Political Studies doctoral candidate receives Trudeau Scholarship

Linda Mussell, Trudeau Scholarship recipientLinda Mussell, a doctoral candidate in Political Studies, was recently announced as one of 20 recipients of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholarship. 

Linda Mussell, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Studies, was recently announced as a recipient of a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship.

A total of 20 of the prestigious, three-year scholarships were awarded to emerging scholars interested in playing a leadership role within their communities and helping to inspire positive change.

For Mussell, whose research involves intersectional policy analysis of intergenerational incarceration and the legacies of colonialism, receiving the Trudeau Scholarship is an affirmation of the importance of her research and provides valuable momentum as she pursues her doctorate at Queen’s.

“It is a huge honor to have my work acknowledged this way and to be part of a cohort of such accomplished and creative people, leaders really, from across Canada,” says Mussell, who is supervised by Margaret Little (Political Studies). “I also feel really energized and excited to move forward with my work, especially now that I’ve received this distinction.”

Mussell’s doctoral work builds upon her experiences and research in the justice system, having volunteered as a literacy tutor and then becoming involved with the Elizabeth Fry Society. Through her volunteer work she developed a passion for assisting people within the justice system and breaking the cycle of incarceration. Her master’s work focused on policy interventions to support children who have parents or family members in prison and she continues to volunteer with multiple justice-focused organizations and is involved in student-led initiatives and various related committees.

“The Trudeau award is a recognition of the concerted efforts many of Queen’s graduate students, such as Linda Mussell, make to promote positive social-change,” says Fahim Quadir, Vice Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies. “Apart from undertaking innovative research projects, many of our graduate students work with communities to provide leadership in such areas as economic development, social justice and environmental sustainability.”

The Trudeau Scholarship will provide Mussell the opportunity to reconnect and expand upon her prior areas of research and bring it to the next level.

“I really want to amplify the voices of people who have this as a lived experience, to return to the places where I’ve been researching, to develop better ways to communicate my research within the involved communities, and also to leverage it in policy circles,” she says. “My goal is to really take the next three years to bridge work in the community and academia, and then to communicate it effectively in the policy-making sphere.”

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s scholarship program provides three years of support for “courageous, bold, original thinkers who seek unconventional experiences beyond the halls of academia.”

More information about the program and the 2019-21 scholars is available on the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation website.

Note: This article originally appeared in the Queen's Gazette.