Three win Trudeau doctoral scholarships for work critical to Canada and the world

Three Yale doctoral students are among 16 recipients of the 2015 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholarship, considered the most prestigious doctoral award for the social sciences and humanities in Canada.

Three Yale doctoral students are among 16 recipients of the 2015 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholarship, considered the most prestigious doctoral award for the social sciences and humanities in Canada.

The scholarship supports outstanding students who are committed to solving issues of critical importance to Canada and the world, and who have distinguished themselves through academic excellence and civic engagement. In addition to an annual grant of up to $60,000 for a three-year period, the scholars will benefit from the expertise and knowledge of a network of some 370 foundation fellows and mentors.

Yale’s 2015 Trudeau Scholars are:

Samara Brock, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Brock is looking at Canada’s role in assessing and addressing the domestic and international impact of mining activities on agriculture and food security. She has a B.A. in history and environmental studies from the University of Victoria, and holds masters degrees in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia, food culture from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, and environmental management from Yale University. Over the last 15 years she has worked with food-focused NGOs in Canada and around the world, as a food systems planner with the City of Vancouver, and as a foundation program officer funding food, fisheries, and climate change issues. Brock has studied and worked in Korea, Cuba, Guatemala, Argentina, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States. Her poetry was featured in “Breaking the Surface,” an anthology of emerging Canadian poets.

Caroline Lieffers, History of Science and Medicine

Lieffers is evaluating how disabilities helped nation-building in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, and how this history informs the relationship between today’s disabled people and the state. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.A. in English and linguistics, followed by a M.A. in history. Before starting her doctorate at Yale, Lieffers interned at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and worked in reference and collections at the Provincial Archives of Alberta and the University of Alberta Libraries. She also studies the histories of food and nutrition, and travel in 19th and early 20th century Britain and North America. Lieffers has curated several exhibitions on the history of food and health.


Benjamin Perryman, Yale Law School

Perryman is applying the emerging science of happiness studies to constitutional law to propose a way that Canadian court decisions might better reflect the needs and aspirations of all citizens, including the marginalized. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.S. in biochemistry and got his J.D. at York University. He holds a master’s degree in development economics from Dalhousie University and received his L.L.M. at Yale Law School as a Fulbright Scholar. In 2013 he was awarded the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Viscount Bennett Fellowship for graduate legal studies. Prior to Yale, he worked at a legal aid clinic, a private law firm, and both federal and provincial trial courts. He has volunteered in a number of developing countries and developed a keen interest for access to justice. As an international development volunteer in Nigeria and India, he acquired a deep appreciation for the role of human rights in development. He has also been active with the CBA and the Red Cross.

Trudeau Foundation

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan charity established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former prime minister by his family, friends, and colleagues. The foundation’s actions are focused on four major themes that reflect central questions critical to society: human rights and dignity; responsible citizenship; Canada in the world; and people and their natural environment. By granting doctoral scholarships, awarding fellowships, appointing mentors, and holding public interaction events, the foundation “brings together thinkers and decision-makers from all walks of public life who form a critical, informed, and engaged network to collaborate on the transformation of great ideas into concrete improvements for Canada and the world.”

Last year Wendell Adjetey, a doctoral student in history and African-American studies, received the prestigious doctoral scholarship.

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