Celebrating Dal’s Killam scholars and the visionaries who made their achievements possible

- January 6, 2023

L-R: Dr. George Cooper, Katherine Purvis, Sam Walmsley, Broderick Badcock-Parks, Bernard Miller, Dr. Marty Leonard. (Nick Pearce photos)
L-R: Dr. George Cooper, Katherine Purvis, Sam Walmsley, Broderick Badcock-Parks, Bernard Miller, Dr. Marty Leonard. (Nick Pearce photos)

For the first time since fall 2019, Dalhousie University’s Killam Scholars, Postdoctoral Fellows, Chairs, Professors and Prize Winners were able to gather at a luncheon to recognize their achievements and celebrate the longstanding contributions of the Killam Trusts to research at Dal.

Held in the McInnes Room of the Student Union Building in late November and organized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the event brought together more than 100 attendees to celebrate 135 award recipients from across the university. With the pandemic delaying the event over the past two years, this year’s celebration was an opportunity to recognize awardees from 2020, 2021 and 2022.

A future of growth built on a legacy of giving

The Killam Trusts began in 1967 when a $100-million bequest by Izaak and Dorothy Killam funded endowments at five leading Canadian universities, with Dalhousie receiving the largest share. Close to 60 years later, the Killams’ gift to Dalhousie has grown into an endowment of almost $180 million.

“It has provided critical support to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows whose research and scholarship is vital to Dalhousie, our region, our country, and indeed, the world,” said Dr. Deep Saini, former President and Vice-Chancellor of Dalhousie University.

The Killam Trusts have touched almost every one of the university’s faculties, providing funding to more than 1,800 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

“We are so grateful for the generosity and vision of Dorothy and Izaak Killam,” said Dr. Marty Leonard, dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. “The Trusts have opened a world of possibility for graduate students and researchers at Dal, who can focus on making a difference while pursuing their passions.”

Dr. Marty Leonard

Celebrating continuing and new recipients

During the event, Dr. Adam Donaldson, associate dean of scholarships and programs with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, presented the awards for continuing and new Killam Postdoctoral Fellows and Predoctoral Scholars. Killam Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded to outstanding individuals who have recently completed a doctoral program, while Predoctoral Scholarships are offered to graduate students in thesis-based programs at a master's or doctoral level.

Dr. Jennifer Bain, associate vice president of research, acknowledged the university’s current Killam Memorial Chairs. Killam Chairs are held for five years and are awarded to established research leaders and early career researchers of the highest distinction at Dalhousie.

Dean of Science Dr. Chuck Macdonald introduced the Faculty of Science’s current Killam Professors, seven faculty members who have been recognized for outstanding contributions to their fields. He also congratulated the past three recipients of the Faculty of Science Killam Prize, which is awarded annually to a professor within the Faculty of Science who has demonstrated exceptional research ability.

The event also celebrated the winners of the George Cooper Killam Graduate Prizes in honour of former Managing Killam Trustee Dr. George Cooper at the time of his retirement. These awards were presented to the highest ranked master’s and doctoral students in each year’s competition for the past three years.

Others recognized during the event included Killam Postgraduate Medical Scholars, alumni and International Research Awardees.

Recommended reading: Brain Trust — The story behind the Killam Trusts and how they've helped supercharge research at Dalhousie 

Lunchtime entertainment

As attendees enjoyed their meals, they were treated to music from a trio of Fountain School of Performing Arts students and five 3 Minute Thesis-style presentations from Killam Scholars and Postdoctoral Fellows on their research. Presentation topics ranged from Black women’s access to sexual and reproductive health care in Halifax during the pandemic to helping the world meet its emission targets by increasing the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries.

For many years, support from the Killam Trusts has reduced barriers and given Dal's students and researchers the opportunity to focus on discoveries that help solve the world's problems. See below for a complete list of the award winners who were recognized at November’s Killam celebration event:

Continuing Killam Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Bamidele Bello, Health and Human Performance

Dr. Rahil Changotra, Agriculture

Dr. Xiaohang Chen, Mathematics

Dr. Claire Horn, Law

Dr. Jamie Jelinski, History

Dr. Tahnee Prior, Law

Dr. Jalal Uddin, Community Health and Epidemiology

New Killam Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Núria Bautista Puig, Information Management

Dr. Benedetta Luciana Sara Carnaghi, History

Dr. Davud Hebri, Physics and Atmospheric Science

Dr. James Johnson, English

Dr. Annemarie Laudanski, Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Emily Witt, Medical Neuroscience

Dr. Ahmad Zeuter, Civil and Resource Engineering

Continuing Killam Scholars

David Allsop, Psychology and Neuroscience

Peter Braithwaite, Interdisciplinary PhD Program

Alexandra Brown, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Kyle Bryenton, Physics and Atmospheric Science

Aleksandra Budarick, PhD in Health Program

Tiffany Campbell, Sociology and Social Anthropology

Julia Cantelon, Civil and Resource Engineering

Morgan Colp, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Eva Cranch, English

Seth Daley, Health and Human Performance

Isobel DeMont, Civil and Resource Engineering

Nicole Doria, PhD in Health Program

Richard Drake, Psychology and Neuroscience

Ana Eguiguren, Biology

Ahmed Eldesoky, Chemistry

Michael Giacomantonio, Pathology

Patrick Giesbrecht, Chemistry

Katharine Gloade, PhD in Health Program

Kelsey Gsell, Biomedical Engineering

Morteza Hajati, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ines Hamam, Mechanical Engineering

