Department of Global Development Studies

DEPARTMENT OF

Global Development Studies

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Tara McDonaldDEVS 4th-year student Tara McDonald is one of this year’s recipients of the The Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award. The Award and induction in the Tricolour Society is the highest tribute that can be paid to a student for valuable and distinguished service to the University in non-athletic, extra-curricular activities.

Ms. McDonald created the Queen’s Elephant in the Room Anti-Stigma Campaign for mental health. She is a leader who empowers others and never gives up when advocating for equity and social change.

In her second year at Queen’s, Ms. McDonald and fellow DEVS student Madeline Turner approached the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) about founding Queen’s Elephant in the Room (EITR), which is the first youth chapter of Mood Disorders Society of Canada and is dedicated to using creative methods to eliminate stigma associated with mental health and mental illness. Lucy Mackrell, BA (Hons) '15, MA '16, who worked for ASUS at the time, made our vision a sustainable reality by inducting the committee into the Society and securing an annual budget dedicated to EITR. Three years after being founded, EITR has provided anti-stigma and suicide prevention training to nearly 100 people including student leaders, teaching assistants, and instructors. Upon completing training, each individual is given a small blue elephant to show to students and staff that their office is a stigma-free environment. 

 “I’m incredibly proud to belong to a department at Queen’s that successfully produces students every year that work together collaboratively to build a better Queen’s campus,” says Ms. McDonald. “It is an honour to be inducted into the Tricolour society, but it is an honour that I share with the DEVS department, as well as every student, staff, and faculty member who is working to improve inclusivity and equity at Queen’s.