A Weyburn student, Anita Lazurko, was named one of 16 Scholars by the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, and was awarded a three-year scholarship in an announcement made by the foundation on Friday.
The daughter of Dave and Anne Lazurko of Weyburn, Anita is completing a PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. Her research explores transformation pathways in river basins attempting to build adaptivity and/or resilience to uncertain climatic and socio-economic futures.
After earning her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at the University of Calgary, Anita completed a joint Erasmus Mundus MSc in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management at the Central European University (Hungary), Lund University (Sweden), and the University of the Aegean (Greece).
She has worked in Sri Lanka, Canada, the Netherlands and across southern Africa on various topics including transboundary strategic planning, decision making under deep uncertainty, and natural infrastructure for climate adaptation.
Anita served on the Board of Directors of Engineers Without Borders Canada and was on the Young Scientific Programme Committee for World Water Week in 2018. In 2019, she received the Donella Meadows Fellowship, an award for young rising stars in sustainability.
The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and nonpartisan charity established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former prime minister and accomplished public intellectual. In 2002, with the support of the House of Commons, the Government of Canada endowed the Foundation with the Advanced Research in the Humanities and Human Sciences Fund.
The Foundation also benefits from private donations. By granting doctoral scholarships and appointing fellows and mentors to provide leadership training, the Foundation supports the development of a new generation of engaged leaders through the democratization of knowledge.
This year, the foundation has appointed 16 dynamic and diverse doctoral scholars hailing from a broad array of academic backgrounds from communities across Canada and around the world. Through outstanding achievement, they each bring unique qualities and perspectives to the community. In turn they benefit not only from the generous financial support of the foundation, but will also learn skills to help empower them as engaged leaders in their institutions and communities.
Anita spoke about the importance of having leaders who are engaged in their roles in the community and country in a statement forwarded by the Foundation: “Engaged leaders are driven by a deep curiosity and care for the world and our common humanity. They ground their research in the communities that are most affected by the challenges of our time, knowing that powerful insights emerge from connections that are built across worldviews and disciplines. Engaged leaders are also willing to recognize their own positionality. They know when to step back from the role of ‘expert’ to lift the voices of others and situate their work within a broader, longer-term trajectory of societal change.”
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholars receive membership in a vibrant community of Scholars, Mentors, and Fellows, all of whom are leaders in their respective disciplines and sectors; leadership training from foundation Mentors and Fellows; up to $40,000 per year for three years to cover tuition and reasonable living expenses; and up to $20,000 per year for three years, as a research and travel allowance.
These Scholars are emblematic of the foundation’s Strategic Plan 2019-2024 and the foundation’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence and Engaged Leadership. Through this talented group of scholars, the foundation is meeting the goals of regional representation as well as representation of Indigenous candidates.
The 2020 Scholars will embark on a leadership program built upon experiential learning, benefitting from the experience and expertise of Mentors and Fellows through the scientific cycle Technology and Ethics. Timelier than ever, this theme will teach Engaged Leadership skills while exploring various aspects of biotechnology and artificial intelligence, notably in the development of health care policy and delivery systems.
The Foundation looks forward to the eventual participation of the 2020 scholars in our community events, including the Institutes of Engaged Leadership. In the meantime, in light of travel and gathering limitations to curb the spread of COVID-19, the foundation is developing virtual events that will bring the community together to share with and learn from one another.
“Beyond their remarkable accomplishments, our newest Scholars were selected for demonstrating strong engagement in the values of the Foundation, committing to improving their skills in both official languages as well as familiarizing with Indigenous languages, and to actively volunteering in their communities.
“Selected from among hundreds of candidates nominated by universities across Canada and abroad, the 2020 Scholars’ research in the Social Sciences and Humanities reflects the four fundamental guiding themes of the Foundation: Human Rights and Dignity; Responsible Citizenship; People and their Natural Environment; and, Canada and the World. Their academic disciplines span a wide range including environmental sciences, public health, communications, history, education, political science, and law,” explained the foundation in a statement about the scholars.