June 5, 2024

Seven UCalgary graduate students win 2024 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

PhD students receive national award for their innovative research and extraordinary leadership
A group of people
University of Calgary 2024 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Winners. Claire Sheehy, Faculty of Graduate Studies

The University of Calgary is home to several coveted scholarships and awards, but one of the most prestigious and competitive is the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS). Created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students broadening their research horizons, this scholarship is awarded to Vanier Scholars that demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of academic achievement in graduate studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSHRC), Natural Sciences and/or Engineering (NSERC) and Health (CIHR). 

UCalgary is proud to recognize seven doctoral students who have been awarded the 2024 Vanier CGS.

  • Photo above, from left: Philip Adebayo, Caroline Luszawski, Chetna Khandelwal, Chantelle Marie Anderson, Bevin Wiley, Hailey Barrell and Dylan Guan.

“Not only is the University of Calgary Canada’s entrepreneurial university, but also an institution that is on the cutting edge of research innovation and home to remarkable graduate students,” says Dr. Tara Beattie, vice-provost and dean of graduate studies. 

“These Vanier Scholars will not only benefit from the funding support that comes with this scholarship but also from the recognition they receive for their academic, research and leadership accomplishments. The achievements of these Vanier Scholars highlights the opportunities that UCalgary provides for training researchers whose work and dedication significantly benefits the community.”

Named after Major-General Georges P. Vanier, the first francophone Governor General of Canada, the Vanier CGS is valued at $150,000 over three years and is funded by the Government of Canada. This scholarship is awarded to Canadian and international graduate students who have displayed high levels of leaderships alongside their academic excellence.

The 2024 University of Calgary Vanier CGS winners are:

Dylan Guan, Medical Science
Supervisor: Dr. Zahinoor Ismail

Guan’s doctoral research focuses on changes to mood, behaviour, hearing and walking on the onset of dementia and if other factors such as level of schooling and type of job can protect against worsening behaviour in old age. The research will leverage brain imaging to explore changes to the brain that impact cognitive, behavioural and motor skills to examine if these impacts that lead to memory loss in dementia are the same as those that lead to changes in mood, behaviour, hearing and walking.

Caroline Luszawski, Clinical Psychology
Supervisor: Dr. Keith Yeates

Luszawski’s study aims to better understand the relationship between socioemotional functioning, sleep disturbance, and post-concussive symptoms in children with concussions. Sleep and socioemotional functioning appear to affect each other in healthy children, but this relationship has not been well studied in children with concussions. Findings from this study will support clinical practice, as evidence-based treatments for post-injury sleep and socioemotional functioning may help promote concussion recovery.

Bevin Wiley, Neuroscience
Supervisor: Dr. Kara Rochele Murias

Wiley is investigating a new technology called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to treat children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by identifying a specific target on each child’s brain using a magnetic resonance imaging scanner and applying TMS to safely stimulate that area. Her work will examine if using TMS on the superior frontal gyrus region of the brain will help children with ADHD focus better.

Philip Adebayo, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering
Supervisor: Dr. Aggrey Mwesigye

Adebayo’s doctoral research will support the development of a solar-assisted ground source heat pump (GSHP) system that leverages the direct use of geothermal energy and has higher operating efficiencies and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This solution is intended to provide information to practising engineers in designing systems in extremely cold climate zones to support the development of GSHP technology for residential housing units in Calgary.

Chantelle Anderson, Biomedical Engineering

Anderson is researching the development validation of a non-invasive imaging technology to assist with diagnosing atopic dermatitis (AD), a chronic skin disease, in Indigenous children and young people. This research will generate an image model of the various stages of AD, with and without treatment, to provide Indigenous people with an accessible tool that can be used to assist in the diagnosis and monitoring of AD without needing a dermatologist present.

Hailey Barrell, Biological Sciences
Supervisor: Dr. Dae-Kyun Ro

Barrell’s doctoral research will support the development of a novel yeast strain that produces high quantities of helenalin, the active compound in the arnica plant, which shows promising anti-cancer and anti-malarial effects. This research will utilize interdisciplinary approaches to fully understand the helenalin biosynthesis and to contribute to the creation of a yeast strain that can be produced sustainably to promote equal and equitable access to pharmaceutical compounds.

Chetna Khandelwal, Sociology
Supervisor: Dr. Pallavi Banerjee

Khandelwal's research focuses on three social movements across Canada, India and the United States, examining how marginalized women participate in protests and in what way this participation is neglected by the mainstream media. This research will also explore the role that technology plays in spotlighting activism from the margins. In addition to spotlighting women’s experiences within protest spaces, the output of this research includes a guidebook on increasing inclusivity within protests.

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