2021 Convocation & Travel Award Recipients

Convocation Awards

Governor General's Gold Medal

Chinchin WangChinchin Wang completed a Master’s degree in Epidemiology at the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University and the Centre of Clinical Epidemiology at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, under the supervision of Dr. Ian Shrier. Her research was in sports injury epidemiology, focusing on the relationship between changes in physical activity levels and injury risk in children. Her thesis reviewed current methods for evaluating the relationship between changes in activity and injury and their limitations, improved upon these methods, and applied them to the context of children’s physical activity. Her research has been influential in changing practice, and was cited by the Australian Institute of Sport in their decision to discourage the use of the current methods for monitoring training. Chinchin is now a PhD student in Epidemiology under the co-supervision of Dr. Ian Shrier and Dr. Jay Kaufman, focusing on developing and applying causal inference methods to sports injury epidemiology. She also works at the Public Health Agency of Canada in physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep surveillance. Her ultimate goal is to continue informing evidence-based recommendations for promoting healthy lifestyles.


Governor General's Gold Medal & McGill Alumni Association Graduate Award

Annabelle BerthiaumeAnnabelle Berthaiume completed her Ph.D. in Social Work at McGill University under the supervision of Jill Hanley (McGill) and Louis Gaudreau (UQAM) in December 2020.

In her dissertation, titled "Le déploiement de la perspective de l'investissement social dans les politiques « enfance famille » au Québec: Co-construction, engagement parental et mixité sociale ?", Dr. Berthiaume examines the enactment of the social investment perspective in child and family policies in Quebec. Using critical ethnography, her work analyzes how women are targeted by and involved in these policies, both at the community level and in frontline services (such as community organizers, social workers, volunteers, and mothers). Based on empirical examples, she interrogates three all-embracing concepts: co-construction, parental involvement, and social mix. Looking through them with a feminist framework, her contribution highlights how social location shapes the involvement of women, particularly mothers, in the reconfiguration of social governance, notably in terms of care work and gendered division of labor.

Building on the findings of her thesis, Dr. Berthiaume joined Carleton University as a Postdoctoral Fellow in January 2021 with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Starting in June, she will be Professor in Social Work at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, where she will be teaching courses related to community organization and social policy. You can follow her research here.


D.W Ambridge Prize

Samantha Gateman Samantha Gateman completed her PhD in chemistry under the supervision of Professor Janine Mauzeroll. Her research focused on understanding corrosion mechanisms of complex metallic materials using macro and micro electrochemical methods. In collaboration with Hydro Quebec, she investigated innovative materials proposed to prolong the lifetime of hydraulic turbine systems. Samantha’s thesis not only presented her collaborators with sufficient information for making an informed decision on material choice, but also highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between analytical chemists and corrosion scientists by using scanning electrochemical probe methods to study corrosion on the microcsale. Her research efforts contributed to the scientific community through 13 peer-reviewed papers in international journals.

Throughout her graduate studies, Samantha was active in many community and service positions including teaching assistantships, being a chemistry outreach member, and presidential roles for the Electrochemical Society Montreal Student Chapter and the Chemistry Graduate Student Society. In all of her endeavours, Samantha strived to promote an inclusive and fun environment for her peers.

Samantha is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Sorbonne University in Paris, France, investigating the aging mechanisms of ion exchange materials for water purification systems using localized electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Her research stay is supported by an NSERC PDF scholarship.


D.W Ambridge Prize 

David Abraham David S. Abraham completed his doctoral studies at McGill University in electrical engineering in 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Dennis D. Giannacopoulos. His research interests include the numerical simulation of electromagnetic fields, with emphasis on their interactions with complex materials, and the acceleration of electromagnetics algorithms via parallelization and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

In his dissertation, David proposed and validated a series of novel algorithms for the simulation of materials exhibiting dispersion and nonlinearity when interacting with electromagnetic fields. He also proposed additional techniques to increase the applicability and versatility of these new algorithms, such as the development of a compatible Perfectly Matched Layer (PML). His thesis equally explored the computational burden associated with these types of numerical simulations and demonstrated optimization and acceleration strategies capable of producing over 200 times faster performance.

