Engaged Scholar Award – Student
The contribution of community engagement initiatives and the impact of community-university partnerships are recognized through several internal and external awards. Read more below and nominate a project today.
The Engaged Scholar Awards recognize one student, one faculty member and one community partner for their exemplary participation in community-engaged scholarship during the preceding year. Presented annually, these three awards are made possible by the Office of Community Engagement and the Office of the Provost.
Congratulations to our 2017 Engaged Scholar Awards recipients!
Engaged Scholar Award – Student
Engaged Scholar Award – Faculty
Dr. Edward Little
Engaged Scholar Award – Community Partner
Annie Pisuktie, Nipivut
Purpose of the Engaged Scholar Awards:
Community engaged-scholarship is the collaboration between academics and individuals or organizations outside the academy, in the context of partnership and reciprocity. It can involve generating, validating, synthesizing, or applying knowledge at the local, regional, national or global level. Community is broadly defined to include non-profit organizations, social enterprises, governmental agencies, and institutions.
Recipients for the faculty, student and community partner awards will be selected on the basis of the quality of the community-univeristy partnership, the ways in which the initiative addresses community-identified needs and the ways in which the engagement activities enhance teaching, learning and research at Concordia.
For more information about the Engaged Scholar Awards, please download the nomination guidelines or consult the details below.
Note that nominations have closed for the 2017 Engaged Scholar Awards.
Any member of the Concordia community can nominate their colleague, student, professor or community partner for one of the three Engaged Scholar Awards. Self-nomination is not permitted. Nominees for the three different award categories must meet the following criteria:
- Student: All current Concordia students including those who are pursuing full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree studies are eligible to be nominated for the Engaged Scholar Student Award. The student must have partnered with an external group or organization on an academic project.
- Faculty: All current faculty members at Concordia, including those who are full-time, part-time, tenured, non-tenured and limited term appointments, are eligible to be nominated for the Engaged Scholar Faculty Award. The faculty member must have partnered with an external group or organization on an academic project.
- Community partner: All non-profit organizations, social enterprises, governmental agencies and institutions that are currently partnering with a Concordia student or faculty on an academic project are eligible to be nominated for the Engaged Scholar Community Partner Award.
Nominations will be evaluated along the following dimensions:
- Quality of Partnership: Was the community involved in planning, implementing, and evaluating the engaged scholarship activities? In what ways does this community-university partnership demonstrate the following values: sustained relationships; mutual reciprocity; ethical practice; and engaged citizenship.
- Impact on community: Does the work meet community-identified needs in a way that the community appreciates? How do the activities undertaken address larger social issues?
- Impact on scholarship: Do the engaged scholarship activities enhance teaching, learning and/or research at Concordia? In what ways has the community-university partnership linked directly to the academic objectives of the student and/or faculty?
To nominate someone for one of the three Engaged Scholar Awards, please complete the nomination form online. You will be asked to indicate whether you are nominating the individual for the faculty, student or community partner award. In addition to providing contact information for the nominee, nominator and two references, you will have the opportunity to describe:
- the community engaged scholarship initiative and the contribution made by the nominee;
- how the community was involved in planning, implementing and evaluating the initiative;
- the ways in which this initiative met community-identified needs; and
- the impact this initiative had on teaching, learning and/or research at Concordia.
The nominator may also submit optional signed letters of support from professors, colleagues, community partners and/or students who can attest to the impact of the nominee’s contributions to community engaged scholarship.
Letters of support and any questions about the nomination process should be directed to the Office of Community Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations will not be considered complete until the nomination form is completed in full.
All nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee coordinated by the Office of Community Engagement.
It is not possible to receive an Engaged Scholar Award in the same year as a Concordia Volunteer Award or CCSL Outstanding Contribution Award.
All nominators will be notified by email regarding the outcome of the selection process.
Recipients of the three Engaged Scholar Awards will be recognized publicly at a ceremony held in the Loyola Chapel on the evening of Thursday, April 13, 2017.
All recipients will be presented with a commemorative gift. The winner of the Community Partner Award will also receive a $1000 contribution towards their organization.
Previous award winners
Student Winner - Fabio Balli
Since his arrival at Concordia in January 2016, Fabio Balli has explored knowledge commons and the collaborative production of freely accessible knowledge and technologies. With the support of the Center for Teaching and Learning, he has organised three “Breathing Games” events. These events bring together young patients with breathing issues, their families, doctors from Sainte-Justine Hospital and students, teachers and staff from multiple universities to work together on the development of open source games that promote breathing health and healthy behaviors for children.
