the field and the method of investigation was appropriate. The paper explored a major problem in schools – cyberbullying on social media – and reminded us of some strategies that, if implenmented, could negatively impact the continued perpetuation of cyberbullying.

Don’t forget, the deadline for submission this year is June 13th, and we look forward to reading new research in the fields of education from undergraduate students around the world.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

 

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Charlotte Amrouche

Charlotte Amrouche from University College Dublin was a Regional Winner in 2016 in the Politics & International Relations category for her paper titled “Defining Violence Against Women as Terrorism”.

She was also a Highly Commended Entrant in the Gender Studies & Anthropology category in 2015.

Since then, she has been keeping herself busy with various projects. Charlotte is currently carrying out an independent research project on menstruation as part of her MA in Gender Studies at Utrecht University. Her research will focus on how “supportive, creative and empowering spaces can be created to discuss (and smash!) menstrual taboos“.

Charlotte will be putting her research into practice as she is organising an event for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017 in Utrecht this coming Sunday, May 28th as the day is yet to be celebrated in the Netherlands. Speaking about the inspiration behind the event, Charlotte said:

The aim of the day is to raise awareness about the obstacles menstruators face, whilst also searching for solutions. I am very excited to bring the theoretical research that I collect into practice at the event.

I am passionate about menstrual activism and reusable menstrual products. Last month I organised a workshop at Utrecht University’s Green Office’s event on Sustainability and Activism. For this event I sourced samples of reusable pads, menstrual cups and sea sponges from an array of companies and demonstrated and provided information on this reusable options. It was a great event with a lot of positive feedback!

You can check out the event on Facebook here.

We wish Charlotte all the very best with her event and cannot wait to read her research!

The Economics category

Economics has been judged as a category in The Undergraduate Awards since its inaugural year.

Students of all Economics disciplines, including Econometrics, Urban Economics, Labour Economics and more are eligible to submit to the category. Entries for this category must be within the 5,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

The Global Winner of the Economics category in 2016 is Danielle Dobos from Stanford University with her paper titled “Modelling the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Labour Market Supply in the United States“. The paper receives high praises from the judges, who said:

Great papers in economics tackle important issues using new data and methods to figure out how to help solve these issues. This winning paper is a combination of all those three features… The paper is well written and executed and stood out in a field of very strong submissions.

With only three weeks left until the submission deadline, we look forward to reading all the new research from undergraduate students around the world for this year’s Economics category.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

The Earth & Environmental Sciences category

Earth & Environmental Sciences have been judged together as a single category at The Undergraduate Awards since 2014.

The category is open to students of the natural environment and ecosystems disciplines, including students of Earth Science, Agriculture, Geography, Geology and more. Entries for this category must be within the 12,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

(Note: students of Human Geography, please submit to Social Sciences: Anthropology & Cultural Studies category).

Last year, the category was won by Wayne Egan from the Institute Technology of Sligo with his paper “To Assess the Impact of the Bellawaddy River on the Microbiological Quality of The Bathing Waters of Enniscrone Beach, Co. Sligo, Ireland“. The judges were particularly impressed by the “balanced criticism and intellectual independence” shown in the paper, who said:

The paper, the clear winner after 3 rounds of judging, is a comprehensive scientific assessment of bathing water quality. In many ways the paper is a reference for how such a study should be conduct.

Speaking about his achievement, Wayne commented

Previous Highly Commended Entrant of the category included Jannelle Lee from the University of Alberta, who is currently pursuing a Masters of Environmental Studies in Planning at the University of Waterloo after completing an eight-month internship with the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya.

We are very excited to receive all the new innovative research from undergraduate students around the world for this year’s Earth & Environmental Sciences category.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Janelle Lee

Janelle Lee from the University of Alberta was a Highly Commended Entrant in 2015 in the Social Sciences as well as the Earth & Environmental Sciences categories.