Kayla Hamelin, Biology

Drew Hubley, Biomedical Engineering

Toren Hynes, Chemistry

Fatima Imran, Community Health and Epidemiology

Sarah-Jean Jones, History

Karinne Lantz, Law

Craig MacEachern, Agriculture

Lauren MacEachern, Process Engineering and Applied Science

Colin MacKay, Interdisciplinary PhD Program

Tracy MacKeracher, Biology

Brett MacNeil, Physics and Atmospheric Science

Danielle Maitland, Agriculture

Melanie Massey, Biology

Sabateeshan Mathavarajah, Pathology

Maureen Matthew, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Rachel McLay, Sociology and Social Anthropology

Kathleen Morrison, Chemistry

Jamil Muradov, Medical Neuroscience

Ahmed Elojo Musa, Medical Physics

Mustafa Nadi, Medical Neuroscience

Sarah Nersesian, Microbiology and Immunology

Simon Pawlowski, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Shannon Payne, English

Helen Pinsent, English

Scott Pollara, Biology

Lindsey Power, Biomedical Engineering

Katherine Purvis, Physiology and Biophysics

Saisha Rankaduwa, Psychology and Neuroscience

Divya Rathore, Physics and Atmospheric Science

Megan Rector, Interdisciplinary PhD Program

Gracielle Schwenck, Psychology and Neuroscience

Kaitlin Sibbald, PhD in Health Program

Toni Spinella, Psychology and Neuroscience

Gillian Stanton, Civil and Resource Engineering

Karen Tang, Psychology and Neuroscience

Kathleen Vergunst, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Sam Walmsley, Biology

Grace Wang, Psychology and Neuroscience

Andrey Zelenskiy, Physics and Atmospheric Science

Stephanie Zubriski, PhD in Health Program

New Killam Scholars

Ghada Abdelmageed, Process Engineering and Applied Science

Mehdi Adeli, Industrial Engineering

Justine Ammendolia, Interdisciplinary PhD Program

Broderick Badcock-Parks, Psychology and Neuroscience

Shubham Banga, Pharmacology

Fahmieh Bayeh, Mathematics

Fabian Bong, Computer Science

Debroa Boratto, Civil and Resource Engineering

Julia Cantelo, Biology

Allie Carew, Community Health and Epidemiology

Samantha Crowley, Biology

Alexa Davis, Community Health and Epidemiology

Dominique de Waard, Medical Research Program

Beatrice Devlin, Health and Human Performance

Shadi Dorosti, Biomedical Engineering

Adam Dorrance, Biomedical Engineering

Bryan Ellis, Mechanical Engineering

Gavin Foster, English

Luis Fernando Gomez de Alba, Civil and Resource Engineering

Emalie Hayes, Civil and Resource Engineering

Sajjan Heerah, Physics and Atmospheric Science

Lindsay Johnston, Civil and Resource Engineering

Nelofar Kureshi, Interdisciplinary PhD Program

Carson Kuzniar, Computer Science

Kristin Levy, Resource and Environmental Studies

Ruizhi Liu, Mathematics

Alison MacKellar, Resource and Environmental Studies

Leah MacLean, Pathology

Joshua MacMillan, Chemistry

Catrina MacPhee, Psychology and Neuroscience

Grace McNutt, History

Ndidiamaka Oseafiana, Process Engineering and Applied Science

Glen Pridham, Physics and Atmospheric Science

Jack Quach, PhD in Health Program

Ashley Robinson, Community Health and Epidemiology

Juliet Rowe, Physiotherapy

Dieudonné Toukam, French

Olivia Walker, Pathology

Brenden Wheeler, Biomedical Engineering

Shelby Williams, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Kelsey Williamson, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Killam Memorial Chairs

Dr. Mita Dasog, Early Career Killam Memorial Chair in Plasmonic Nanoparticles

Dr. Jenna Parsons Leigh, Early Career Killam Memorial Chair in Health Equity and Systems Resilience

Dr. Afua Cooper, Killam Memorial Chair in African Canadian History Education

Dr. Kevin Plucknett, Killam Memorial Chair in Advanced Manufacturing

Faculty of Science Killam Professors

Dr. James Brenan, Earth Sciences

Dr. Penny Corkum, Psychology and Neuroscience

Dr. Katja Fennel, Oceanography

Dr. Theodore Kolokolnikov, Mathematics and Statistics

Dr. Alastair Simpson, Biology

Dr. Laura Turculet, Chemistry

Dr. Peng Zhang, Chemistry

Faculty of Science Killam Prize winners for 2020, 2021 and 2022

2020: Dr. Erin Bertrand, Biology

2021: Dr. Lam Ho, Mathematics and Statistics

2022: Dr. Eric Oliver, Oceanography

George Cooper Prizes for 2020, 2021 and 2022

Master’s Level 2020: Joshua MacMillan, Chemistry

Doctoral Level 2020: Sabateeshan Mathavarajah, Pathology

Master’s Level 2021: Katherine Purvis, Physiology and Biophysics

Doctoral Level 2021: Sam Walmsley, Biology

Master’s Level 2022: Adam Dorrance, Biomedical Engineering

Doctoral Level 2022: Broderick Badcock-Parks, Psychology and Neuroscience

Killam Postgraduate Medical Scholars

Joel Bierer

Jasmine Mah

Franziska Miller

Colleen O’Connor

Meg Pike

Killam International Research Awards

Sabateeshan Mathavarajah, Pathology

Jamil Muradov, Medical Neuroscience

Sam Walmsley, Biology


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