Building an inclusive research community
Calvin Choi (BA ’01, LLD ’21) and the AMTD Charity Foundation expand prestigious fellowship to welcome more Black and Indigenous scholars to Waterloo
Calvin Choi (BA ’01, LLD ’21) and the AMTD Charity Foundation expand prestigious fellowship to welcome more Black and Indigenous scholars to WaterlooBy Claire Mastrangelo Office of Advancement
Black and Indigenous scholars will have new opportunities to advance their research thanks to a commitment of $388,000 to expand the prestigious AMTD Waterloo Global Talent Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.
Established by Dr. Calvin Choi (BA ’01, LLD ’21) and the AMTD Charity Foundation in 2019, the $3.4 million program supports emerging global leaders whose research has the potential to dramatically improve society and contribute positively to the world. The fellowship includes a $75,000 annual salary, plus additional funds to engage with communities inside and outside of academia.
The new gift will provide fellowships for Black and Indigenous scholars while supporting the University’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism.
“We know that diversity fuels innovation,” says Dr. Choi, founder and chair of the AMTD Charity Foundation. “By providing these additional fellowships, we aim to enrich Waterloo’s renowned community of problem-solvers and drive game-changing solutions to the world’s most urgent problems.”
A globally recognized entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr. Choi graduated from Waterloo in 2001 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in chartered accountancy studies. After many years of leadership in international finance and entrepreneurship, he developed a passion for the social impact disruptive technologies can provide. He and the AMTD Charity Foundation created the fellowship program at Waterloo to develop revolutionary talent.
From reproductive health to clean energy systems, AMTD Scholars work in areas of critical importance to humanity and the planet.
Oluwakemi (Kemi) Amodu, PhD (University of Alberta, Canada)
School of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Health
Dr. Amodu worked with supervisor Dr. Craig James on research which supported the accessibility of reproductive health resources for women in Nigeria who have been internally displaced due to terrorism. After completing the AMTD fellowship, Amodu secured a faculty position at the University of Alberta.
Rhea Ashley Hoskin, PhD (Queens University, Canada)
Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, Faculty of Arts/Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies, St. Jerome’s University
During her time as an AMTD scholar, Dr. Hoskin worked with supervisors Dr. Toni Serafini and Dr. Andrea Quinlan on exploring the role of femmephobia as a catalyst for violence and discrimination, and how femmephobia manifests itself and results in violence and decreased health outcomes for all. Hoskins will continue her work, with a Public Health Agency of Canada grant, to launch a femmephobia intervention program aimed at families (including the creation of a Femmephobia 101 Workbook, publicly available in early 2023).
Alex Krolewski, PhD (University of California, Berkeley, United States of America)
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science
Dr. Krolewski’s research asked fundamental questions in physics and astronomy, addressing the cause of the universe’s accelerated expansion; Krolewski worked with supervisor Dr. Will Percival. After completing the AMTD fellowship, Krolewski continues expanding his research as a postdoctoral scholar at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Edris Madadian, PhD (McGill University, Canada)
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Dr. Madadian worked with supervisor Dr. David Simakov on a research study that raised awareness and educated the public about the lethal impact of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in wastewater treatment plants as emerging contaminants on the human and wildlife endocrine systems. Madadian is now working for the Science Laboratory Network under the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada.
Anwar Jaber, PhD (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)
School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering
Dr. Jaber examined the role that architecture plays in cities facing political transitions and extreme conditions, focusing on museums that aim to address national narratives of war, memory, and violence; she was supervised by Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt. Upon completion of the AMTD appointment, Jaber obtained a faculty position at the University of Waterloo.
Milad Nazarahari, PhD (University of Alberta, Canada)
Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Advancing the medical community’s capacity to engage intelligent robots and biofeedback in developing affordable and accessible technology to support the rehabilitation of stroke patients in Canada, was the focus of Dr. Nazarahari’s AMTD-funded research. Nazarahari was supervised by Dr. Arash Arami and is now a faculty member at the University of Alberta.
Chad Walker, PhD (Western University, Canada)
School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, Faculty of Environment
Dr. Walker’s research investigated how Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES) - projects that combine smart technology with sustainable, local energy production and management - can create just and inclusive clean energy systems; Walker was supervised by Dr. Ian Rowlands. Walker is working as a faculty member at Dalhousie University.
Jenna Gilchrist, PhD (University of Toronto, Canada)
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts
Dr. Gilchrist recently began her research on self-compassion and emotional adjustment among students transitioning to post-secondary education. She is supervised by Dr. Allison Kelly.
Reuben Martens, PhD (KU Leuven and Ghent University, Belgium)
Department of Communication Arts, Faculty of Arts
Dr. Martens is supervised by Dr. Imre Szeman and is studying the violence of and resistance to settler-colonial extractivism in Canada as rendered and reckoned in contemporary Indigenous Canadian literature, art, and film.
Paula Reis, PhD (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science
Dr. Reis will work with Dr. Josh Neufeld on examining how methane-consuming microorganisms in Boreal Shield lakes will react to climate change.
Samantha Kaitlyn Patterson, PhD (Queens University, Canada)
School of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Health
Dr. Patterson’s research focuses on Indigenous Food Sovereignty (IFS) in urban Indigenous communities while documenting stories of policy pathways and relationship building from the urban Indigenous communities within Katarokwi and Waterloo-Wellington Region. She is supervised by Dr. Hannah Neufeld.
“The AMTD Scholars are making a profound impact on the world,” says Nenone Donaldson, Vice-President, Advancement. “I’m deeply grateful to Calvin and the AMTD Charity Foundation for expanding the fellowship program to welcome more Black and Indigenous scholars. Their perspectives will accelerate innovation at Waterloo and generate a new wave of transformative research.”
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.