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For the inaugural R.F. Harney Award for Outstanding Conference Paper all faculty discussants were asked for their feedback, and based upon their nominations, Professor Jeffrey Reitz, Director of the Harney Program made the final decision on the winners.

Here are his comments:

There were quite a number of very strong papers presented at the conference, a fact on which many participants commented.  The strongest papers were those that examined an important topic in an innovative way, and provided compelling evidence to advance understanding.  I was impressed with how many papers fit this criterion, so while the papers were very enjoyable to read, the selection of the two ‘best’ papers was not at all easy.  I wish we had more awards!


And the winners are....(in alphabetical order)



Paul Pritchard (University of Toronto Sociology PhD program)
“A Bifurcated Welcome? Examining the Willingness to ‘Include’ Seasonal Agricultural Workers in the Host Community,”

Director’s Comments: This paper adds a new dimension to existing research on Canadian public opinion on immigration by examining attitudes toward temporary immigrants. The author explores this increasingly significant topic by means of a small telephone survey (N=90) of residents of a small farming community in Nova Scotia regularly hosting seasonal agricultural workers, and finds that the community is roughly split on welcoming temporary workers. While their contribution to the economy is recognized, many also feel that local workers are displaced and that migrant workers are not made to feel welcome. The paper is well-written and results presented in a highly professional manner.



IMG_20170126_104307Beesan Sarrouh (Queen’s University Political Studies Ph.D. program, now at Ryerson University, Centre for Immigration and Settlement)
  “Accommodating Muslim Minorities in Secular Societies: Public Education in England, Scotland, Ontario, Quebec,”

Director’s Comments: This very well-written and well-researched paper provides an innovative and provocative perspective on the accommodation of diversity in Canada.  The focus is on Muslims, looking at two aspects of education policy: public funding of Muslim schools, and the way in which special Muslim needs are accommodated.  The theoretical framework draws from major perspectives on diversity and is well articulated; the comparative reach encompasses Quebec and Ontario within Canada, with reference also to England and Scotland.  The findings challenge conventional expectation, and provide a reminder of the importance of comparative empirical analysis in the social sciences.


We would also like to acknowledge the papers that received an honourable mention (in alphabetical order):

Marko Kljajic (University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, MGA program)
“Letter From 2020: Explaining Rescuers in Bosnia-Herzegovina”

Rachel Peters (University of Toronto, CERES, MA program)
How “How” Matters: Swedish and German family benefits and their effects on immigrant child poverty

Alexandra Pileggi ((University of Toronto, SPPG, MPP program)
“The High-Skill Problem: A Review of Best Practices for Foreign Credential Assessment in OECD Countries and Implications for Canada”

Hadear Shaheen  (University of Toronto, SPPG, MPP program)
“A Critical Analysis of Community- Based Responses to Counter-Terrorism in Canada”

Suzanne Van Geuns (University of Toronto, Department for the Study of Religion, PhD program)
“Mirroring Multiculturalism: White Nationalist Religious Remembrance”

Rochelle Wijesingha (McMaster University, Sociology, PhD program)
“Human Capital or Cultural Taxation: What Accounts for Differences in Tenure and Promotion of Racialized and Female Faculty?”


We offer our congratulations to the winners and the nominees. More details on the award winners can be now found here