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Dalhousie University student and Collingwood native, named one of Canada's top 25 storytellers by Social Science and Humanities Research Council
(Halifax, NS) - Adam Cheeseman, a second-year Environmental Studies master’s student at Dalhousie University has been named by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), as one of 25 finalists in this year’s storytelling competition. The annual contest challenges SSHRC-funded students to showcase the impact of their research in clever and creative ways. Students must present their research in three minutes or 300 words.
Using hand-drawn illustrations to explain his graduate thesis, Cheeseman created a stop-motion video to explain the impact of summer camps on children’s understanding of environmental issues. He began his storytelling approach by sketching it out using a sharpie and paper. "It was kind of bad because my research has an environmental focus, and I had a big thick stack of paper at the end of it with all my mistakes," says Cheeseman, whose research focuses on assessing the impact of summer camps on children’s feelings of environmental responsibility.
SSHRC announced Monday, that Cheeseman was selected out of 200 entries submitted to this year’s competition. He is the only individual from a Maritime university to make the cut. As a finalist, Cheeseman receives $3,000 and free enrolment in a research communications master class at the upcoming 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Calgary happening in late May.
A graduate of Pretty River Academy in Collingwood Ontario, Cheeseman says his own experience working at different summer camps over the years opened his eyes to their suitability as a space to research how exposure to nature helps children learn about environmental topics while developing a strong connection with nature.
He and the other finalists will also deliver presentations to a live audience during Congress — the largest social sciences and humanities conference of its kind in Canada. The top five will be chosen by a panel of judges, will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2016 SSHRC Impact Awards, where they will again have the opportunity to present their research.
After defending his thesis later this spring, Cheeseman says he plans to take a bit of time off from school to work before eventually pursuing a PhD in a related topic. Eventually, he says he’d to be able to work with camping associations or different summer camps to help recommend best practices or enhance programming.
“I want to emphasize how important education can be to promoting change and as a way to enhance attitudes and behaviours to promote different things like the environment.”
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