For various reasons, children with breathing and lung-related issues do not always have access to pertinent health care, effective medications or appropriate ways to take care of themselves. Thus, there is a real need for free and open solutions. Fabio and his collaborators develop new software, devices and experiential teaching methods that can then be appropriated by anyone in the world. Fabio’s efforts strive to give every institution and individual, particularly those from developing countries,the autonomy they require to improve children’s health.
Faculty Winner - Dr. Edward Little
Educator, author, and theatre maker, Dr. Edward (Ted) Little has built his career at Concordia on the principle of community-engaged creation. He has been a mentor to students and colleagues alike, and a tireless champion of working in sustained collaboration with external communities and partners.
From 2005 to 2012, Dr. Little was a pivotal member of the award-winning Montreal Life Stories project that recorded the life stories of Montrealers displaced by mass violence and which then staged these stories in order to open up reflexive spaces within survivor communities and to bring these stories to wider publics.
Starting in 2012, Dr. Little created The Neighbourhood Theatre (TNT), a highly innovative course in which students work as “artists in residence” through placements obtained by the Atwater Library with grassroots community organizations.
Since 2014, Dr. Little has also been a core member in the Right to the City (RTTC) pedagogical initiative, which has brought students from four disciplines into a place-based learning initiative in Pointe-Saint-Charles. Dr Little’s spirit, generosity, clear-sightedness, and his great wealth of experience in community engagement has been central to the RTTC’s success.
Community Partner Winner - Annie Pisuktie, Nipivut
Annie is an Inuit woman from Iqaluit, Nunavut. She moved to Montreal over 30 years ago and has worked tirelessly on behalf of Inuit in the city ever since. In 2015, Annie jumped at the opportunity to host Nipivut — a radio show that helps build an inclusive Inuit community in the greater Montreal area.
Nipivut, which means ‘Our Voice’ in Inuktitut, was born out of a SSHRC funded research project led by Concordia’s Dr. Mark Watson. This action research project aims to help facilitate community based or driven projects that seek to improve the wellbeing and social situation of Inuit in Montreal.
Through Nipivut, Annie connects southern-based Inuit to a Northern audience while disseminating timely information on services specific to Inuit within Montreal. The use of Inuktitut on the radio encourages an endangered language while empowering community members who contribute to a show "for Inuit, by Inuit" in a collective capacity. Annie’s leadership and commitment to Nipivut simultaneously strengthens a marginalized community and contributes significantly to research at Concordia University.
Student Winner - Amy Collier, Adjani Poirier and Casey Thorne Stainsby
Amy, Adjani and Casey won the Engaged Scholar Award in recognition of their documentary play, 'On Life and Living', developed in partnership with AIDS Community Care Montreal. Based on interviews of past and present ACCM members, staff and volunteers, ‘On Life and Living’ weaves together a story of the organization’s history using memories as a primary source.
‘On Life and Living’ emerged in 2013 as a concept out of Adjani’s experience volunteering at ACCM as part of an interdisciplinary course on HIV/AIDS. With the guidance of Dr. Viviane Namaste, and the enthusiastic support of ACCM’s volunteer coordinator Andrea Kornacki, Adjani, Casey and Amy embarked on a two-and-a-half year creative and academic journey, which culminated in the play’s premiere run in November 2015.
Throughout the process, these three students worked slowly and closely with community members, soliciting their feedback and involvement to help produce a complex story. The result was a project that honoured ACCM’s legacy, paid tribute to the longstanding relationship between ACCM and Concordia and asked important questions about our cultural narrative surrounding HIV and AIDS.
Faculty Winner - Dr. Rosemarie Schade
Dr. Rosemarie Schade recently retired from Concordia after a twenty-seven year career. During that time, she could often be found championing community engaged scholarship and those efforts culminated in several significant achievements during her final years of service.
A long-time supporter of CEED, an innovative international community engagement project (formerly the Concordia Volunteers Abroad Program), Rosemarie assisted with the design of a three-credit course for student participants. She went on to personally lobby key stakeholders to develop a multi-faculty partnership which now houses this important pre-departure learning opportunity.
In her own pedagogical pursuits, Rosemarie developed a cross-continental course, called Sustainability and Community Building, which allowed students to learn on-the-ground from community-driven sustainability projects both in Montreal and in Germany.