In 2020, David’s contributions to his field were highlighted by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society with the conferral of the Sergei A. Schelkunoff Transactions Prize Paper Award, recognizing his work as being the best published across all issues of IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation in 2019. He is also the recipient of the Les Vadasz Fellowship in Engineering from McGill University, Masters and Doctoral research scholarships from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Nature et Technologies (FRQNT), and the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

David is also an avid teacher and educator, having received Outstanding Teaching awards from both the Faculty of Engineering and the Electrical, Computer, & Software Engineering Student Society (ECSESS) of McGill University.


Gordon A. Maclachlan Prize

Christina MastromonacoChristina Mastromonaco, first started her undergrad at McGill University in 2012, and has completed all her studies since then at McGill. She realized that she wanted to be fully involved in the translation sciences research and visualize how research can impact the lives of patients. This drive allowed her to finish her master’s degree in Pathology, and continue on to pursue her PhD in the MUHC-McGill Ocular Pathology Laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Miguel Burnier. With her PhD entitled “The optimal intraocular lens (IOL) for patients: understanding the factors contributing to post-cataract surgery complications”, her goal was to expand her scientific knowledge in the field of ocular pathology and to determine IOL biocompatibility
 in selected patients. Throughout her time at McGill she has collaborated with many committees, participated in international conferences, and become a TA and mentor, which allowed her to meet such wonderful people throughout her journey.

Christina is not the typical science PhD. With her roots in the ophthalmology research, she explored business and entrepreneurship. Mixing both of these worlds, she is driven to share her knowledge and communicate it with the people around her.

Post-defense, Christina worked with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center, and is recently with the Camargo Pharmaceutical Serving Company in Montreal. However, her ocular pathology background is still in full swing, working with the BroadEye Podcast team, spreading eye care wisdom worldwide.

She is proud to be graduating in 2021, with her PhD in Pathology, and very grateful to receive the Gordon A. Maclachlan Prize.


Gordon A. Maclachlan Prize

Jeffrey DowneyJeffrey Downey first joined McGill as an undergraduate in Physiology. In the final year of his degree, he joined Dr. Maziar Divangahi’s laboratory and focused on understanding the role macrophage cell death pathways in response to infection. Following completion of his B.Sc, Jeffrey started his graduate studies under the supervision of Dr. Divangahi, completing his Ph.D in 2020.

His dissertation, entitled “Mechanisms of Host Defense to Influenza Virus Infection,” investigates the molecular and cellular processes of antiviral immune responses, as well as the maintenance of tissue barrier integrity and function following influenza infection. Additionally, his research delved into the production and programming of leukocytes, termed hematopoiesis, in the bone marrow and its potential role in future vaccine design to a variety of pathogens.

Following the completion of his doctorate, Jeffrey is currently researching as a post-doctoral researcher at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital.


K.B. Jenckes Prize

Patrick OuthwaitePatrick Outhwaite completed his PhD in the Department of English at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Michael Van Dussen. His dissertation, titled “Christus Medicus and Religious Controversy in Late-Medieval Europe: Dissidence, Authority and Regulation,” involved extensive archival research in London, Oxford, Kraków and Prague. Drawing on previously unexplored manuscript material, this dissertation argues that reformist groups in England and Central Europe used concepts that were developed in hospital settings to press for increased lay access to religion against the strictures of the Church hierarchy. What started as intellectual reform movements that emerged from the universities of Oxford and Prague soon spilled into more diffuse controversies involving the laity and the vernacular. These religious disputes ran parallel to debates over authority and training in strictly medical contexts and mirrored much of the rhetoric and language that medical authorities used. Consequently, religious and medical debates influenced each other as medicine, allegory and physical intervention became increasingly entangled.

More broadly, his research engages interdisciplinary approaches to medieval medicine, religion and book history. During his time at McGill he has published articles in the Journal of the Early Book Society, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Chaucer Review and Studia Mediaevalia Bohemica. Patrick would like to thank the professors in the Department of English and his colleagues for making his time at McGill so memorable.


Travel Awards

Delta Upsilon Memorial Scholarship

Olena Zotova, Medicine

Joshua Schwartz, Medicine

John Williamson Frederick Peacock Memorial Scholarship

Gillian Xu, English

Philip F. Vineberg Travelling Fellowship

Brianna Cheng, Political Science/History


Previous Years

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Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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