Alumni News

Category Spotlight: Economics

This category is for students of Economics, including Econometrics, Urban Economics, Labour Economics etc.

Entrants must submit an abstract of between 100-300 words long.

Word Count: 2,500 – 5,000


The following papers from the Economics category all exemplify the core message at the heart of The Undergraduate Awards ‘ know your worth, know your responsibility”. All three papers from 2017 highlight how economic innovation can be utilised to solve some of societies greatest problems.

Global Winner of Economics 2017, Daniel Cueva from University of Birmingham submitted a paper called “An Econometric Analysis Of The Fundamental Determinants Of Economic Development In Latin America”. This essay analyses determinants such as Geography, institutions and economic integration  and finds that cross0-country differences in institutional and geographical factors account to a large extent for the differences in economic development observed among Latin American countries. The study concludes that both geography and institutions play a substantial role in the economic development of Latin American countries.

Daniel Cueva at The Undergraduate  Global Summit 2017

According to the judging panel:

This is a truly excellent paper. It shows application and understanding at a level beyond what is normally seen by an undergraduate. It is both topical and insightful.

Daniel Cueva graduated from the University of Birmingham with a First-Class Honours Degree in Economics and is currently an Intern at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation under the supervision of Dr. Shyam Upadhyaya, the Chief Statistician. Daniel’s research on economic development in Latin America was awarded distinction by the Department of Economics at the University of Birmingham and was among the five finalists at the UK Data Service’s Dissertation Prize 2017. Daniel expects to pursue postgraduate studies and research in Economics in Fall 2018.

2017 had a plethora of high quality papers in the Economics category, American University of Sharjah student  Saif Alhammadi’s  Highly Commended paper ” On the Impact of Oil Prices On the Real Exchange Rate in Oil-Exporting Countries” was one such example. The paper explores the relationship between the real oil price and the real exchange rate in predominantly oil-exporting countries (including Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Indonesia, And Venezuela) from 1995 to 2014. The paper controls for the effects of GDP growth, inflation, government spending growth and trade balance ratio and finds that real oil prices a notable amount.


The paper focuses on oil-dependent emerging economics that are more susceptible to exchange rate volatility than advanced economies. The exchange rate volatility risk comes in the form of higher costs of maintaining a fixed exchange rate regime (such as with Saudi Arabia) and prohibitively high prices of imports (such as with Venezuela).


Another Highly Commended paper from 2017 was  ” Do Some Occupations have Different Returns To Human Capital”, submitted by Michael Stanley of The Open University. The project examines whether different occupations have different rates of return to human capital. The paper also examines the economic theory pioneered by Mincer and Becker that suggests investment in human capital through education and experience leads to higher wages. An econometric analysis of labour market data is conducted, examining the extent to which an individuals occupation influences the returns that one can receive to human capital investments and whether the rate of human capital depletion varies between individuals in different occupational categories.

If you would like to find out how to submit to The Undergraduate Awards 2018 click here.

If you would like to read any of the Global Winners or Highly Commended papers go to The Undergraduate Awards Library.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Claire Errington

Claire Errington studied Law at the University of Durham and was Highly Commended in The Undergraduate Awards 2016 for her paper discussing the legal and historical dichotomy between the ‘object and effect’ of anti-competitive restraints on competition.

Claire graduated from Durham University in Summer 2016 with a First Class Honours Degree in Law. Having led various pro bono projects at Durham University, wherein she worked to provide legal expertise and support to victims of torture, forced displacement and domestic abuse to name but a few, in countries from the UK to Syria, she was strongly motivated to pursue a career in Human Rights. Immediately after graduation she spent an exciting year travelling around Europe, Africa and South East Asia; working specifically on human rights advocacy work in places such as South Africa and Kenya.

Keen to continue her student experience, Claire is now studying in New York City, reading her M.A. Degree in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University. The access to numerous specialists she has gained throughout this programme (both professors and classmates!) who are all passionate, motivated, diverse and fascinating people committed to the promotion and protection of Human Rights, has been of immeasurable inspiration to Claire.

Specifically, Claire is specialising in international humanitarian and criminal law; her current thesis project is looking into the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence at the International Criminal Court, with specific reference to the pivotal Bemba case. She also recently co-organised a 50th anniversary conference at Columbia Law School reflecting on the events of the ‘My Lai Massacre’ during the Vietnam War; inviting and organising a variety of panellists such as Academy-Award winning journalists, historians, 

legal practitioners, and even participants, to share their thoughts and reflections on the regulation of war crimes in past conflicts and in modern times.