Finally, Rosemarie dedicated the last months of her career to serving as Concordia’s first ever Provost Fellow in Community Engagement. As fellow, she laid the ground work for the Living Knowledge research project which will soon have identified the community-based experiential learning opportunities that exist throughout Concordia’s curriculum.
Community Partner Winner - Coop Le Milieu
Coop Le Milieu is a cooperatively run café and art hive located in Montréal's Centre-Sud neighbourhood. Their studio is filled with second-hand art supplies and is available on a pay-what-you-can basis to everyone and anyone who’d like to create art as an active participant in their community.
Each semester, Le Milieu hosts several Concordia undergraduate and graduate students who gain hands-on experience with therapeutic art making, social inclusion, sustainable food systems and the social economy. Le Milieu is also a proud member of the Concordia-initiated Art Hive Network. Le Milieu’s co-founder, Rachel Chainey, currently serves as the Network’s coordinator and, thanks to her hard work promoting the movement, organizing symposiums and sharing her knowledge and skills with others, there are now over 70 art hives worldwide.
Since it opened its doors in 2012, Le Milieu and Rachel Chainey have been partnering with Concordia in many important ways. Through their engaged scholarship efforts, they support the research and pedagogical work of professors from three different faculties and provide learning opportunities to students from across the university.
Student Winner - Shyam Anandampillai
Shyam is currently a drama therapy intern at the McGill University Sexual Identity Clinic (MUSIC), which provides specialized mental health care to individuals, couples, and families with sexual orientation and gender identity concerns. He recently led an adult group as they explored internalized homophobia to address issues of shame and stigma, particularly within immigrant communities. As a result of Shyam’s involvement, MUSIC is the first clinic to offer drama therapy services to the LGBTQ population in Montreal.
Shyam has also reached out to other community organizations, namely Project 10 and the Beaconsfield LGBTQ group to invite them to participate in a new program for transgendered youth. His techniques offer young people the opportunity to explore their gender in non-judgmental, safe and creative ways. His work seeks to address the depression and anxiety that can be experienced by members of this often isolated and underserved community.
Faculty Winner - Dr. Linda Szabad-Smith
Dr. Szabad-Smyth’s contributions to Concordia and the wider community span a quarter century. As a faculty member within the department of Art Education, she has contributed to the development of the Community Art Education program over the last eighteen years, a program which continues to be unique in Canada.
Thanks to Dr. Szabad-Smyth, the program currently partners with approximately thirty community sites, including schools, art centres, community centres, drop-in centres for the homeless, artist collectives, newcomer associations, and programs for seniors, to name a few.
Her vision has generated a holistic and experiential curriculum, integrating community knowledge in the classroom and shaping generations of learners through a student-centred approach. She has also developed and inspired numerous research projects and guided graduate students as they conduct research in community art education.
Through her generous and caring disposition as well as her innovative approach to community-based pedagogy and research, Dr. Szabad-Smyth exemplifies what it means to be an engaged scholar.
Community Partner Winner - RECAA
Twelve years ago, a group of elders from diverse cultural communities in Montreal formed Respecting Elders: Communities Against Abuse (RECAA). RECAA practices forum theatre in order to engage people in finding solutions to social problems. They have developed a number of skits over the years, which they present at seniors’ homes across Montreal to audiences that are not always integrated into mainstream Québec.
RECAA’s long-standing engagement with Concordia University has greatly enriched the institution’s research and has directly contributed to the academic, professional, and personal development of students and faculty alike.
In partnership with Professor Kim Sawchuk in Communications Studies, RECAA has collaborated on numerous initiatives, including the Ageing Communications Technologies project. As active-players in this large-scale partnership, RECAA’s members have contributed to every step of the research process and have provided tremendous opportunities for students. Their involvement has allowed undergraduate and graduate students to work extensively with an activist community organization and discuss ageing and elder abuse in constructive ways.
The Concordia Volunteer Recognition Awards are presented annually to Concordia students, staff and faculty who have made a significant contribution in the volunteer sector (off-campus), sharing their time and talent for the benefit of the community.
For more information please visit the LIVE Centre.
The Volunteer Recognition Awards and the Engaged Scholar Awards will be presented in conjunction with the Concordia Council on Student Life (CCSL) Outstanding Contribution Awards. For more information, please vist the Concordia Council on Student Life.
External awards opportunities
Beyond campus, there are many opportunities to nominate yourself, a fellow Concordian, or a community partner for an award. Please contact the Office of Community Engagement for support in the application process.