The Trudeau Foundation scholarship is an absolutely unique program in Canada that supports doctoral students by offering them extraordinary opportunities for development, education and networking. Being a Trudeau Scholar enriched my doctoral experience and increased my intellectual productivity during my studies. Thanks to a annual travel allowance, I was able to take part in several colloquia across Canada, the US and England which all resulted in opportunities for enhanced learning, influential encounters, fruitful collaborations or invitations to publish my research results. The Foundation events also expanded my knowledge of contemporary world issues and gave me a glimpse of new and exciting professional prospects, such as public service, active politics or research and intervention on behalf of private and public, national and international organizations. Finally, I had the opportunity to strenghten my grasp of my second language – a truly valuable life-time asset! At the Trudeau Foundation I was inspired to find values and a vision of research and researchers that differ from the dominant university culture, which places top priority on academic performance. Rather than encourage doctoral students to focus solely on their studies and on intellectual production that is limited to restricted university circles, the Trudeau Foundation encourages its Scholars to keep up their social and political involvement during their studies, and even to take part in different kinds of public forums. This vision helped me reconcile my academic work with my various volunteer commitments with not-for-profit organizations. Without the support of the Foundation, it would have been difficult to maintain such a high level of community involvement during my studies. Thanks to the Trudeau Foundation, I completed the components of my doctoral work under optimal research conditions that deeply nourished and transformed my intellectual journey and the course of my research. Such ideal research conditions provide the space of true intellectual freedom and autonomy that is essential to any democratic society.
Caroline Caron has completed a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at Concordia University. Her thesis deals with the reaction of Québec female teenagers to the “sexy fashion” controversy in public/media space and scholarly discourse. She also examines the controversy’s institutional impacts, such as the movement to reform dress codes in Québec’s high schools. The FQRSC, the SSHRC and the Trudeau Foundation have supported her research work into the role of the media in constructing social reality, particularly in defining and resolving social problems related to youth. Her master’s thesis on the feminine teen press won two research awards. She has published articles and book reports in theCanadian Journal of Communication, Communication & Organisation, Médiamorphoses, Recherches féministes, COMMposite, Telos and The International Journal of Francophone Studies, to name just a few.
Caroline Caron is an assistant professor in communication in the Department of Social Sciences at Université du Québec en Outaouais, after completing a post-doctorate at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Women’s Studies on the cultural aspect of the political commitment of young women. In addition to her research activities and freelance work for government organizations, Caroline Caron is also a volunteer and consultant for several community organizations and serves as the chair of the Board of Directors of the Groupe Femmes, Politique et Démocratie.