The Trudeau scholarship offered me opportunities I would not have otherwise enjoyed. Certainly, the financial support was key. It offered economic security and allowed me to focus on conducting my research. As one example, when my data provided unexpected results, I needed to reorient my dissertation focus. Because of the Trudeau Foundation's generous support, I was not intellectually constrained and could follow through on additional research and reading. I was able to be "true to my data" in ways that might not have been possible under other circumstances.
In addition, I was able to travel and meet activists and scholars in other parts of the world. As a result, I obtained a global perspective on issues pertaining to mental health, law and planning. The members of the Trudeau community i.e. staff, scholars, mentors and fellows, offered a wonderful cross section of academic interests and areas of expertise. Our conversations encouraged the crossing of disciplinary boundaries; such engagements presented challenging questions and simultaneously stimulated intellectual growth.
Chava Finkler is a former Trudeau Scholar. She has published widely in areas pertaining to mental health law, disability and human rights and more recently, about land use law and affordable housing. A recipient of numerous awards, Chava is committed to both scholarly inquiry and community-based activism.