dinosaurs in party hats

Gender & Social Justice Awards

Every year in April, the Department hosts an awards ceremony celebrating the best and the brightest students and their accomplishments. There are three prizes given out, one for the most outstanding first-year student, one for the most outstanding upper-year student, and finally, the Sandra Burt Research Award which goes to an upper-year student with an outstanding essay or project.  

We are so proud of our students and their accomplishments this event gives us a chance to celebrate and connect with them. 

2024 GSJ Awards

Opening Remarks and Welcomes from Matt Doucet and Carla Fehr

Mathieu Doucet speaking at podium
Carla Fehr at podium

Special Thanks

The GSJ Program Committee

Jenny Saul, Rashmee Singh, Laura Mae Lindo, Greta Kroeker, and Joanne Atlee

Urgency of Social Justice Speakers

 Joanne Atlee (Cheriton School of Computer Science), Andrea Collins (School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability), Lai-Tze Fan (Sociology and Legal Studies), Meg Gibson (Social Development Studies), Laura  Mae Lindo (Philosophy and GSJ), and Charity Oga-Omenka (School of Public Health Sciences)

Pedagogy Workshops

Greta Koeker, Rebecca MacAlpine, and The Center for Teaching Excellence

Job Well Done

Heather Eustace and Madeleine Kenyon

Friend of GSJ

Kyle Adams

First Year Prize

Isabella (Izzy)Treacy and Harshvir Chahal, presented by Madeleine Kenyon on behalf of Katy Fulfer 

Madeleine Kenyon
Madeleine Kenyon, Isabella (Izzy) Treacy, and Harshvir Chahal

Upper Year Prize

Alana Matsuo, presented by Rebecca MacAlpine

Rebecca MacAlpine
Rebecca and Alana

Sandra Burt Research Award

Lauren Tweed (absent) for "Witches: The 1965 Essex Witch Trails", and Ellen Marguerite Siebel-Achenbach for "Sisters of Wisdom: Female Hymnists of the Middle Ages", presented by Maisie Sum

Maisie Sum
Maisie and Ellen

Mapara Scholarship

Remy Leigh, presented by Carla Fehr

Carla and Remy
Carla and Remy

Previous years awards winners

2023 GSJ Awards

2023 GSJ Awards

katy Fulfer congratulating Chloe Naila Chamredon

First year prize

awarded to Chole Naila Chamredon
award presented by Katy Fulfer

Jennifer Saul and Dylan Cyr congratulating Kate Bradley

Upper year prize

awarded to Kate Bradley
award presented by Jenny Saul and Dylan Cyr

Katy Fulfer congratulating Remy Leigh

Sandra Burt Research Award

award presented to Remy Leigh for their work K9
award presented by Katy Fulfer


2022 Awards

First Year:

Jointly awarded to: Jenna Porter and Elly Schyven 

Ellyperformed at a consistently high level throughout the course. I was tremendously impressed by how they embraced feedback and excelled in their coursework through notable dedication and commitment. Based on their performance in this class, I'm excited to see Elly's future contributions to the GSJ program and the University of Waterloo more broadly. —Shannon Stettner

Jenna performed at a consistently high level throughout the course. For their major project, Jenna produced a graphic research poster on the 504 sit-in, showing a lot of perseverance and creativity in pursuing this subject. She produced a phenomenal final project that was engaging and sophisticated. Jenna is well-situated to excel in future GSJ offerings and I'm excited to follow her student career. —Shannon Stettner

Sandra Burt Research Award

Joint award winner Callum Mac Rempel 

Callum Mac Rempel

Callum for “Sexual Violence Against Women Within The Mennonite Community” (GSJ 472, Sex and Gender in Early Modern Europe with Dr. Greta Kroeker) 

Congratulations, Callum!  Your outstanding digital museum exhibit and accompanying report, “Sexual Violence Against Women Within the Mennonite Community” provided a nuanced and detailed overview into the history of sexual violence in the Mennonite community from the early modern period to the present.  Your innovative approach to presenting the well-researched project made your project both accessible and informative (through Prezi) and provided a sensitive introduction to a challenging and important subject.  Well done! —Greta Kroeker

Sandra Burt Research Award

Joint award winner Care Rummer

Care for “Burden” (for GSJ 472: Health, Punishment and Carceral Medicine taught by Dr. Andrea Pitts) Watch the video to see what Andrea Pitts has to say about Care Rummer's "Burden".

