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2023 Canadian Sociological Association Outstanding Graduating Student Award Winners

June 14, 2023

We are thrilled to announce the recipients of this year's prestigious Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) Student Award. This esteemed award recognises the exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions made by students who have demonstrated remarkable dedication to the field of sociology.

Ty Bryant

B.A. in Sociology (First class with Distinction)

I am delighted to accept this year's Outstanding Sociology Graduating Student Award. As someone who did not pass the education system the first time around, I internalized incommensurability with the academic world. Yet activating my sociological imagination made me feel at home for the first time. Nowhere seemed to be a better fit to fortify this home than SFU's SA department, to whom I am indebted.

I would like to recognize Dr. Michael Hathaway, whose patience, persistence, and worldview contributed immensely to my development. Further thanks to both Dr. Suzanna Crage and Dr. Nicholas Scott, who allowed me to overcome my biggest fear: statistical analysis. Lastly, a special acknowledgement of Dr. Kyle Willmott, who has reminded me that my biggest weaknesses are my most promising scholarly strengths.

Studying sociology will always be a challenging task. In deconstructing the social world, you also deconstruct all parts of yourself. From my time in the program, I have developed a curiosity for the whys of the world, which has instilled in me a sense of vulnerability and humility. These lessons and frameworks will guide me through my time in the SFU Anthropology MA program.

Julia Marie Lunot

B.A. Honours in Sociology (First class with Distinction)

I was in my senior year of high school, juggling the necessary prerequisites—AP Calculus, Chemistry, Physics— for embarking on a science degree. On one of my many occasions experiencing existential turmoil, my English teacher interjected, “You know, I think Sociology (I remember the cadence of his voice as he said that word), would suit you much better.”

With all the faith that a generally-anxious, perpetually overwhelmed, teenager has in their English teacher, I took heed to his word. I knew within the first twenty minutes of Dr. Lindsey Freeman’s Introduction to Sociology lecture (SA 150) that this was the field that would help me articulate the essence of myself that I thought was inexplicable—the ever-curious, always thinking, often critical, and philosophical core of me.

I am deeply honoured and grateful to be receiving this award under a department that has been nothing short of a privilege to study within. Specifically, I would like to thank Dr. Amanda Watson, whose kindness and support has instilled an image of the academic and educator I hope to become. The experience of working alongside her in thinking through parenthood, feminism, capitalism, and social issues has grounded my interest in new social movements and persisting neoliberal language of ‘choice.’ I thank Dr. Freeman for inciting creativity and playfulness while investigating the realities of our capitalist landscape and stratified social world. It is because of her assurance and permission to explore varying forms that I intend to traverse interdisciplinary methodologies through my Ph.D. program at McGill University. I further acknowledge Dr. Ataman Avdan, who has been pivotal to my interest in Environmental Sociology and consequently, to my pursuit of graduate school on this very topic.

I take the imaginative, creative, critical-while-solution-oriented approaches I have gleaned through the guideship of the SA faculty to my studies of social movements at McGill University. I intend to delineate how the working class, immigrants, and women have contributed to, and been implicated by, so-called “new” social movements, especially those related to environmentalism, identity, and ethics. My overall aim is that consumers feel encouraged to partake in social initiatives that stipulate climate, racial, and economic justice.