From sex education to online misinformation
McGill University is pleased to announce the winners and runners-up of the 2023 Principal’s Prize for Public Engagement through Media. The Prize was created to recognize outstanding achievement among those who share their knowledge on a vast range of subjects with the public and the media. This year, there were applicants from 10 of the 11 faculties, a sign that sharing knowledge and a love of learning is becoming increasingly embedded in the McGill DNA.
Awards are given out each year in four categories: student groups, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, early-career researchers, and established faculty members.
From sex education
The winner of the Prize for Groups is Sex[M]ed, a group that provides sexual health education, with the goal of combating inequities for women and 2SLGBTQIA+ community members.
Mathieu Lavigne, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science is the winner of the Prize for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows. In selecting him as the winner, the jury highlighted his use of social and traditional media to share information on the role of misinformation in the Freedom Convoy and both the Ontario and Quebec elections, and his involvement in consultations with Elections Quebec to help develop their strategy to combat misinformation.
As runners-up, the jury chose Wahéhshon Whitebean, PhD candidate in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education and Catherine Scott, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences.
Feminist takes on restaurants and technology
The winner of this year’s Prize for Emerging Researchers is Alexandra Ketchum, Faculty Lecturer at the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. In selecting her as the winner, the jury pointed to her podcasts, books, and public workshops on her research on food, environmental, technological, and gender history.
The runners-up in this category are Kristy Ironside, Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies and Sabrina Jafralie, Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education.
The politics of war in Ukraine
Maria Popova, Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chair at the Department of Political Science is the winner of the Prize for Established Academics. In choosing her as the winner, the jury underlined her extensive presence in local, national, and international media as an expert on the former Soviet Union in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as her knowledge sharing on Twitter in the run-up to the war.
The jury selected Andrew Gonzalez, Full Professor and Liber Ero Chair in Conservation Biology in the Department of Biology and Donald Vinh, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases) as runners-up in this category.
Bringing disability into conversations about climate change
The Changemaker Prize, for which you cannot apply but must be nominated, is awarded on an occasional basis to individuals whose dedication to sharing their knowledge with the media and the public has had a major impact on society.
This year’s Changemaker Prize was awarded to Sébastien Jodoin, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law and Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Health and the Environment. In choosing to award him the Changemaker Prize, the McGill Media Relations Office highlighted his outstanding work with media and governments over the past years, which has drawn attention to the need for disability-inclusive climate action.
About McGill University
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university. McGill is consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning with research activities spanning three campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 programs of study and over 39,000 students, including more than 10,400 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,000 international students making up 30% of the student body. Over half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 20% of our students who say French is their mother tongue.