Claire is loving life in New York; the buzz, fast-pace of life and variety of people she’s meeting makes for a whirlwind love affair with the Big Apple! Despite being an avid Newcastle United football supporter, she’s found another new-found love in all things Yankees and Tino Martinez. When she’s not been pulled between her studies or sports, she’s been enjoying exploring the beautiful East Coast with friends, bonfires, country walks, s’mores and of course, cider. Claire is passionate about continuing to pursue her post-Columbia career in gender justice and international humanitarian law, in whichever corner of the world that may take her!

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.

Judging Chair Spotlight: Davide Benvenuti (Music, Film & Theatre)

2017 was Davide’s first year as the Judging Chair of the Music, Film & Theatre category. We are delighted to have him back again for The Undergraduate Global  Summit 2018.

Davide Benvenuti is an Assistant Professor of digital animation at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) ADM School of Art Design and Media Singapore since January 2013. He began his career in animation in Florence, Italy in the mid 1990s. He graduated with a Masters degree in Architecture at Florence University with a thesis on: Industrial Design and Computer Animation. Davide’s career spans from television to advertising and feature films. He has worked with Disney animation, Dreamworks, Nelvana and Ubisoft. Among his credit list are : “Assassin Creed Black Flag”, “Assassin Creed III”,” Assassin Creed Revelation”; “Assassin Creed II” (Ubisoft Singapore); “Sinbad Legend of the seven seas”; “Sprit stallion of the Cimarron” with Dreamworks feature animation. He was with Disney animation Australia from 1995 till 2006 where he worked on many direct to DVD titles and feature films including “The jungle Book II”,” Peter Pan Retour to Neverland”, and “Bambi and the great Prince of the forest”. Prior to his engagement in Australia he worked in Italy for many local TV shows and advertising. He contributed to the animation for Enzo D’Alo’ feature films “How the Toys Saved Christmas” and “Opopomoz”. He is currently working on his short film “ Summer tale”, part of his ongoing research on tool development for 2D animation.

You can find Davide’s full credit list here:

Every year UA invites cross-disciplinary and cross- cultural esteemed academics to the world’s largest virtual academic judging process.
 If you are interested in becoming a judge for UA 2018, please email or complete this form.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Laura Collins

Laura Collins studied Biology at the University of St Andrews and was a Highly Commended Entrant of the Undergraduate Awards in 2015 for her paper “Garden birds and their use of provisioned water”. Changing behaviours in birds and community migrations can be seen as indicators of environmental health. Her study investigated whether fresh water increases the attractiveness of gardens to birds, how birds interact with different water sources and how water use varies between species. Laura argues that this area of research is pertinent as an understanding of effective water provisioning would be valuable since providing artificial sources of water in gardens may contribute vital resources to species of conservation concern, which rely on urban gardens as an important habitat. 

Having always dreamt of studying abroad, following graduation she  never expected that she would be able to do so, not once but four times over! This was made possible through a scholarship for an Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems (TROPIMUNDO). This unique Masters programme focuses on researching the risk of extinction of many species through global warming. This is achieved through analysing certain areas that present the biggest risk to the degradation of the planet, for example land use and the destructions of habitats and tropical rainforests.

 This important programme took Laura from Brussels to Brisbane, then Paris and Singapore, in a whirlwind two years that she will never forget. She finished the Tropical Biology Masters in September after submitting her thesis entitled: “Support base for discourses on mangrove forests in Singapore and assessment of (mis)matches with management and regulations”.

Some areas of the programme were incredibly challenging, but there were numerous highlights; above all learning about the cultures of new friends from all over the world.

Crazier highlights include swimming in a lake with a crocodile, riding a camel in the outback, seeing wild elephants in India, helping a Buddhist monk shower the monastery crocodiles, eating bamboo with the locals in Vietnam and living with an employee of French vogue on Rue de Seine.

Laura has always had a passion for writing and editing, so she took the opportunity to start herown travel blog documenting her experiences :“Topical Tropical Travelogues. The opportunity to live and study in these different countries also gave her an understanding of the fundamental importance of education. Laura has been a Trainee Editor with CGP books (an educational publisher in Cumbria, England) since January, which has given her an opportunity to grow her interest in education and writing.

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.

Where Are They Now Wednesday- Surer Mohamed

Surer Mohamed, from Western University, was a Highly Commended entrant at the Undergraduate Awards (UA) 2014, for her paper ‘The Trouble with ‘Tribe’: Beyond a Monocausal Explanation for Ethnicized Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa’ in the Politics & International Relations category.

