The Storytellers

Meet the Top 25

The results are in. Check back here for Storyteller Tuesdays, starting April 18, as we profile our Top 25 finalists and their submissions.

Who will be this year’s Final Five winners? Find out May 29, when we select the winners at this year's Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Natalie Baird

University of Manitoba



Visualizing Changing Oceans: Inuit Knowledge and Participatory Video


Natalie Baird is a visual artist and graduate student at the University of Manitoba, where she brings her community arts practice to social-ecological research. Natalie completed her bachelor of environmental sciences degree at the University of Manitoba in 2014. She is an artist-in-residence at the Misericordia Health Centre, as well as the film photography instructor at Art City, facilitating high-quality art programming to people of all ages and abilities. In 2016, Natalie began her master of environment degree at the University of Manitoba, exploring participatory visual methods to document and communicate Inuit traditional knowledge of changing ocean dynamics.

Elise Boulanger

Vancouver Island University



Where is Here: Small Cities, Deep Mapping and Sustainable Futures


Elise Boulanger is a fourth-year Global Studies student attending Vancouver Island University (VIU), located on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw. Before pursuing social sciences, she graduated with a diploma in classical vocal performance, and continues to pursue musical endeavours in the genres of classical, folk, pop and electro-swing. Elise is presently the Social Sciences Faculty Representative at VIU, and enjoys connecting people. She is currently studying food and water security, a topic she is passionate about.

John Bryans

Concordia University



The Actor’s Dude Dilemma - a Modern Major General Parody


John Bryans is an actor and graduate student based in Montréal. He is currently completing his master of arts (sociology) degree in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Concordia University. He holds a bachelor of kinesiology degree from the University of Manitoba, and is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School.

John’s current research draws primarily from the fields of critical obesity, masculinity and performance studies. His work incorporates media and creative arts, employing documentary film and sound art as research tools.

John is also a member of the Centre for Sensory Studies at Concordia University. Beginning in April 2017, he will be hosting a new podcast showcasing student research titled “Best, Concordia” in conjunction with the Ethnography Lab at Concordia.

Amanda Chalupa

McGill University



Rebuilding community & the lives of child migrants


Amanda Chalupa is a PhD student in the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University, funded by the Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela. She examines how refugees and migrants rebuild their lives, individually and as communities, and what policies and practices facilitate these processes. Although her academic research focuses on Polish people who had been sent to the gulags as children during WWII, she has also worked with Indigenous communities, Holocaust survivors, school-based programs for Montréal youth, social entrepreneurship, and documentary filmmakers. This research has taken her to five continents, where she has conducted interviews, participated in reunions focused on positive refugee camp experiences and visited the Tanzanian village where her grandparents had been refugees in the 1940s.

Cheryl Chan

University of Waterloo



Fish for our Future: Communities and Marine Conservation


Cheryl Chan is a master of environmental studies candidate in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. She is also a member of the Community Conservation Research Network. Cheryl’s research focuses on small-scale fishing communities and the governance of marine protected areas in Jamaica. In particular, she is interested in the tensions between marine conservation initiatives and community well-being. Prior to attending the University of Waterloo, Cheryl was a science teacher. She holds bachelor of education and bachelor of science degrees from Queen’s University. Cheryl is passionate about marine ecosystems, science communication and community engagement in conservation.