Emerging Scholar Awards

A small number of Emerging Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students and emerging scholars who have an active research interest in the conference themes. The Award provides a strong professional development opportunity for early career academics—meeting experts in the field, interacting with colleagues from other parts of the world, and creating networks and lasting connections. Awardees are invited to attend the conference to present their work and play a critical organizational role in the conference by leading discussions, chairing parallel sessions, and providing assistance in session rooms.

Applications are open to those pursuing research degrees, post- and graduate students, as well as early career faculty.

To apply, follow the link below. You may also view further instructions by selecting our "Step-By-Step Guide."

Final Deadline: 16 January 2020

2020 Recipients

Beth Ann Williams

Beth Ann Williams

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

Beth Ann Williams researches gender, social change, community building, and religious practices in modern East Africa. Focused on Protestant communities in Kenya and Tanzania, her current project argues that spiritual discourses served as key resources for Christian women as they negotiated changing gender norms across the second half of the twentieth century. Beth Ann uses oral interviews and ethnographic methods to bring local, embodied knowledge into conversation with academic scholarship. Beyond research, Beth Ann enjoys introducing students to non-Western cultures and histories, and shepherding healthy department life through service on various committees, cooking, and running.

Drexler Ortiz

Drexler Ortiz

University of Victoria, Canada

Drexler Ortiz is a PhD student in clinical psychology at the University of Victoria, Canada. As part of the Immigrant Family Studies Research Lab, he is broadly interested in studying immigrant adjustment and intersectional identities in religious contexts. His current research examines the religious identity of Filipinx immigrant youth in Canada, and has most recently been interested in how immigrant sexual minorities engage with religion. He hopes to continue his research to draw conclusions on the positive and negative implications religious identity has on mental health and adjustment to a new country.

Shemine Gulambusein

Shemine Gulambusein

Assistant Professor, MacEwan University, Canada

Shemine is an assistant professor at MacEwan University in the Faculty of Health and Community Studies, Child and Youth Care Department. Shemine’s international travels have guided her research interests in what it means to be a Canadian Shia Ismaili Muslim, a brown bodied female, and living in between multiple social spaces. As a children’s counsellor, Shemine learned the importance of supporting young people in navigating and negotiating spaces of discomfort, as well as the importance of introducing ways to articulate who one identifies as. Her interest in youth identity formation, migration patterns, religious and/or spiritual identities, and recreation are inserted into her teaching and research.

Victoria Machado

Victoria Machado

University of Florida, USA

Victoria Machado is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida where she specializes in religion and nature. Her dissertation investigates human-nature relationships as she explores the understudied role that religion plays in Florida’s environmental movement. She focuses primarily on how spiritual beliefs connect with environmental actions surrounding water-related issues such as sea-level rise, overdevelopment, water pollution, and cyanobacteria outbreaks. As an instructor, Victoria has taught such courses as Religion in Society, Religion in Florida, and Religion & Food. She holds a graduate certificate in environmental education and communications as well as a BA and MA in Religion from the University of Florida.

In Their Words

Being an Emerging Scholar allowed me to participate in both the front end and behind the scenes workings of the conference, which gave me a balanced perspective on what goes into putting on such an event."

Margret Ann Thors, 2017 Awardee

I think this conference really gave me a sense of what interfaith dialogue actually looks like when it is natural. It gave me the chance to refine my own skills in learning and teaching amongst very diverse people."

Trevor B. Williams, 2015 Awardee