Surer’s paper shines a light on the lack of emphasis on ethnicity with the all encompassing term ‘tribe’, which neglects the structural considerations that grant ethnicity its salience. The paper investigates numerous critical causes that lead to the instrumentalization of ethnicity, such as the use of ‘tribe’ as a political currency by African leaders. Surer pushes back against the widely held belief that “ethnic conflict and ‘tribalism’ are exclusively at the heart of civil conflicts and electoral contests in Africa”.

 Surer Mohamed is currently studying at the University of Cambridge, where she is pursuing a PhD in Politics and International Studies.

Attending the Undergraduate Awards Summit in 2014 was an important formative experience for Surer.

At the UA Summit, I began to envision myself as a part of a community of scholars, and began to pursue an academic career.

Since the Summit, Surer has completed a M.A. at the University of Western Ontario and an MPhil at the University of Cambridge. She has been the recipient of scholarships from the David and Elaine Potter Foundation, the Mackenzie King Trust, and the Rotary Foundation.

Surer has a keen interest in critical theory, postcolonial African studies, and critical approaches to transitional justice. Her doctoral research considers property disputes in the Somali capital city, Mogadishu, as a site of justice contestation in the post-conflict era. She considers how mass violence creates competing claims of “victimhood” that have important political ramifications for the emerging state and society.

In addition to her studies, Surer is a Research Assistant on the “Rethinking Transitional Justice from African Perspectives” project, where she is works with partner organisations from Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya that address innovative approaches to transitional justice in their immediate contexts. She is also a co-host on the Declarations podcast that considers the complexities of human rights in the real world.

Surer is interested in pursuing a career in academia that straddles the divide between scholarship and practice. She is passionate about challenging the boundaries of knowledge production and producing scholarship that can enable grassroots political engagement.

Read Surer’s Highly Commended paper in the UA Library.

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.


Where Are They Now Wednesday: Jasmine Lee

Jasmine Lee from Nanyang University, was a Highly Commended entrant in 2015 in the Gender Studies & Anthropology category, with her paper ” In today’s post-Mao era, are females in China Jasmine Lee Highly Commended 2015 UAstill limited by their gender in achieving the aims of education?’ 

The topical paper argues succinctly that although access to education has been recognised as a pivotal component behind the economic and societal transformations China has attained, the pathway to success is not so evenly mapped when it comes to gender. The paper examines the education and employment opportunities available to women in today’s post-Mao era and concludes that being female in modern day China limits one’s access to opportunities during and after education as she seeks to be employed, yet “girls in the rural regions face a more severe situation aggravated by income inequality and entrenched traditional beliefs”.

After graduating from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, Jasmine embarked on a career with Citi Singapore as a part of it’s Management Associate program. In this program, she was given the opportunity to rotate to various functions across the bank, ranging from the Institutional Clients Group to Consumer Banking, Support Functions and Operations & Technology. To date, Jasmine has completed rotations with the Corporate Bank, Retail Bank and she is now with the Private Bank arm of Operations & Technology, managing projects related to robotics processes.

During her free time, she enjoys singing as it helps her to unwind and relax! She started performing during her university days and continues to do so even though she has transitioned into the working world! Jasmine is now a part of the Citiband, a band formed by employees of Citi, which performs at internal and external events. Last October she travelled to Hong Kong for five weeks to attend a training related to the Institutional Clients business. Analysts from similar programs across APAC will travel to Hong Kong for this training and it was an amazing opportunity for Jasmine to meet her peers  from other Citi offices all around the globe! While working is undeniably different from studying at university, Jasmine sees everyday as a learning opportunity to better herself.


Speaking about her experience at the Undergraduate Awards Summit 2015, Jasmine says;

having the opportunity to meet, interact and learn from the brightest minds across the globe was extremely valuable. I also had the chance to visit the Google head office, find out more about graduate programs, present my research paper at The Helix and attend presentations of other winners. This certainly broadened my horizons and is certainly a fond memory worth reminiscing!

Read Jasmine’s highly Commended paper in the UA Library

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Will Heegaard

Will Heegaard from University of California, Berkeley was Highly Commended in the Politics and International Relations Category in 2013.

Will was highly commended for his paper “Military Security and Environmental Degradation: Challenges and Opportunities” in which he assessed the ecological impact of the U.S. Armed Forces, arguing that the focus on military combat on foreign soil has ” created environmental threats more dangerous and pressing than our human foes.”

