Photo for 2015 Canadian Studies scholarship winners...

2015 Canadian Studies scholarship winners announced

Jon Baskin graduated in 2010 from UCLA with a B.A. in Philosophy. A student in the M.S.W. program at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, he is also working at the Nathanson Family Resilience Center (NFRC) in the Semel Institute on the FOCUS program, a preventive intervention for military families. Previously, he worked on a pilot study of the SEEDS program at the NFRC, an intervention for children prenatally exposed to alcohol in foster and kinship foster care.

Through his work on SEEDS, Jon developed an interest in examining how the contexts of systems of care affect how people engaging with those systems are supported or hindered in accessing services and supports. In the summer of 2014 he set out to conduct a qualitative study examining the experiences of caregivers of and service providers for children prenatally exposed to alcohol in Canada and the United States with the aim of understanding how differences and similarities between the two systems impact these groups. The 2015 Canadian Studies Graduate Award will support the continuation of this project, allowing Jon to travel to Canada in the summer of 2015 to conduct new and follow up interviews.

Emma Colven is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in UCLA's geography department. On being a recipient of a Canadian Studies Program scholarship she said, "I am very grateful to have received a Canadian Studies Graduate Award which will enable me to attend the International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School at York University, Toronto. This will provide an invaluable opportunity to develop my research proposal, prior to beginning fieldwork in Jakarta."

UCLA geographer Eric Sheppard recommended Colven for the award. He stated, "Her planned research has very significant implications. She examines the politics surrounding urban development initiatives framed in terms of urban ecological sustainability (a rapidly growing interest in urban studies). Given this focus, the opportunity to attend summer school will be invaluable — an opportunity to get to know leading Canadian and U.S. scholars in the field, as well as to network with junior colleagues from around the world.

Mika Lior holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. in Dance Studies from York University. Newly relocated to UCLA’s Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance, Lior’s Ph.D studies bring together her background and ongoing professional practice in contemporary and Afro-Brazilian performance with a critical focus on the post-colonial circulation of embodied ritual traditions. Mika's research will look at how dance and drum groups in Canada’s largest city exemplify the appropriation, translation, and reformation of ritual Maracatu traditions for the carving out of new social identities and as practices of community building. She hopes to expand existing scholarship on the post-colonial circulation of African-inflected traditions and contribute to a deeper understanding of how cultural exchange produces collective identity and civic participation in urban Canadian and North American hubs.


A group of fifteen graduate students from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs will use the award to travel to Vancouver to learn first-hand how the city has earned a reputation as a model for sustainability through its compact development strategy, comprehensive urban transit network, and successful natural resource management. During the week-long tour, students will meet with government agencies, nonprofits, and leading researchers to understand the Vancouver success story. The tour will also explore Vancouver’s broader commitment to social and economic inclusivity. While in Vancouver, students will additionally have the opportunity to collaborate with Canadian universities. Throughout the trip students will be blogging, tweeting, and posting photos to document the experience. When they return to Los Angeles, they will produce a report and host a public event to present their findings to the Center for Canadian Studies, Luskin School, and broader UCLA community.

Published: Thursday, February 5, 2015

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