Group prize went to CAWI, an FMHS student-led community group helping immigrant women. Runners up include iGEM, Memory Lab, as well as Family Med and Psychiatry members 

McGill University has announced the winners and runners-up of the 2024 President’s Prize for Public Engagement through Media. The Prize was created to recognize outstanding achievement among those who share their knowledge on a vast range of subjects with the media and the public. This year, there were applicants from 11 of the 12 faculties, a sign that sharing knowledge and a love of learning continue to be embedded in McGill’s DNA. 

Awards are given out each year in four categories: student groups, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, early-career researchers, and established faculty members. 

Advocating for rights and resources of immigrant women 

The winner of the Prize for Groups is the Canadian Advisory of Women Immigrants (CAWI), a community organization dedicated to empowering immigrant women across Canada through advocacy efforts. CAWI was founded by Hani Rukh-E-Qamar, a Master of Science in Epidemiology student in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, who is also President, and Executive Director. In selecting the winning group the jury noted its commitment to sharing knowledge and expertise on sexual and reproductive health to immigrant women in a variety of ways, ranging from interviews to workshops in collaboration with community partners. The runners-up this year are McGill iGEM, a student-led synthetic biology initiative that includes several FMHS students and mentors, and the Memory Lab, led by Marc Roig, PhD, Associate Professor in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy. 

Raising the alarm on contaminants in killer whales’ diets 

Anaïs Remili, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, is the winner of the Prize for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows. In selecting her, the jury highlighted Remili’s unparalleled commitment to science communication, particularly regarding her research on feeding ecology and North Atlantic killer whales. 

The runners-up are Luisa Castaneda-Quintana and Amedeo Boccheni Giusto, PhD candidates in the Faculty of Law, and Felicia Gisondi, MSc student in the Department of Psychiatry and founder and executive director of Sex and Self, a student run registered not-for-profit organization that aims to provide individuals with educational seminars, workshops, events, and resources pertaining to sexual and reproductive health and wellness. 

Toward sustainable local development through entrepreneurship 

The winner of this year’s Prize for Emerging Researchers is Anna Kim, Associate Professor and Peter Brojde Faculty Scholar in Entrepreneurship in the Desautels Faculty of Management. In selecting her as the winner, the jury underscored her commitment to disseminating research on entrepreneurship and sustainability through traditional and social media platforms, all whilst engaging the public in meaningful dialogue. 

The runners-up in this category are Nicolas Ajzenman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, and Houman Farzin, MD, Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine whose research interests include clinical applications of psychedelics like magic mushrooms, mindfulness and whole person care. 

The power of rebalancing society 

Henry Mintzberg, John Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies in the Desautels Faculty of Management, is the winner of the Prize for Established Academics. In choosing him as the winner, the jury underlined his success in leveraging his influence to address real-world challenges that resonate with diverse audiences on various topics related to not only business strategy and management, but also societal shifts at large, through countless media mentions, presentations, books, and other outreach efforts. 

The runners-up this year are  Parisa Ariya, James McGill Professor cross-appointed to the Departments of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Chemistry, and Allison Christians, Full Professor and H. Heward Stikeman Chair in Tax Law in the Faculty of Law. 

Hot labour summer and beyond 

The Changemaker Prize, for which you cannot apply but must be nominated, is awarded on an occasional basis to individuals whose dedication to sharing their knowledge with the media and  public has had a major impact on society. 

This year’s Changemaker Prize was awarded to Barry Eidlin, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. In selecting him as the Changemaker, the McGill Media Relations Office highlighted his broad efforts to shed light on the causes and impacts of the unprecedented strike action over the past year in various sectors. The strikes affected everyone from autoworkers to actors and writers. Prof. Eidlin provided highly understandable and nuanced commentary stemming from his deep historical and sociological understanding of North American trade unionism. Prof. Eidlin’s work also affected policy – notably, his testimony before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade and expert commentary on the seaport workers’ strike in Vancouver.