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Alberta Award for the Study of Canadian Human Rights and Multiculturalism

This award supports graduate studies in Canadian human rights or multiculturalism. Graduate students attending an Alberta public post-secondary institution whose studies will contribute to the advancement of human rights and multiculturalism are encouraged to apply by visiting Alberta Student Aid.

The award is funded through an endowment by the Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund and is administered jointly by the Alberta Human Rights Commission and Alberta Advanced Education. 


The intent of the scholarship is:

  • To encourage graduate studies that will create value for Albertans by promoting informed thinking about Canadian human rights, cultural diversity, and multiculturalism.
  • To support the pursuit of studies in Canadian human rights, cultural diversity, and multiculturalism, and building capacity to undertake human rights or multicultural work in Canada.

There are two awards. The Master's level award is $10,000 and the Doctoral level award is $15,000. The Master's level award honours one of Alberta's human rights champions and is known as the Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship.

Recipient Spotlight


Lauren Alston received the doctoral level award. Lauren will utilize a multi-method approach, drawing from Youth-led Participatory Action Research methodology to examine student perspectives on Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in Alberta. This research will explore how student participation in GSA clubs is related to parental support and acceptance. The findings from this research could inform schools, families, and policymakers in creating safe and inclusive communities.

Zahra Upal received the Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship. Zahra's master's research will examine incidents of racism and discrimination faced by Muslim nurses in Alberta. Learning more about the frequency and impact of these workplace occurrences could help inform improved human rights policies and processes within the healthcare system.​


Kassi Boyd received the doctoral level award. Kassi's research will explore how children with disabilities experience inclusive playgrounds. This research will bring to light the socio-cultural factors that shape inclusion at "inclusive" playgrounds. A deeper understanding of what makes an inclusive playground inclusive (or not) from the perspectives of children experiencing disability is necessary to (re)create and optimize these experiences for children across Alberta and Canada. The findings from this research could inform families, service providers, and policy makers involved with creating inclusive play spaces for all ages and abilities.

Bozhena Fedynets received the Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship. Bozhena's master's research will examine the race-based experiences of ethnic minority law enforcement officers with members of the public while on duty. This research will explore officers' job satisfaction and professional identity in relation to their race-based interactions with civilians. The understanding of these relationships, along with the officers' recommendations, will inform improvements to law enforcement policy, recruitment, support, and training.


Jennifer Ward's doctoral research will further examine the decolonization and Indigenization of Alberta post-secondary institutions. This research will utilize Indigenous perspectives in creating safe, supportive, and barrier-free learning, teaching, and working environments. Jennifer's research aims to reduce racism and racialized events in the academic environment and community as a whole.

Jonathan Lai will research the risks of ageism in the workplace. This research will examine the role that worker age plays in the relationship among positive psychosocial job factors that contribute to worker engagement. Findings from this research will help inform workplace strategies that prevent age discrimination and promote equitable human resource policies for an aging workforce. Jonathan Lai is the recipient of the 2019 Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship.


Paige Reeve’s
doctoral research will examine the community experiences of people with intellectual impairments from their perspectives, ensuring that people with disabilities have a say in the issues and solutions that affect their lives. This research will bring to light the barriers that exist that influence their sense of community belonging. The findings from this research could inform the creation of supports to help strengthen community belonging and advance the wellbeing and social inclusion of persons with intellectual impairments.

Erin Davis’s research will examine patient-centred care for people living with dementia. It will explore the systemic issues that impact patient care, including the barriers that staff encounter when providing care. It will identify structural supports that could be put into place to enable patient-centred care practices. This master’s research is intended to create culture change in care facilities and residential care homes to ensure improved practices for persons living with dementia. Erin Davis is the recipient of the 2018 Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship.


Alysia Wright’s
doctoral research is an ethnographic study on
how workplace culture in the Alberta oilfield perpetuates discrimination and negatively affects the health and wellbeing of workers. The findings could provide insight into how discrimination manifests itself and impacts work performance. Learning more about what actions can be taken by employers regarding discrimination, including provision of appropriate health and social service resources, could potentially benefit oilfield operations and workers. 

esse Orjasaeter’s research will explore best approaches to "allyship" between academic researchers and the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) community. This master’s research is intended to improve social inclusion of individuals with ASD, especially when they experience cognitive or communications differences. Jesse Orjasaeter is the recipient of the 2017 Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship.


KristaMcFadyen’s doctoral research draws on her legal studies to explore how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples can contribute to social and political mobilization, influence government mandates and objectives and establish links between diverse constituents. The findings will assist community organizations to engage diverse audiences on matters of human rights and positive race-relations.
Mateo Huezo will use community-based participatory action research to work with transgender communities in Alberta. This research will provide insight into the functions transgender communities serve for their members, as well as how these communities can be better supported as they in turn support trans people.  Online and other mediums will be used to make the findings available and accessible. Mateo Huezo is the recipient of the 2016 Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship.