Since participating in the Undergraduate Awards in 2013, Will has been involved in numerous exciting and rewarding projects that have given him the opportunity to travel abroad. Will has trained clinicians as a Programme Manager in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak and responded with Team Rubicon after disasters in Louisiana and Minnesota. Team Rubicon is an international NGO, formed in 2010 following the earthquake in Haiti, that unites skilled veterans with first responders to swiftly deploy emergency response units in disaster situations.

Will is currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He splits his time working as a Paramedic while launching  his start-up Footprint GBC, which provides sustainability consulting for disaster response agencies. Footprints modus operandi “combines sustainability consulting with clean energy deployment so every humanitarian organization can fulfill their commitment to first do no harm, and every affected community can develop through disaster.”

Will Heegaard and the Footprint Team

Will recently deployed a solar micro-grid to offset diesel use at Black Rock City’s Rampart Medical Clinic, and is now working with a community in Puerto Rico to power their recovery with clean energy.

I’m fascinated by the connection between public health, environmental science and humanitarian crisis, and love projects that connect emergency response with sustainable development.


When he’s not on an ambulance or in the field, he likes to cook, write, travel and tinker on his off-grid tiny house!

Read Will’s Highly Commended Paper on The Undergraduate Awards Library

If you would like to find out how to submit to this year’s Undergraduate Awards click here.




Category Spotlight: Business

Business is a popular category for submissions at The Undergraduate Awards, with entries covering a multitude of topics within the subject. Business originally shared a category with economics but due to the wealth of submissions in both disciplines, they each became categories in their own right in 2014.  This category has seen some pioneering studies over the years and todays post will focus on some of the winning and highly commended submissions in recent years that used the their papers to shine a light on poignant social problems such as gender inequality, blood donation shortages and pollution.

For all future applicants, please note that work submitted to the business category must be a maximum of 5,000 words and have received an A- grade or higher.

              Robert Sarich, Global Winner 2017

Last year’s Global Winner was a paper entitled, Solving Social Problems With Social Marketing Using A Process-Driven Approach To Develop A Solution To Australias Blood Shortage” by Robert Sarich from Australian national University. The judges commented  on how Robert’s essay had raised solutions to tackle a unique social problem;

“By providing an overview of the strategies that were used in Australia, this research contains very salient practical implications for countries like Ireland which experience great difficulties in obtaining blood donations.”

Robert is currently working at New South Wales Treasury in the Commissioning and Contestability Unit where he applies his strategic and problem solving skills to improving the delivery of Government services.

Last year’s highly commended work included a paper by Kamilla Rakhmat of the University of Sheffield, entitled: The Role Of Organisational Culture And Gender And Sexuality Themes On The Continuous Gender Discrimination At KPMG”

In Kamilla’s topical study she focusses on the barriers to equality in the workplace and makes a compelling argument for changing the systemic structures of  organisational culture in order for the imbalance of power to be rectified.

The study is aided by the use of a series of case studies including one involving a gender discrimination lawsuit against KPMG. “The lawsuit which began in 2011 with one individual, Donna Kassman, a loyal worker of the company for 17 years, has now expanded in numbers exceeding 1000.”

As the pharmaceutical company Pfizer has been in the news in recent months due to its reports of an $11 billion gain from the new tax laws in the United States, we here at The Undergraduate Awards thought it would be fitting to highlight a submission that was highly commended in 2017, entitled: “Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company And Their Indian Suppliers: Global Business, Global Problem, by Deirbhile Murtagh of Queen’s University Belfast.

The study endeavours to evaluate the supply chain problems that companies, such as Pfizer, are confronted by. It takes the “triple bottom line into consideration, the win-win situation, the embracers and cautious adopters of sustainability and the tragedy of commons to evaluate the supply chain problems which companies, such as Pfizer, are faced with”.

Deirbhile looks at the issue of sustainability extensively and concludes that “ultimately it is clear within today’s society that the concept of sustainability has increased at a significant rate and that the public are taking more notice when businesses do not comply with the correct procedures”.


Submit today for The Undergraduate Awards 2018 Programme.

If you are interested in Judging for The Undergraduate Awards 2018 programme, Click here.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Melissa Hughes

Melissa Hughes from Western University was Highly Commended in the Social Sciences category in 2015 for her paper, “The Westray Mine Incident: Corporate Violence and Governmental Crime as the Roots of Disaster.”

