2020 External Award Recipients

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Donald F. Putnam & George Tatham Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Created through a program of the province of Ontario and an endowment established in honour of two of the Department’s first three faculty members, Donald Putnam and George Tatham.

Hannah Dos Santos

Hannah Dos Santos is a Brazilian-Canadian scholar in the second year of her MA in Human Geography. Her MA thesis explores how the politics of gender and race influence the mobility practices of women cycling collectives and groups in Brazil. Hannah’s research interests include mobility, sustainability, and social and spatial justice.

Edward Sorbara & BILD Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Created through a program of the province of Ontario and the endowment established by a donation by Mr. Edward Sorbara and the University of Toronto, this award is presented to an outstanding graduate student who is studying planning and has obtained first-class standing.

Keisha St. Louis-McBurnie

Keisha St. Louis-McBurnie is completing her Master of Science in Planning (MScPl) and researches alternative practices for inclusive city-building at the intersections of housing, community economic development and land use planning. More specifically, her planning thesis is exploring the extent to which the Canadian co-operative housing sector has been engaging with innovative partnerships and structures (i.e. community land trusts) to deliver new affordable housing and sustainable, mixed-income communities across the country.

J.M. Tomczak Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Created through a program of the province of Ontario and an endowment established by J. Michael Tomczak and the University of Toronto, this award is presented to an outstanding graduate student who is studying human geography and has achieved first-class standing.

Amanda Loder

Amanda is a 4th-year PhD Candidate in Physical Geography. As part of the Paleoecology Laboratory, she examines how landuse and climate change have affected carbon stores in marshes in the past as a means to understand how carbon stores will be affected in the future. Amanda is committed to applying science and evidence to aid in the conservation of wetlands. Outside of research, Amanda has a wide range of interests including science education, piano, physically-active living and environmental sustainability.

Michael Ralph Walsh Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Created through a program of the Province of Ontario and an endowment established in memory of Michael Ralph Walsh, this award is presented to an outstanding graduate student who has obtained first-class standing.

Loren March

Loren March is a PhD student in human geography at the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography and Planning. Their research focuses on complex processes and experiences of change in urban enviornments. Specifically, they critically examine gentrification, redevelopment, and creative place-making practices, employing a diverse range and mixture of qualitative methods. Their most current dissertation work explores affective relations in contexts of urban environmental gentrification, and looks at the more-than-human implications of capitalist urbanization in Toronto.

Neptis Foundation Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Planning

Created through a program of the province of Ontario and an endowment established by the Neptis Foundation and the University of Toronto, these awards are presented to outstanding graduate students who are studying geography and planning and have obtained first-class standing.

Emily Power

Emily’s research focuses on Canadian public sector pension fund investment in rental housing. The top ten Canadian pension funds control a combined 1.7 trillion dollars in assets, including 220 billion dollars in real estate. Pension funds, along with other financialized landlords, own nearly one-fifth of Canada’s multi-family stock, and are key contributors to the housing crisis. Her study will involve interviews with fund managers and representatives from member unions, as well as a review of investment reports, AGM minutes, and industry presentations. She hopes this research is useful to tenants and organizers working to put pressure on funds to divest; push for regulations to curb financialized investment in housing; and fight against displacement and for better conditions in our homes.

Shaheer Tarar

The India-Pakistan border, illuminated by thousands of floodlights, dotted with watch towers and lined with fences, is one of the most militarized and surveilled spaces on earth. Shaheer’s research examines the physical and technological infrastructures that constitute this border, and explores how the people who live along its contours have come to understand, relate to and resist border infrastructures.

UofT Planning Alumni Ontario Graduate Scholarship

This award is given to a graduate student enrolled in full-time studies in the Department of Geography & Program in Planning, on the basis of academic merit.

Zeina Ahmed

Zeina Ahmed is a second year MScPl graduate student. Her areas of research include urban design and the intersection of planning and the built environment. Her interests are particularly focused on how people plan for and experience space and how these spaces shape communities, especially with regards to equity-deserving groups. Zeina’s personal interests and professional background include visual arts and communications design and she folds this expertise and consideration into her everyday work.

ESRI Canada Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship in Science and Technology

Created through a program of the Province of Ontario and an endowment established by ESRI Canada and the University of Toronto, this award is presented to an outstanding graduate student who is studying geography and has obtained first-class standing.

Lauren Jewett

Lauren’s research focuses on the mechanisms that drive urban-rural disparities in health service utilization. Their focus is on evaluating models of access. More specifically, how various models capture aspects of health service availability vs patient utilization behaviours provincially and nationally. This work strives to bring more nuance to the diversity of communities and allow for regionalized health service delivery planning that balances provincial responsibility with local lifestyle and well-being. Lauren works closely with health service delivery organizations, data holding organizations and health-focused NGOs to understand complex needs across large geographies, barriers to delivering equitable care, and opportunities for stakeholder collaborations. Most recently, Lauren contributed to the UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery through their contribution on Social Cohesion and Public-Government Relationships During COVID-19 and Pandemics.

Wiliam G. Dean Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship in Science and Technology

Established by Dr. William G. Dean, the scholarship is awarded to a graduate student studying physical geography.

Gerard Otiniano

Gerard’s research focuses on the reconstruction of climate conditions during periods of Earth’s history. He develops and applies tools that are sensitive to climate, which enable us to understand how climate has changed in the past. These insights can then inform us of how future climates may change under human influence. He is most interested in reconstructing climate throughout the last 30 million years in continental Yukon and Alaska, a region where little is known of past climate and yet the some of the greatest environmental changes are expected to occur in the near future.

Urban Strategies Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Created through a program of the province of Ontario and an endowment established by Urban Strategies and the University of Toronto, this award is presented to an outstanding graduate student who is studying geography or planning and has obtained first-class standing.

Sara Wasim

Sara is a first-year MScPl student at the University of Toronto with a passion for cities. She was first inspired to pursue planning as a career while completing her undergraduate degree in Human Geography and Equity Studies with a focus in Urban Geography and Planning. Sara currently works as a Research Assistant and Project Manager for Professor Ellen Berrey. One of the things that draws Sara to the field of planning is its interdisciplinary nature, which allows her to explore a wide range of her interests in transportation and infrastructure, affordable housing, and sustainability. Sara hopes that her graduate school experiences will equip her with the knowledge and skills to practice as a planner who helps create vibrant and equitable cities.

SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship

Marcellinus Essah
Liam Fox
Sinead Petrasek
Hannelore Yager
Sarah Eng
Jandel Jamela Nicholas
Amy Protheroe
Jayne Armstrong
Anne James
Patricia Arnold

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship

Amrita Kumar-Ratta

Ontario Graduate Scholarship

Kara Anderson
Timothy Bristow
Valentina Castellini
Joanna Kocsis
Alexander Tabascio
Priscilla Ankomah-Hackman