Sherri Tanchak's doctoral research will focus on the recovery experiences of social workers who have endured workplace bullying in their professional employment. Her study will include an exploration of how societal beliefs about gender have influenced the onset and maintenance of workplace bullying in human service organizations. The findings will inform clinical interventions, social work professional policies and social work education and training. 

Christa Sato will examine the pathways that enable underrepresented learners within an identified cohort to successfully complete university.  Her master's research will focus on second-generation immigrant university learners in Alberta. This study will increase understanding that supports removal of barriers that limit participation and completion in advanced learning. Ms. Sato is the recipient of the Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship. 


Kelsie Acton's doctoral project examines how integrated dancers (dancers with and without disability who create together) understand disability and if the dancers' understandings are communicated to their audiences through dance. The research will also explore if integrated dance art changes the audience's misunderstanding of disability.

Lianne Lee's Master research will examine effective ways to improve social justice-based service-learning partnerships (a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service). She will explore the perceived impact of this type of collaboration between faculties of education and community partners. Ms. Lee is the recipient of the 2014 Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship.


Camille Dubé's doctoral research will investigate the social participation experiences of children and youth with disabilities. By seeking out the perspectives of children and youth with disabilities firsthand, Ms. Dubé's research will assist policy makers, service providers and educators in deciding how resources are managed, resulting in responsible planning and inclusive program development.

Jaqueline Victoriano Amorim Webb will explore the experiences of language brokering as identified by child language brokers, their parents and professionals. Language brokering is the practice of informal interpretation and translation, often undertaken by the children of non-English proficient immigrant families. This research will assist policy makers, service providers and educators in providing services for immigrant families. Ms. Webb is the recipient of the Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship.


Adam Carlson will examine whether public policies that encourage private tolerance may defer official responsibility and encourage a societal tolerance of injustice. His doctoral research will provide policy makers with an understanding of the contradictions within contemporary public policy which function to both include and exclude Canadians from equal democratic participation.

Rebecca Taylor will explore with street involved youth whether the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act (PSECA) perpetuates and further marginalizes them. Her master's research will assist policy makers and service providers to better understand practices and procedures that impact exiting out of the sex trade for youth. Ms. Taylor is the first recipient of the Pardeep Singh Gundara Memorial Scholarship.


Katrina Milaney's doctoral research will explore how structural barriers and discriminatory practices can further marginalize incarcerated women. This study will assist policy makers and those working in the justice system in their decision making and practice and improve opportunities for inmates.

Lindsay Eales will undertake a participatory action research project in adaptive physical activity.  Her research will increase understanding about how the integration process impacts Albertans with and without disabilities.


Jasmine Thomas's doctoral research will explore the type of employment assistance immigrants need to gain meaningful employment. This study will help policy makers make decisions about the effectiveness of programs supporting immigrants to secure employment opportunities that match their experience.


Amrita Roy's doctoral research will explore the determinants of maternal depression and its intersection with intimate partner violence among pregnant Aboriginal women, as well as the subsequent impact on the health of their infants. This study will help health practitioners and policy makers to better respond to peri-natal needs of this target population.

Inés Sametband in a master's of counselling psychology program, will study resolution of misunderstandings in the dialogue between counselors and clients who are involved in cross-cultural interactions. Her work will help those involved in counseling to provide better support and therapeutic interventions across cultures.


Margaret Dobson's doctoral research will explore the role that culture plays in the transition and success of Aboriginal students in post-secondary education. This study will help instructors and students understand the role cultures play in developing effective learning processes.

David Scott is completing his master of education at the University of Alberta. He is in the process of studying the challenges and opportunities that Alberta teachers face as they integrate multiple perspectives of history in the telling of Canada's stories of origin, its histories, and the movements of its people. The insights gained from this study will assist teachers' ongoing efforts to provide more holistic and inclusive historical views.


Carla Johnson's doctoral studies will help improve the education achievement of school age immigrants who are learning English. She will identify the amount of English vocabulary that is required for students in kindergarten to grade six so that teachers have better tools for helping their students with their language learning.


Kristopher Wells is a doctoral scholar whose teaching and research focuses on creating safe, caring and inclusive classrooms, schools, and communities for sexual minority students and teachers. His research findings will benefit kindergarten to grade 12 school systems and their stakeholders. Wells is also involved in inclusive professional development training and policy development with Alberta Teachers' Association and the Edmonton Police Service.


Marlene Mulder's research on how the personal strengths of immigrants help them to settle and adjust to life in Canada will benefit both service providers and policy makers. Mulder's doctoral studies provide insight into the development of strategies that will support the successful integration of immigrants.


Revised: March 21, 2022 

Our vision is a vibrant and inclusive Alberta where the rich diversity of people is celebrated and respected, and where everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in society, free from discrimination.