Since graduating from Western University in June 2015, she has moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to pursue a Master of Science in Environmental Sustainability, and she is currently also working for the Federal Government at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) as a Junior Environmental Assistant. As one of the largest Government of Canada departments, PSPC is one of the Government’s primary common service providers; accordingly, she works within National Portfolio and Asset Management in order to ensure there are effective environmental components embedded in real property investment decision-making and, more generally, in the services they provide to their numerous client departments.

In addition, she is working on her Master’s thesis, which will explore whether intergovernmental conflicts are an explanatory factor for the persistence of unsafe drinking water on Indigenous reserves in the province of Ontario – although her research orientation is constantly evolving. She has always been deeply intrigued and simultaneously troubled by the notion that environmental issues will disproportionately affect vulnerable communities, and she believes that policymakers have both the power and the duty to revert this trend.

When Melissa graduated from Western, she knew the right thing to do was to take a step back from academia and to give herself the time to be a 22-year-old and to let her heart guide her in the next direction. She began working at a microbrewery in her hometown of London (Ontario) pursuing two of her well-known passions: craft beer and local watering holes.

“After attending the Undergraduate Awards that November, I returned home with an overwhelming source of inspiration and desire to try to change the world for the better, and to pursue my (slightly more productive) passion, which is environmental policy. I attribute much of this renewed inspiration to the many wonderful, involved, intelligent, and determined individuals I had the pleasure of meeting during that special week in Dublin, and I will forever be grateful that I have been able to immerse myself in this community of bright scholars, still maintaining some of those friendships years after (#CraicSquad for life).”

When Melissa is not at work or nestled away researching in some book somewhere, you’ll find her roaming around the nation’s beautiful capital city (usually looking for dogs to pet), or experimenting with recipes in her tiny apartment kitchen. She also plays volleyball every now and again with some good friends or you can find her with her number one girl, Marley the Goldendoodle.

Read Melissa’s Highly Commended Paper on The Undergraduate Awards Library. 

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Erika Davis

Erika Davis from McGill University was Highly Commended in 2015 in the Music, Film, Theatre & Art History category and in 2014 in the Media & The Arts category.

She was Highly Commended for her papers “Space-Space: How Artists Have Attempted to Change Human Understandings of ‘The Final Frontier’” and You Really Shouldn’t Have: A Critique of the Gift Shop’s Exemption from Cultural Education”.

Since her UA recognitions in 2014 & 2015, it’s certainly been an adventure.  She graduated from McGill University in May 2015 and hit the ground running. Almost immediately, she started as an office assistant at Atlantic Music Festival, working with Pulitzer, Grammy, & Oscar winning composer John Corigliano, and coordinating an experimental music concert series of her very own. After the festival concluded, she went on to work at a Masterwork a gallery in Boston, Galerie d’Orsay, as operations director. She has touched a Rembrandt through sterile white gloves of course!.

“Eventually, my activist instincts got the best of me—I got my degree in Art History with a focus in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist studies after all. I wanted to escape the commercial art world, and enter the museum sphere, where I could try to have some positive impact on my community.”

She moved to Providence, Rhode Island to work at Old Slater Mill Association, an industrial history museum, national historic landmark, and recently a part of the Blackstone River Valley National Park. As Program Director, she has produced Jazz Concerts, a Labor History/Experimental Noise collaboration, an outdoor film series focusing on immigration and empathy, a contemporary textile art exhibition, and countless other events.

But her work beyond her career has been even more fulfilling. In May 2016, she recruited to become a member of Providence Roller Derby, one of the countries founding leagues. She has since become the captain of one of their two travel teams, and a member of the coaching staff for new recruits. Everyone knows her as Rocket!

Erika sang opera growing up, but she is now a vocalist for two very different genres:  Western Stars is a western swing band covering Patsy Cline, Fats Waller etc. with an eight piece ensemble, including a pedal steel. The Sweeties is a collaborative synth pop duo featuring two femme voices, and a loop pedal.

She has put her training to good use by volunteering to teach vocals with Girls Rock! RI, a program where women learn to play an instrument, write a song, join a band and attend empowerment workshops. The most important lessons she imparts are “you don’t have to be a good singer to be a good vocalist,” and “make your voice heard.”

“I carved  through 20 linoleum blocks, filled pages with watercolours, and cut up dozens of books into collages. I learned how to do a headstand. I died my hair hot yellow. I came out of the closet. I was published in a Montreal Magazine, Echelles. I spoke at an International Women’s Day talk. I protested. God, did I protest. I continue to protest. I attended the wedding of my best friends. I have striven every day to be a better self.”

