The Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic), through the Discovery Centre for Undergraduate Research and Engagement honours exemplary undergraduate students with the Provost Scholars Award each spring.  The students are nominated by their faculties for excellence in one of the four pillars of the Discovery Centre:

  • undergraduate research,
  • community engagement
  • internationalization
  • immersive learning

There are up to two awards per Faculty valued at $1000 each. Final judging of the submissions was done by the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) in consultation with the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice –President (Academic) John Shepherd, the Vice-President (Students and Enrolment) Suzanne Blanchard, and the Interm Director of the Discovery Centre Cheryl Schramm.

Due to the variety of work done by students throughout the university, there can be a broad interpretation of the four categories above, but the student’s work must be linked to their studies at Carleton. Although the focus is on individuals, nominations of groups or teams of undergraduate students were also considered, with the award money shared. Nominated students were all registered in an undergraduate program in 2015-16.

We are pleased to highlight this years’ Award Recipients:

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (2 Winners)

Mr. Malek Singer
BSc Geomatics
Nominated by Murray Richardson, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

  • Commended for highest final grades in his class
  • Winning a number of academic awards, including, most recently, a competitive NSERC USRA award
  • Honours thesis includes work on applied research problem in Yellowknife, NWT where in summer 2016 Malek made important contributions to a larger multi-disciplinary project.
  • He’s played an important role in recruitment and retention activities, including showcase fairs and high-school classroom visits
  • He also works as a volunteer translator (English-Arabaic) for the Ottawa South Committee for Refugee Sponsorship.

Mr. Jonathan Capaldi
Department of Psychology
Nominated by Marina Milyavskaya, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

  • Has volunteered for two years with three separate labs in the psychology department
  • He came up with a novel research idea that he was able to test using existing data (in the Goal lab). He has presented this research at an international conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) in San Antonio
  • He has also been involved in the community, volunteering with the Student Alliance for Mental Health and the Canadian Cancer Society

Faculty of Public Affairs (2 winners):

Ms Patricia Wallinger
Global and International Studies (BGInS)
Nominated by Kamari Maxine Clarke, Associate Professor of Global and International Studies

  • Has been engaged in two main projects in the community:
    • In Canada, she started an employment-based organization under a social enterprise design to address a number of interrelated issues. The project is a local landscape and garden maintenance project she calls Amano Gardens. It is a simple response to poverty, unemployment and environmental degradation. In its first year, the Gardens provided 1,250 hours of paid labour.
    • In her native Argentina, she has been instrumental in building an aboriginal school’s kitchen garden and working towards developing food security strategies in Argentina
  • In addition to her engaged projects, Patricia has served as a research assistant and the collection of various data collection activities

Mr. Patrick Butler
School of Journalism and Political Science
Nominated by Susan Harada, Associate Director of the School of Journalism and Communications

  • Patrick has been describes as “unfailingly linking his studies with activities in the community”
  • Since 2013 he has regularly produced quality journalism (from national politics to local arts) and published his work with CBC Radio, the Telegram, iPolitics, the Overcast, Curling Canada and The Charlatan among other news outlets.
  • He is actively engaged in international issues as exemplified by his four-month internship at the Canadian embassy in Washington D.C. in 2016
  • Patrick researches and engages with community members in addressing real-world problems and establishing a vital role for journalists within their communities.

Faculty of Science (3 winners):

Ms Chaya Kandegedara
Neuroscience and Mental Health
Nominated by Dr. Michael Hildebrand, Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience

  • Chaya was nominated with a wide breadth of accomplishments, academic performance, pioneering work in translation pain research and community volunteering;
  • Chaya has made exceptional contributions to the pain research program.
  • As a research assistant, Chaya has established a rodent model of inflammatory pain for the lab and independently wrote protocols and procedures for this model.
  • As part of her honours thesis, she has helped facilitate a collaborative effort with a neurosurgeon at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Dr Eve Tsai. Her tremendous commitment has included trips to the hospital in the middle of the night to collect samples, working over the holidays;
  • She has prepared this research for three poster presentations and a high impact publication.
  • Stemming from her Religion courses and in serving her local community Chaya volunteer for the Hilda Jayawardenaramaya Buddhist Sunday School and the Glebe Centre for mental health and dementia patients.

