Meet the recipients of the 2021 Congress Graduate Merit Awards - June 1

Nominated by member scholarly associations of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2021 Congress Graduate Merit Awards recognize exceptional graduate students who will be presenting their work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Throughout Congress, we are profiling 2021 award recipients. Read on to learn more about the outstanding research of our graduate community, and join the conversation on Twitter using #CGMAProfiles.

Michelle Scott

Director of Indigenous Initiatives...

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Companies Need to Get Off the Defensive When it Comes to Cancel Culture, Researcher Says

Today’s cancel culture has corporations of all sizes reacting quickly to avoid online controversy of any kind. But if they cast their net too wide – implementing broad, defensive policies and regulations designed to protect their brand at all costs – they may end up harming the very causes they stand for in the first place. 

That’s the finding of a recent study led by leading communications and culture expert Steph Hill, who is calling for a more thoughtful approach to managing online content that moves beyond brand reputation to strike a balance between controversy and social advocacy, ensuring meaningful conversations about important issues can still take place.

Hill, a PhD candidate in the joint Communication and Culture graduate program at Ryerson and York Universities, will discuss the increasing pressure companies are under to manage online content at a time when it’s impossible to predict when the next social media firestorm will hit. Concern...

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Academic Cheating Has Skyrocketed in Canada Amid Pandemic, Leaving Post-Secondary Students Vulnerable

With academic cheating on the rise during the pandemic – and some universities reporting an increase in cases as high as 38 per cent – now is the time for Canada to take action, not only to sanction students but also to protect them.  

That’s the message of leading academic misconduct expert Sarah Elaine Eaton, who will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Eaton, an associate professor at the University of Calgary and author of the newly-released Plagiarism and Higher Education – who estimated in 2018 that more than 71,000 Canadian post-secondary students might be engaged in contract cheating, or outsourcing their academic work to commercial suppliers, such as term paper mills – is issuing a call to action for Canadian decision-makers to start tracking the problem in our country and pass legislation that will make it...

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Vast Majority of Canadian Women Still Live in Fear of Violence, Regardless of Age, Race, Class, Education or Marital Status: Study

Despite strides made by the #MeToo Movement and recent changes to legislation, Canadian women continue to live in deep rooted fear of rape, sexual harassment or physical violence, and worse, believe they’ll be judged for doing something wrong if it does happen to them.

That’s the finding of a recent study led by violence against women scholar Rebecca Lennox, who is calling for better consent education, a change in police messaging and stronger supports for female victims of violence in order to reverse the profoundly negative impact that fear continues to have on Canadian women, regardless of age, race, class, education or marital status.

After interviewing a diverse group of Canadian women last summer, Lennox, a PhD Sociology student at University of Toronto, found that despite a general perception of Canada as a safe place to live, fear continues to linger in the minds of all women when they go out in public. What’s more, the “safety work” women...

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Amid Growing Concern over Learning Loss Due to the Pandemic, Researchers Say it’s Time for Kids to Be Teachers and Teachers to be Learners

As concern over learning loss among Canadian students mounts due to unprecedented time away from school, there is one lesson we can all take away from the events of the past year: given the chance to use technology with proper guidance, kids can do amazing things and should play a greater role in their own education.

That’s the finding of a recent study led by leading education experts Cathlene Hillier and Jessica Rizk, who say it’s time for Canadian classrooms to shift to a new model, one that provides for more student-centred learning opportunities where kids become teachers and teachers become co-learners.

Based on their analysis of home literacy practices and the role of technology in education, Hillier and Rizk show that children are picking up digital skills at a rapid rate, often with little or no intervention from parents and teachers. The more they acquire these skills, the better equipped they are to navigate their own...

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