The last few years have been quite an adventure for Janelle! In 2015, she completed an eight-month internship with the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya, with her work focused on “using interactive theatre as a tool for urban youth engagement in East African cities and incorporating young people’s perspectives into policy development”. She also travelled to Turkana County in northern Kenya to conduct stakeholder interviews on oil development in the region and to investigate challenges and opportunities associated with resource development.

After returning from Kenya, Janelle worked in the Boreal Forest near Peace River (located in northern Alberta) for four months doing field work, learning how to do basic moss identification and worked with a team to collect tree and shrub data to study forest management practices.

At the moment, Janelle is enjoying the freedom of grad school and being able to craft her own research, pursuing a Masters of Environmental Studies in Planning at the University of Waterloo. Outside of school, most of her time is dedicated to rock climbing which she started taking up earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed the physical and mental challenge of it.

Talking about her future plan, Janelle said:

This summer, I will be traveling to Mexico City for an internship and to conduct my thesis research, both of which will deal with informal transportation systems and transportation planning in developing countries. For anyone in the UA community that is based in or near Mexico City, feel free to get in touch!

We wish Janelle all the best with her research and can’t wait to read more of her works!

The Philosophy Category

Philosophy has been judged as a category at The Undergraduate Awards since its inaugural year.

The category is developed to incorporate students of Philosophy and Theology, including Ethics, Metaphysics and more.

(Note: Students of Religious Studies may submit to Social Sciences: Anthropology & Cultural Studies)

Entries for this category must be within the 5,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

In 2016, the Global Winner of the category was Ilpo Hirvonen from the University of Helsinki. His paper, titled “On the Interrelation between Phenomenology and Externalism”, highly impressed the Judging Panel, who said:

This clear and ambitious essay bridges both analytic and continental traditions in the discipline of Philosophy. It masterly manages to clarify difficult questions in the philosophical traditions of both phenomenology and externalism.

Previous Highly Commended Entrant of the category include Matthew Silberman, who will spend a year working in Seoul at one of South Korea’s biggest newspapers after graduating from Princeton University this June.

With only four weeks left until the submission deadline, we look forward to receiving submissions for this year’s Philosophy category.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

St Andrews rises to third in the UK in independent guide

We are delighted to hear that our Partner Institution, University of St Andrews, has become Scotland’s top university according to a new league table published recently.

The Complete University Guide 2018 ranks St Andrews top in Scotland and third in the United Kingdom. Only Oxford and Cambridge outran St Andrews, which has secured its highest ever place in this league table.

In separate listings covering 70 subjects, St Andrews features in the top ten for 23 of the 25 subjects it teaches, occupying the top UK spot in two (Business & Management Studies and Middle Eastern & African Studies).

St Andrews’ rise from fifth to third place in the guide is believed to be due to its high scores for teaching quality and student satisfaction with the quality of its academic programmes. It is currently UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality.

Welcoming the news, Principal Professor Sally Mapstone said:

This all-time high is a great endorsement of what St Andrews stands for. Our values are those of a small, Scottish, and highly international university. We are outward looking, inclusive and focused on excellence.

We see teaching quality and research excellence as commensurate, and we provide them in an environment that is beautiful, friendly and enriching.

St Andrews became a Partner Institution of The Undergraduate Awards in 2013 and since then they have had an active and enthusiastic involvement with the Programme. In 2015, the University of St Andrews has four Global Winners and in 2016 had 29 Highly Commended Entrants in different categories.

From left to right: Conor MacDonald (Medical Sciences), Alekseje Sazonovs (Computer Sciences), Eilidh Johnston (Mathematics & Physics), and Vincent Forster (Politics & International Relations)

If you are interested in submitting to The Undergraduate Awards, the 2017 Programme is now open.

 

The Computer Sciences Category

The Computer Sciences category has been in The Undergraduate Awards since its inaugural year.

Students of all Computer Sciences disciplines, including Computer Systems, Coding Languages, Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence and more are eligible to submit works to the category.

