grad student achievements

This past year saw McGill’s outstanding graduate students excel in the classroom and on the international stage, alike:

Winners of the 2013 Hult Prize, with former President Bill Clinton (Photo courtesy AP Images for the Hult Prize)Desautels MBA students, Mohammed Ashour, Jesse Pearlstein, Shobhita Soor, Zev Thompson, and Gabriel Mott, triumphed over 10,000 applicants and 40 teams, including Harvard, MIT and Yale, to win the 2013 Hult Prize competition for their project involving the production, processing and promotion of crickets for human consumption. The social-entrepreneurship award for students, which includes US$1 million in seed capital, was presented by former President Bill Clinton.

Sixteen McGill graduate students are the recipients of Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships this year. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program was created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. This year’s recipients are:

  • Ricardo Alchini (Neuroscience); Janelle Baker (Anthropology); Oleksandr Bushuyev (Chemistry); Mohammad Chowdhury (Electrical & computer engineering); Rola Dali (Neuroscience); Emily Donaldson (Anthropology); Nasr Farooqi (Neuroscience); Aaron Farrell (Physics); Amol Gharat (Neuroscience); Jan Gogarten (Biology); Susanna Konsztowicz (Chemistry); Simon Pier Labelle-Hogue (Arts and culture); Michael Lifshitz (Neuroscience); Anna MacKinnon (Psychology); Hossein Mansour (Mechanical engineering); Mohamed Sesay (Political Science)

The University also welcomes four recipients of the elite Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. The Banting program provides funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to the country's economic, social and research‑based growth. They are:

  • Marie-Claude Felton (Languages, literature and cultures); Gabriel Denicol (Physics); Seyed Mohammed Taghavi (Chemical engineering); Simon Macdonald (History and classical studies).

MBA students Khalad Kahale, Hamidreza Mafi, Juan Camilo Ramirez, David Solomon and Scott Weatherhead represented the Desautels Faculty of Management for the first time at the USC Marshall Global Consulting Challenge alongside nine other prestigious business schools from across the world. The team was awarded the best overall industry analysis prize by a team of judges. This year's challenge focused on the role of interactive and social media in the television viewer experience.

Xenia Kurguzova, School of Information Studies, was selected as one of the top 25 “storytellers” in the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) campaign, Research for a Better Life: The Storytellers. Xenia drew on a McGill-based research project to showcase a combination of her theoretical education and creativity. She examines how the judiciary addresses the prosecution of high-level political corruption in Eastern Europe.

The ContemPLAY Pavilion (Photo by Hossein Taheri)The ContemPLAY Pavilion has won a Prix d’Excellence de la construction en acier, in the category Projets Jeunes Architectes – Ingenieurs, from the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC). The award-winning members of the Masters student team from the McGill School of Architechture are: Hamza Alhbian, Simon Bastien, Justin Boulanger, Elisa Costa, Evguenia Chevtchenko, Nicolas Demers-Stoddart, Andrew Hruby, Olga Karpova, Shelley Ludman, Diandra Maselli, Courtney Posel, Dina Safonova, Dieter Toews and Sophie Wilkin

Audrey Yank, Dept. of Bioresource Engineering, received special recognition from the jury at "Votre Soutenance en 180 secondes" hosted by L’Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS). Yank gave a three-minute presentation about her thesis research, "À la rescousse des arbres : réduire la déforestation en Afrique de l’Ouest" at the Finals to a diverse francophone audience.

Violinist Baptiste Rodrigues was the 2012 winner of the Golden Violin Award, presented annually by the Schulich School of Music. The award includes a $20,000 scholarship and is the most prestigious prize given to a music student by a higher learning institution in Canada. Baptiste, originally from France, is the first international student to win the elite prize. 

Desautels International Masters for Health Leadership participants Padma Venkat, Caroline Kisia, and Ahmad Firas Khalid won a $100,000 grant from Grand Challenges Canada for their low-cost water purifier project.

Desautels MBA students Melanie Walsh, Nisha Shankar, Thomas Weber and Jun Yeo were selected by the Canadian Bureau of International Education as the recipients of the CBIE 2012 Student Leadership in Internationalization Excellence Award for their cooperative efforts as part of the Desautels Hot Cities of the World Tour.

The Association des professeures et professeurs de droit du Québec (APDQ) awarded Daniel Clarry, Faculty of Law, its Excellence Prize for best master's thesis in 2013. "The irreducible core of the trust" was prepared under the direction of Prof. Lionel Smith

Desautels MBA student Alicia Cooper was awarded the Development Needs Scholarship by the Ministry of Public Administration of Trinidad and Tobago. The award is given to candidates who have best demonstrated the ability to excel and assist the country in areas critical to national development.

School of Architecture PhD candidate Elisabeth Bouchard and partner Eric Boucher won a prize in the Mérites d'architecture de la Ville de Québec competition for their Bilodeau-Larrivée project. The residential renovation and addition, located in the heart of the St-Jean-Baptiste neighborhood in Quebec City, was recognized for the successful relationship between the existing 1910 building and the contemporary expansion.