Queen's University

Queen's student is a Trudeau Scholar

[Award winner Erin Tolley]Award winner Erin Tolley

For the first time ever, a Queen’s University student has been named a Trudeau Scholar. Erin Tolley, a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Studies, will receive up to $180,000 over the next three years. The money will be used for tuition, living expenses, research-related travel, and scholarly networking opportunities.

The application process was extensive and included an interview with a panel of four external reviewers. Ms. Tolley, who was born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, says she was surprised when she found out she’d won the award.

“I’m from the prairies and we’re known to be naturally pessimistic, so I expected the worst,” she says with a laugh.

Ms Tolley received her BA from the University of Saskatchewan and earned a masters degree at the University of Western Ontario. She then worked in the government for eight years, most recently at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, before continuing her education at Queen’s.

Supervised by Professors Keith Banting and Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, Ms Tolley’s research focuses on electoral representation and, in particular, the widening gap between the proportion of visible minorities living in Canada and the proportion who are elected to Parliament. Her thesis will explore the factors that contribute to this disparity, including media coverage, the recruitment process and candidates’ political strategies. The award will allow her to examine this trend not just in Ontario, but across the country.

“It’s nice to get some validation for the work you’re doing and know that people think it has merit,” says Ms Tolley.

The Trudeau Scholarships are among the most coveted awards of their kind in Canada. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation was established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former Prime Minister. Fifteen awards are handed out annually to scholars in a variety of disciplines. For more information visit www.trudeaufoundation.ca

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Last updated at 2:22 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
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