SSHRC president congratulates top five student communicators from 2015 storyteller competition

Ted Hewitt says it has never been more important to communicate the value of social sciences and humanities research

The 2015 Final Five Storytellers. From left to right: Heather Prime, Naveen Devasagayam, Tanya Elchuk, Ted Hewitt (SSHRC President), Simon Lisaingo, Bryan Gallagher

Ted Hewitt, president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), today applauded five talented students from across the country, after they were judged the best “storytellers” from among a field of 25 finalists in a national competition to find ways to better communicate the impact of social sciences and humanities research.

The annual Storytellers competition challenges postsecondary students to demonstrate—in three minutes or 300 words—how SSHRC-funded research is making a difference in the lives of Canadians. The 25 finalists this year addressed a range of issues—from water security and immigration, to social justice, education and food security—and highlighted how knowledge from the social sciences and humanities helps Canadians understand and improve the world around us.

“It has never been more important to communicate the value of social sciences and humanities research, and its contribution to Canadians’ well-being,” said Hewitt. “These five talented winners clearly have the skills, knowledge and creativity needed to be successful in their fields. I congratulate all of them.”

The five winning students in the 2015 Storytellers competition are:

  • Naveen Devasagayam
  • Tanya Elchuk
  • Bryan Gallagher
  • Simon Lisaingo
  • Heather Prime

This year’s final round of competition took place in front of a live audience at the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, hosted by the University of Ottawa.

Judging the competitors were Shari Graydon, author, journalist and founder of Informed Opinions; Paul Kennedy, broadcast journalist and host of CBC’s Ideas; Kirk Luther, former Final Five Storyteller and winner of SSHRC’s 2014 Talent Award; Véronique Morin, documentarist, science journalist and contributor to Téle-Québec’s Le Code Chastenay; and Stephen Toope, director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and president of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

A list of the Top 25 finalists is below. The entries of all the Top 25 Storytellers can be viewed on YouTube.

For media enquiries:

David Holton
Communications Advisor
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Tel. : 613-996-0520
Cell. : 613-266-6441
Email :

Follow us on the Facebook and Twitter (#SSHRCStorytellers).

2015 Top 25 Storytellers

Kathryn Boschmann Carleton University
Jessica Bushey The University of British Columbia
Courtenay Crucil The University of British Columbia
Viviane Desbiens Université Laval
Naveen Devasagayam University of Toronto
Émilie Dufour HEC Montréal
Tanya Elchuk York University
Kristine Franks Concordia University
Carla Funk Royal Roads University
Bryan Gallagher Simon Fraser University
Alexandre Harvey Université de Montréal
Holly Howe University of Toronto
Jp King OCAD University
Simon Lisaingo The University of British Columbia
Lingfei Liu McGill University
Glenn McCullough University of Toronto
Jonathan Payton University of Toronto
Alexander Pekic Ryerson University
Heather Prime University of Toronto
Caylee Raber Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Meredith Rocchi University of Ottawa
Daniel Ruiz-Serna McGill University
Erica Siddall University of Ottawa
Joshua Smee Memorial University of Newfoundland
Jona Zyfi Ryerson University