Remote video URL

Upper Year: Jointly awarded to Chinye Obiago and Sophia Amstutz

Please watch the below videos of Alicia Batten and Katy Fulfer congratulating the awards winners, Chinye Obiago and Sophia Amstutz.

Remote video URL
Remote video URL


sually, at the end of an academic year, we gather together for the Department Awards Ceremony. We are very sorry to miss doing so this year! In place of that, we are celebrating our students through a series of videos and text. 

These awards are made possible by generous donors. We are deeply appreciative of their support. In particular, for years Bob Ewen, a valued Philosophy alumnus, has donated toward making the class prizes and essay prizes possible, and recently Bob gifted to our Department an endowed fund that will support these awards for years to come. These awards make such a difference not only to our students, but also to our broader community, which benefits so much from the supportive message of the gifts themselves -- that in these difficult times, what we are doing has meaning beyond the classroom. Thank you, Bob Ewen, for making these awards possible.

First Year Prize in Gender & Social Justice - Isobel Flindall

"In a course with an impressive number of engaged students, Isobel Flindall was a leader in GSJ 102, Winter 2021. She took very seriously the discussion boards in each of five modules, contributing textbook-informed, thoughtful replies in multiple threads -- many more than the required single reply in each thread. Isobel always asked astute questions in office hour drop-ins while making intellectually generous space for others in every interaction (discussion boards and drop-ins). She stretched herself by working with another student using a new platform to both of them for the final Centering Voices project, even though it would have been easier and permissible to work alone like most of the class. Isobel is critically self-reflective, exhibiting an intellectual and ethical maturity rarely seen in first year — she even submitted an extra reflection not for marks but for the learning experience. Her thoughtful self-positioning throughout the course was an example for others, including more senior students." (Trevor Holmes)

Upper Year Prize in Gender & Social Justice - Olivia Kelly

Shannon Stettner shares that "It is my honour to congratulate Oliva Kelly for winning the GSJ Upper Year Prize; it is well deserved. Very early in my first course with Olivia, she stood out because of her thoughtful, smart, and earnest contributions to class discussions. Olivia has been an engaged student, seeking to understand and apply what she has learned in class in her daily world and broader community. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know and teach Olivia throughout her undergraduate degree and I look forward to hearing about post-graduate adventures."  

Sandra Burt Research Award - Gillian Wagenaar

"Congratulations on the Sandra Burt Award to Gillian Wagenaar! Gillian’s final project for History 422 (Early Modern Sex and Gender), highlights the diverse experiences of early modern women.  The project explores women’s lives through an original role playing game called 1649, in which a player takes on the identity of a woman living in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1649.  Grounded in excellent historical research, the game takes players through many of the challenges, opportunities, and life stages of early modern women, and as Gillian explains in the introduction, enables “a player to step back into history and view the past from a different, more tangible, and ultimately more engaging point of view.”  The game guides players through both the seasons of life and the historical setting of seventeenth century Edinburgh and offers players the opportunity to reflect on the experiences of early modern women through a creative and engaging game. Congratulations, Gillian, on this outstanding work!" (Greta Kroeker)


Usually we would gather at the end of Winter term for our Department Awards Ceremony. The ceremony had to be cancelled this year, but we still have deserving prize winners to celebrate! 

With these gifts, not only does the money make such an important difference to the students, but in addition our community benefits so much from the supportive message of the gifts themselves -- that in these difficult times, what we are doing has meaning beyond the classroom. The awards also allow us to come together, even if only in virtual space!

First Year Prize in Gender & Social Justice - Quinn Andres

Upper Year Prize in Gender & Social Justice - Jillian Barlow and Lauren Pazzano

Sandra Burt Research Award - Madison Van Es


First Year Prize in Women's Studies - Reshani Abayasekara 

(presented by Doreen Fraser on behalf of Katy Fulfer)

Upper Year Prize in Women's Studies - Clair Baleshta 

(presented by Shannon Dea)

Sandra Burt Essay Award - Jillian Barlow 

"The Performativity of Black Queerness Transforming Hip-hop Culture"
*not in attendance