Entries for the category must be within the 12,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

Last year, the category was won by Tomas Higgins from the Dublin Institute of Technology. His paper, titled “Identifying Mood by Analysing Keystroke Dynamics”, highly impressed the Judging Panel, who commented:

This paper paves the way for novel societal contribution in the field of Computer Sciences by analysing how iT systems might be able to recognise human moods. It provides an excellent and accessible discourse on the author’s research motivation, hypothesis and evaluation. The judging panel chose this excellent paper, not simply for its own merit, but also because it demonstrates a method through which technology could be put to use to achieve individual and societal benefits.

You can read his paper in The Undergraduate Journal here.

We are very excited to receiving submissions for this year’s Computer Sciences category and reading innovative research from undergraduate students around the world.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

Where Are They Now: Matthew Silberman

Matthew Silberman from Princeton University was a Highly Commended Entrant in 2016 in the Philosophy category for his paper entitled “Generalizations about Danger, Dangerous Generalizations: A Comprehensive Model of Stereotype Avoidance”.

He also attended the 2016 Undergraduate Awards Global Summit, which he said was “the greatest gift”. You can listen back to his reflection on the 2016 Summit here.

Since then, Matthew has been busy working on Humans of Princeton, an ongoing photo-documentary project inspired by Humans of New York. You can check out all their amazing stories on Facebook and Instagram here.

After graduating from Princeton University this June, Matthew will spend a year working in Seoul at one of South Korea’s biggest newspapers, Joogang Ilbo, as a Princeton in Asia fellow.

He is currently writing this thesis on the moral responsibility of all Americans to combat racism, using a philosophical lens to understand systemic racism and implicit bias. When finished, Matthew hopes to create an easy-to-share version of his work. We wish him the best of luck with his thesis and look forward to reading it soon!

The Visual Arts Category

One of the changes to the categories of The Undergraduate Awards in 2017 is the inclusion of a new Visual Arts category.

The Visual Arts category is designated specifically for the practical coursework component of art, craft and design students. Students of all areas of Art including photography, textiles, sculpture and more are eligible to submit to the category.

Unlike the rest of the paper-based categories in The Undergraduate Awards, the Visual Arts category requires students to submit images from their artist’s portfolio in .pdf or .jpeg format, with no more than 10 images are to be submitted, including one installation photo. Links to anonymous YouTube/Vimeo links may be included if appropriate.

Eligible submission is required to include an Artist Statement (max 500 words) along with the portfolio of your work. You can read our full submission guideline here.

Mohammed Sami Ali Amili from Ulster University was the Global Winner of the Visual Arts category in 2017 with his work titled ‘Paintings’, which was the result of his direct experience with the Iraq war. It was praised by the Judging Panel who commented:

The paintings deal with an aesthetic pravis that needs to avoid the aestheticisation of horror and are an actualisation of a cultural concern

Previous Highly Commended Entrants in the category included Maansi Jain from New York University, who currently works as an artist in Berlin and has published several works on Broadly and i-D Magazine; and Susanne Wawra from the National College of Art & Design, who was one of four artists featured in the Irish Times’ list of “50 people to watch in 2017“.

We are very excited to see all the submissions we receive into this new category!

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here. If you are interested in judging, click here.

The Law Category

The Law category has been in The Undergraduate Awards since its inaugural year. Students of all areas of Law, including Environmental Law, Medical Law, and IT Law are eligible to submit works to the category.

Entries for this category must be within the 5,000-word limit and have received a 2.1/A grade.

Last year, the category was won by Jacqueline Williams from the Australian National University. Her paper, titled “The Enforcement Regime of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act: Reform Required”, was praised by the Judging Panel for its impressive use of comparative materials and good legal authority, demonstrating the author’s academic maturity. You can check out her work in the Undergraduate Journal here.

Previous Global Winners and Highly Commended Entrants includes Elena Butti from Ultrecht University and Donna-Marie McNamara from Dublin City University, both who have been involved in some inspiring work. You can read about what their projects on our Alumni Blog here.

We look forward to receiving submissions for this year’s Law Category and seeing works from amazing undergraduate students around the world.

If you are interested in submitting to the category, click here.

If you are interested in judging, click here.

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