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Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council president applauds top five students in national storytelling contest

The Final Five Storytellers with SSHRC president, Ted Hewitt

The 2016 Final Five Storytellers. From left to right: Élodie Bouchard, Elissa Gurman, Ted Hewitt (SSHRC President), Shelley Moore, Emma Vossen, Ian Wereley

Ted Hewitt, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), today congratulated five talented students, after they were judged this year’s top “storytellers.” The five were selected from among 25 finalists in a national competition to find innovative ways to communicate the impact of social sciences and humanities research.

The annual Storytellers contest 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 sustainable technologies and digital inequality, to food security, transgender issues and special-needs education. All highlighted how knowledge from the social sciences and humanities helps Canadians understand and improve the world around us.

“The Storytellers challenge follows through on SSHRC’s mandate to connect social science and humanities research with Canadians,” said Hewitt. “These students, and their creative, compelling stories, stand as shining examples of Canada’s next generation of research communicators. Congratulations!”

The five winning students in the 2016 Storytellers competition are:

  • Élodie Bouchard, Université de Montréal
  • Elissa Gurman, University of Toronto
  • Shelley Moore, The University of British Columbia
  • Emma Vossen, University of Waterloo
  • Ian Wereley, Carleton University

This year’s final round of competition took place in front of a live audience at the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, hosted by the University of Calgary.

Judging the competitors were Latifa Belmahdi, Director of Communications at Global Affairs Canada; Shari Graydon, author, journalist and founder of Informed Opinions; Paul Kennedy, broadcast journalist and host of CBC’s Ideas; Guy Laforest, President-Elect of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences; and Pierre Normand, Vice-President of External Relations and Communications at the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The 2016 finalists are listed below, with links to their bios. Video entries by 2016 Storytellers finalists can also be viewed on SSHRC’s YouTube channel.

For media enquiries:

Kenneth Downs
Manager, Public Affairs and Outreach
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Email :

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

2016 Top 25 Storytellers

Duman Bahrami-Rad

Simon Fraser University

Élodie Bouchard

Université de Montréal

Adam Cheeseman

Dalhousie University

Logan Cochrane

The University of British Columbia

Ron Darvin

The University of British Columbia

Emanuelle Dufour

Concordia University

Michael Farnan

Western University

Ryland Fortie

Thompson Rivers University

Rachelle Gauthier

Université de Moncton

Elissa Gurman

University of Toronto

Nicholas Hobson

University of Toronto

Olivier Jacques

McGill University

Fatima (Noori) Khan

University of Waterloo

Kinnon MacKinnon

University of Toronto

Kelly Mills

University of Saskatchewan

Erin Mobley

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Shelley Moore

The University of British Columbia

Tara Rodas

The University of British Columbia

William Sanger

Polytechnique Montréal

Tanya Tan

Ryerson University

Karl-Philippe Tremblay

Université du Québec à Montréal

Emma Vossen

University of Waterloo

Jon Weller

University of Victoria

Ian Wereley

Carleton University

Leah Woolner

McGill University