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2020 Convocation & Travel Award Recipients

Convocation Awards

Governor General's Gold Medal & Gordon A. MacLachlan Prize 

Vasiliki (Vaso) Rahimzadeh is an applied bioethics scholar with research interests at the intersection of precision medicine, data governance and public policy. She was named a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar (2016-2019) for her work in this area, and completed her PhD jointly at the Centre of Genomics and Policy and Department of Family Medicine under the supervision of Professors Bartha Maria Knoppers and Gillian Bartlett.

Her dissertation first developed, then validated an ethical framework for the responsible sharing of genomic and associated clinical data involving children in Canada. Dr. Rahimzadeh has served as a national representative of bioethics trainees on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Standing Committee on Ethics, and is an active member of the Regulatory and Ethics Work Stream of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.

She joined the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics as a Postdoctoral Fellow in September 2019 with support from a National Human Genome Research Institute Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) training grant. Her postdoctoral research builds on the ethical-legal foundation of data sharing to explore how emerging information technologies can enable secure access, use and exchange of electronic health record data to advance research in rare pediatric disease. You can read more about Dr. Rahimzadeh’s past, and future research in pediatric bioethics here


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

Neerusha Gokool Baurhoo received the Governor General's Gold Medal, awarded to outstanding graduate in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities at McGill University. She was also awarded the McGill Alumni Association Graduate Award for all disciplines. During her doctoral studies, she also received the FRQSC and SSHRC doctoral scholarship. She was ranked first on the application for the FRQSC doctoral scholarship. Throughout her doctoral journey, she published several articles in various peer-reviewed journals which can be accessed here.

Her doctoral manuscript-based dissertation focused on the teaching and learning practices for science students with learning disabilities (LD) at the CEGEP level. Her research was the first in Quebec to delve into the struggles the students with learning disabilities face in pursuing their studies in science. She also explored the issues that college science professors experienced in teaching and academically supporting their science students with learning disabilities. In her doctoral dissertation, Neerusha gave students with learning disabilities not only a unified voice, but a platform to have their unique issues heard through photovoice. Neerusha’s dissertation topic stems from her own experience and professional work conducting remedial interventions with students with special needs in science and math at a college in Montreal. Neerusha firmly believes in equity in education and that all students, irrespective of their social, biological, and economic circumstances, should be given equal opportunities to academically succeed and thrive in their areas of interests.

Neerusha’s experience at McGill University was both enriching and life changing. Her blog articles can be accessed here. The 2019-2020 Governor General’s Gold Medal not only commemorates her academic excellence at McGill University but also depicts her continuous resilience, efforts, and hard work. Balancing family life with her studies while striving for academic excellence was an immense challenge and she is very grateful and thankful to her thesis supervisor, Dr. Anila Asghar, for her continuous support and dedication. She is very thankful to professors in the Faculty of Education (DISE and ECP) who inspired her during her doctoral journey: Dr. Claudia Mitchell, Dr. Marta Kobiela, Dr. Mela Sarkar, Dr. Lise Winer, Dr. Carolyn Turner, Dr. Robert Savage, Dr. Jessica Toste, and Dr. Ingrid Sladeczek. She would also like to thank Mr. Michael Lariviere for all his support.


K. B. Jenckes Prize

Landon Morrison completed a PhD in music theory at McGill University under the co-supervision of Robert Hasegawa and Jonathan Sterne, and is now a College Fellow at Harvard University, where he teaches courses on a range of topics, including tonal and post-tonal analysis, timbre, and new musical media.

His dissertation, titled “Sounds, Signals, Signs: Transductive Currents in Post-Spectral Music at IRCAM,” examines the articulation of contemporary compositional practices to psychoacoustics and technological development at the Institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique (IRCAM) in Paris, France. Borrowing from sound and media studies, he proposes an analytics of transduction for illuminating the complex interconnections that bind music’s sounding effects, its manifold representations, and its material bases of production. More broadly, his research engages with an array of interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary music, as demonstrated by recent articles in Circuit: musiques contemporaine, Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung, and Music Theory Online, a forthcoming chapter on the history of rhythm quantization in the Oxford Handbook of Time in Music, and regular conference presentations at the annual meetings for the Society of Music Theory, American Musicological Society, Electroacoustic Music Studies Network, and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.


D.W. Ambridge Prize

Noah Phillips completed his doctoral degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences in 2019 under the supervision of Dr. Christie Rowe. His research centered on how earthquakes nucleate and propagate through common rocks from subduction zones (where the world’s largest earthquakes occur). Using a combination of field mapping in Japan, friction experiments, and numerical modelling Noah showed how altered basalt, a common subduction zone lithology, has the required physical properties to nucleate earthquakes.

Noah is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M University.


D.W. Ambridge Prize

Igor Huskic completed his doctoral degree in Chemistry in 2019 under the supervision of Prof. Tomislav Friščić. His research focused on developing solid-state 'accelerated ageing' reactions as green, solvent-free methods for chemical synthesis. In his thesis Igor showed that a wide range of materials - from organic species to metal-organic functional materials - can be prepared using 'accelerated ageing', avoiding solvents and improving the ecological impact of synthetic chemistry. During his time at McGill Igor (co)authored 18 peer-reviewed papers in international journals.

Igor has always been passionate about education and science outreach. In 2014 he helped start McGill Chemistry Outreach group which is still active today. Igor currently lives in Australia and works for the Therapeutic Goods Administration.


Travel Awards

Delta Upsilon Memorial Scholarship

Mathis Loic Messager, Geography 

Andrea Carboni Jimenez, Psychiatry

John Williamson Frederick Peacock Memorial Scholarship

Miranda Jane Green, Neuroscience

Philip F. Vineberg Travelling Fellowship

Michael Andre Leger, Political Science/History


Previous Years

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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