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Distinguished Dissertation Awards

2019 CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

Dr. Janelle Marie Baker is the 2019 winner of the CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertion Award in the Catefory of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The award will be presented during the 57th Annual CAGS Conference in Halifax.

Dr. Baker’s dissertation is an exploration of sakâwiyiniwak (Northern Bush Cree) experiences with wild or ‘bush’ food contamination in what is now known as Alberta’s oil sands region. It is based on ethnographic research and collaborative experiences with members of Bigstone Cree Nation and Fort McKay First Nation in their traditional territories, and during community-based environmental monitoring studies of wild food contamination. As a highly original work of engaged ethnography, Baker’s dissertation probes indigenous diagnostics and etiologies of degraded food quality and discloses a complex of social, cultural, and environmental effects commonly overlooked in conventional impact studies.

You can read more about her research here.


2015 Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) Distinguished Dissertation Award

Dr. Bree Akesson is the 2015 winner of the CAGS Distinguished Dissertation Award in the category of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The award was presented during the CAGS Annual Conference in Calgary in October, 2015.  

Dr. Akesson has spent much of her academic career studying how political violence and war affects children’s sense of place. She used innovative technologies to track and create maps of individuals' sense of place in war-torn areas and to give voice to the people involved in her research. She received her PhD in Social Work from McGill University and is now an Assistant Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University specializing in international child protection and the psychosocial effects of war and disaster on young families.


2013 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

Dr. Valorie Salimpoor is the 2013 recipient of the CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Disseration Award, presented at a ceremony during the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) 53rd Annual Meeting. The award recognizes recent doctoral recipients who have already made unusually significant and original contributions to their fields. ProQuest, an international leader in dissertation archiving, discovery and access, sponsors the awards and an independent committee from the Council of Graduate Schools selects the winners.

Dr. Salimpoor received her PhD in Psychology in the Behavioral Neuroscience Training Program from McGill. In her research, she explores the strong impact music has on humans by investigating the reward systems in the brain to better understand how humans experience pleasure and what motivates our thoughts and behaviours. She is currently a postdoc in Randy McIntosh's lab at the Rotman Research Institute at the University of Toronto.


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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