Telling their research stories

Telling their research stories

Three Queen’s graduate students have made it to the Top 25 in a national Storytellers Challenge.

By Jake Harris, University Relations Intern

April 21, 2023


[Photo of a microphone]

Across Canada graduate students are working to advance groundbreaking research every day, but the immediate and long-term impact of this research is not always obvious to the public. For the past ten years, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Storytellers Challenge has asked students to communicate their research creatively, with emphasis on telling compelling and accessible stories about research impact. In either three minutes or up to 300 words, participants must use video, audio, text, or infographic to illustrate how their work is making a difference. Three Queen’s researchers Hannah Hunter (Geography and Planning), Madison Robertson (Health Quality), and Michalina Woznowski (Management) have been selected as Top 25 finalists, out of over 200 entries in the 2023 competition.

"We are very proud that Hannah, Madison, and Michalina will be representing Queen’s on this national stage," says Betsy Donald, Associate Vice-Principal (Research) and the SSHRC research lead for Queen’s. "Their work effectively captures the mission of the Storytellers Challenge to communicate the value of research and the difference it makes to the lives of Canadians. Queen’s wishes them all the best and we will be cheering them on!"

Submissions to the Storytellers Challenge are judged on the creativity, persuasiveness, and clarity of their story, with the top 25 entries receiving $3,000 each. On May 29, the 25 finalists will present in front of a live audience at the Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the largest academic gathering in Canada, at York University where they will be narrowed down to a final five and be eligible for additional prizes.

"This is just another great example of how our graduate students showcase how social sciences and humanities research changes the world for the better," says Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. "The depth of talent we have across disciplines at this level of research is astounding and I join my colleague in congratulating them all."

Queen’s Finalists

[Hannah Hunter]Hannah Hunter is a PhD student in Geography and Planning. Her submission, "Listening to Birds at the End of the World," explores the history of wildlife sound recordings and what they can tell us about human-nature relationships, extinct species, and the ecological heritage of the world. Alongside traditional research methods, Hunter is creating a podcast series called Last Call for Lost Birds where she will bring extinct birds back to life using audio storytelling.


[Madison Robertson]Madison Robertson is a PhD student in Health Quality. Her work "Till Death Do Us Part: Spousal Separation in Long-Term Care" analyzes the effects of separation on spouses who cannot live together in long-term care facilities because of different health needs and care requirements. Using a participatory action research method, she will explore feelings of loneliness and depression in elderly patients who become separated from their significant other while in long-term care.


[Michalina Woznowski]Michalina Woznowski is a PhD student in Management at the Smith School of Business. Her project "Multicommunicating During Team Meetings and its Effects on Team Functioning" analyzes the positive and negative outcomes that stem from multicommunication in the workplace. Multicommunication is a specific form of multitasking that refers to when, for example, an employee is taking part in a virtual or in-person meeting while also engaging in another form of virtual communication like texting, emailing, or direct messaging. The goal of her study is to support both managers and employees in implementing multicommunication in a way that is beneficial for everyone.

To learn more about these projects and other Top 25 Finalists, visit the SSHRC Storytellers Gallery.

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