Rawan Alkurd and Joanne Farrall, the winners of the 2016 Vanier Award

Two Carleton PhD Students Win Prestigious Vanier Award

Two Carleton graduate students, Joanne Farrall and Rawan Alkurd, have won the prestigious Vanier Award. The award is worth $50,000 per year for up to three years.

Read the story about Farrall and Alkurd on the Grad Students site.

Farrall, a PhD Communication student, is exploring the issue of how social media posts of victims of violence are being used in the fight for public opinion. She is focusing on the case study of Sandra Bland, an American woman of colour who died in police custody in 2015.

“When there are highly publicized cases that become causes célèbre, government officials and activists turn to the victim’s social media to tell their own version of what happened,” says Farrall. “These victims have their stories taken up and used towards political ends in ways that they could not have predicted and may not have agreed with, if they were alive to speak.”

Vanier Award recognizes the significant value of graduate research

Alkurd, a PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program in the Faculty of Engineering and Design, is researching Millimeter Wave Communications for Future 5G Cellular Networks.  She explains:

“Millimeter (mm) wave communications constitute a core part of 5G networks and beyond, which are expected to provide solutions to the current bottleneck in communication services and to global environmental issues,” says Alkurd. “But several technical issues have to be thoroughly addressed prior to their effective deployment.”

Says Alkurd: “With the prestigious Vanier Award, I will have more freedom to direct my research towards the strategic technological priorities for Canada for the next decade. On a personal level, the scholarship will allow me to become more financially independent and hence feel more comfortable to put more time and effort into my research which will enhance the overall quality of my research output.”

Since the 2009-2010 competition, nine Carleton PhD students have won the Vanier Award.