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Four PhD scholars have been awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Four PhD scholars have been awarded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

York University celebrates four recipients of the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for 2024.

The award, presented by the Government of Canada, supports first-rate doctoral students who undertake graduate studies in the fields of social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering, and health. The aim of the program is to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate both leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies.

Candidates are evaluated based on three equally weighted selection criteria: academic excellence, research potential, and leadership. All four York University recipients will be awarded $50,000 annually for up to three years to support their research projects.

This year’s scholars have proposed innovative solutions to challenging problems through their projects, which can develop into positive change for our community locally, globally and beyond.

Grace Bishchof, Physics & Astronomy

Characterizing Inter-Crater Dust Dynamics in Gale Crater, Mars in Preparation of Human Exploration.

Bischof’s research looks at the importance of understanding the dust cycle on Mars as crucial for the future of human-led missions, where dust storms pose a distinct threat to humans on the Martian surface. The opacity of dust in the Martian atmosphere has been studied using images taken in Gale Crater by the Curiosity Rover for several years, however these images are severely limited in time and space. This work uses a newly designed Curiosity Rover observation that captures a larger area of the crater and can be employed throughout a Martian day.

"Capturing these data throughout dust storms will give additional insight into the dust lifting and deposition occurring, shining light onto these elusive storms", Bischof says. "This work will help us to understand how dust transports in the atmosphere both spatially and temporally, allowing us to better predict atmospheric phenomena, and ensure human-led missions are accomplished safely."

Photo of Grace Bischof

A photo of Grace Bischof

Roberta da Silva Medina, Socio-Legal Studies

Vertical Surveillance: Urban Police Use of Drone Technology in Brazil and Canada.

Da Silva Medina's research project delves into police surveillance practices in urban settings, focusing on Greater São Paulo in Brazil and the Greater Toronto Area in Canada. Despite the differences in police cultures and institutional landscapes, both regions have integrated military-originated drone technology for urban surveillance. In Brazil, where police forces are militarized, and in Canada, where they are not, this technology has found its place in law enforcement practices.

"I aim to explore the rationale and processes behind this adoption, drawing upon surveillance studies, Brazilian critical theory, and critical race theory," Da Silva Medina says. "My research methods involve collecting data, participatory observation police-surveillance industry events, and engaging with police departments and civil liberties advocates in both regions through interviews."

Photo of Roberta da Silva Medina

A photo of Roberta da Silva Medina

Joshua Lamers, Law

The Golden Ticket? Black Adoptees, Transracial Adoption and Rethinking Legal Adoption.

Lamers (he/they) is a Black queer gender non-conforming disabled mad child welfare survivor and family policing abolitionist. Lamer is a poet, dancer, writer, and educator in the areas of law and social work centering the intersections of Blackness, Disability and madness, child welfare survivorship, queerness and transness.

Their doctoral autoethnographic research titled The Golden Ticket? Black Child Welfare Survivors, Racial Displacement Through Adoption & the End of Family Policing Systems focuses on the question of whether the experiences and outcomes of the legal adoption of Black children into white families reflect the paramount purpose of the Child, Youth, and Family Services Act, 2017 with respect to promoting the best interests, protection and well-being.

“It is my hope that with this research we can collectively trouble the notion that the legal adoption of Black children into white families is necessarily a form of exit from the violences of state child protection systems and a ‘golden-ticket’ toward protection and the nurturance of well-being,” Lamer says.

Photo of Joshua Lamers

A photo of Joshua Lamers

Romeo Joe Quintero, Geography

Building Liveable Futures in Camps: Everyday Placemaking Practices of Internally Displaced Women in the Southern Philippines.

Quintero's doctoral project will examine the experiences of those living in resettlement and transitory sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the southern Philippines affected by armed conflicts. He will travel to the southern Philippines in the summer of this year to conduct 12 months of ethnographic research to understand how IDPs construct their livelihoods, homes, and sense of belonging through collective action.

“My work will draw critical connections with broader ideas of carceral and abolition geographies to offer capacious understanding of resettlement sites as more than just spaces of confinement and control, but also places of rebuilding and reimagining,” says Quintero.

Learn more about the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) on the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ website.

Photo of Romeo Joe Quintero

A photo of Romeo Joe Quintero