Read Erika’s 2014 and 2015 Highly Commended Paper on The Undergraduate Awards Library.

Category Spotlight: Art History & Theory

In 2017, it was decided that Art History & Theory should constitute a category in its own right, because of the number and quality of papers submitted on the subject. Previously, students of Art History could submit their work to the Art History, Music, Film & Theatre category. From medieval manuscripts to modern sculptures, this category covers all academic writing on the subject of Art.

The 2017 Global Winner of the Art History & Theory category was Eden Gelgoot from Queen’s University at Kingston. Her paper was titled “The Role of The UNESCO World Heritage List in The Commemoration of World War II”

The essay examined the Development of UNESCO as a direct response to the damage and looting of cultural heritage by the Nazis during the Second World War. It also explored the preservation and conservation efforts employed to safeguard Auschwitz-Birkenau and The Hiroshima Peace Memorial for future generations. Lastly, it compared Compared the risk factors that challenge the retention of authenticity at both cultural heritage sites.

A paper that clearly stood out to our judging panel. The judges noted that her paper was “a thought-provoking, balanced examination of the issues surrounding two comparable ‘monuments’, and their tangible and intangible values.”

Also, in 2017 Sacha Dillion from University College Cork received Highly Commended for her paper “Discuss How Mainie Jellett combines the Ideals of Ancient Ireland with those of the Irish Free State to create a nationalistic painting in Composition With Three Elements, 1935

The essay explored how through Jellett’s unique use of Cubism, created a visual language with which to express Irish identity which spoke both to Irelands Celtic past and Christian present. It looked at how Jellett drew inspiration from ancient Irish art and Celtic belief and fused it with the Christian iconography of the new Catholic Irish Free State to create an artwork which encompassed Irelands main strands of Nationalism; Heritage and Religion.

We are particularly excited to see the incoming submissions to the 2018 Programme because of the top-quality research being completed by undergraduate students in this field. If you would like to find out how to submit click here.

If you would like to read any of the Global Winners papers or Highly Commended papers go to The Undergraduate Awards Library.

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Carly Welham

Carly Welham from University of British Columbia was the 2014 Global Winner in the Cultural Studies category.

Carly is a community-based researcher and health activist living in Vancouver, Canada. After completing her undergraduate degree in Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice at the University of British Columbia, she undertook a Masters of Public Health specialising in Indigenous Health. Carly’s graduate research explored how environmental health impacts food security and reproductive health.

While completing her graduate studies in Montreal, she also interned with Breast Cancer Action Quebec to develop and evaluate an environmental health program for high school students focused on overcoming environmental risks through community action. Throughout her degrees, Carly presented and published research on food sovereignty and environmental threats to health at conferences across Canada.

“Receiving the Undergraduate Award in 2014 for my paper “Selfies vs Sealfies: Inuit Subsistence Hunting, Food Insecurity, and Animal Rights” helped me realise my passion for research as a tool for social change.”

Carly currently works as the Data and Evaluation Officer on the research team at the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, an innovative HIV health care facility. Through the Foundation’s harm reduction programs, Carly has had the opportunity to contribute to addressing the opioid overdose crisis currently devastating North America. Her main role is providing knowledge translation and capacity building support to other community-based organisations who are implementing Supervised Consumption Services in order to prevent overdoses and the transmission of infectious diseases.

Carly also spent the last two years contributing research to student food non-profit Meal Exchange’s Real Food Challenge campaign to shift post-secondary food systems to more ethical and sustainable food sources. She founded and is a facilitator of a national book club on Decolonizing the Food System, which explores the role of colonialism in Canada’s food systems. Carly built on this experience as a member of the 4RS Youth Movement’s National Learning Community, a network looking to build respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth through cross-cultural dialogue.

Carly loves getting the opportunity to share her passions with others. She has volunteered as a sexual health educator in high schools and online with a variety of community-based organizations, as well as volunteering as a birth doula.  She enjoys hosting a series of DIY community workshops on toxic-free body products, and was recently recognised as one of Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 for her volunteer work as an environmental educator. She sits on the Board of Directors of Learning for Sustainable Futures, a non-profit which seeks to integrate sustainability education into all levels of schooling. In her spare time, she also started a line of eco-friendly soap and candles made from organic herbs she grows and harvests herself.

Carly follows in a line of quilters and bakers, and also loves to spend her time gardening. Since graduating, she has enjoyed having time to indulge her passion for science fiction and explore the beautiful west coast of Canada.

Read Carly’s Winning paper on The Undergraduate Awards Library.

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