Ms Shannon Clarke
Environmental Science
Nominated by Dr. Steven J. Cooke, Director of the Institute of Environmental Science, Canada Research Chair and Professor

  • Shannon has been engaged in both research and community engagement, all the while maintaining top grades.
  • She spent 4 months each summer studying the behaviour, physiology, and ecology of fish and has become a valued member of her research teams.
    • In 2015 she spent time at Queen’s Biology Station where she assisted graduate students and post docs with their research.
    • In 2016 she traveled to New Brunswick with a post-doctoral fellow to study Atlantic salmon responses to climate change and;
    • She joined a M.Sc. student in Alberta to study the effects of dam removal on bull trout in Banff National Park.
  • She is a leader in the science community as Co-President of the Environmental Science Student Society and supports students at Science Student Success Centre

Ms Olivia Perryman
School of Computer Science
Nominated by Jim Davies, School of Computer Science, Institute of Cognitive Science

  • She received the Dean’s Summer Research Internship and got to work on understanding mental rotation (e.g., picturing a chair and rotating it in your imagination).
  • The Nengo summer school at Waterloo accepted her, and she learned about computational neuroscience with senior scientists from many disciplines;
  • Olivia’s neural model of rotation is the first to ever be created, despite rotation being a focus of psychology for 40 years.
  • She is preparing for a first publication of her undergraduate research;
  • Olivia also demonstrated contributions to immersive learning through her participation in the GLAM (Girls Learning About Math) GameJam. Olivia led her team to create a competitive two-player computer game, directed at girls (grades 6-8) to practice math concepts and promote women in STEM fields. Olivia’s team won first place, as judged by IBM employees and professional game developers.
  • She has shown community engagement by teaching kids how to code in a workshop: “Adventures in Engineering and Science.”

Faculty of Engineering and Design (2 winners):

Mr. Karim Yousef
Aerospace Engineering
Nominated to Rob Langlois, Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

  • Karim is a full-time international undergraduate student
  • He has a passion for flight simulation and his involvement with a large international on-line community focused on flight simulation training, with a view towards contributing to the Carleton University Simulator Project (CUSP) – one of the capstone design projects offered by the Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has been immense;
  • Working collaboratively with Carleton faculty, fellow students and with the Ottawa Aviation Service and Waterloo-Wellington Flight Centre he has helped to develop the flight simulation training that is now to be certified for use by Transport Canada.
  • He is actively engaged in immersive learning for himself and is promoting immersive learning for his peers through hands-on involvement with this real-world project working closely with our industrial partners.

Ms Arlin Otto
Architectural Conservation and Sustainable Structural Engineering
Nominated by: John Gales Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Arlin has excelled with her active involvement and ongoing research.
  • She presented, as first author, her fully accepted peer reviewed research paper, Laminated Veneer Lumber Plated Connections in Fire, at the prestigious 15th International Conference of Fire and Materials in San Francisco in February.
  • She has submitted a second first author paper to the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers 2017 annual conference titled: Mass Heritage Timber Performance in Fire.
  • She is working on ground breaking technology which removes the emissivity of light from imagery allowing quantification of the underlying thermos-mechanical theory of engineered timber in fire.
  • Her community involvement through fostering leadership in Engineering takes place in a number of areas and organizations:
    • In recruitment in FED with Go-Eng-Girl, the Women in Engineering Mixer in 2016 and EWB High school Summit in 2015
    • She also held the position as student president of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering this year.

Sprott School of Business – Co-Winners:

Ms Olivia Harris
Mr. Kevin Horak – unable to attend, on exchange in Santiago, Chile
Nominated by Howard Nimeroff

  • During their tenure this year as Co-Presidents of the Carleton Chapter of DECA, Olivia and Kevin were instrumental in generating explosive returns to membership. Their team has also done extremely well in competitions under their leadership, and they have been exemplary leaders.
  • They were successful in two key recruiting initiatives:
    • Helping to lead a DECA-like case competition among incoming students during Summer Orientation
    • In the Fall of 2016, we ran a pilot with Longfield Davidson High School in Barrhaven, engaging students in a series of workshops culminating in a day-long business case competition set to take place here on campus. The pair organized every aspect of the event and are both commended for having such a high interest and enrollment rate.

Thank you to all who nominated students for the 2015-16 Provost Scholar Award. Please also read about the 2015-2016 Award recipients.