It is difficult to put into words what the Trudeau Scholarship has meant to me. In a few words: opportunity, challenge, excellence, and collaboration.
As a Trudeau Scholar, I have gained a great deal both personally and professionally. I have had opportunities and experiences that would not have been available to me without the support of the Trudeau Foundation. As a Trudeau Scholar, I was able to attend international conferences and workshops to network and participate in wider dialogues about global food issues, as well as conduct exploratory research in India while planning my dissertation. Without this support, I would not have been able to conduct my comparative study of food policy in India and Canada. I have been exposed to a huge range of thought and perspectives which enriched both my research and my experience conducting it. Perhaps most importantly, this was my first sense of being part of a strong academic community - a group of highly supportive people working separately yet together to build a better world. I have made lasting friendships and developed research relationships that will continue well beyond my time as a Trudeau Scholar.
The Trudeau Scholarship gave me the freedom to explore my research options and ultimately design the study that best met my goals and interests. There are few, if any, granting agencies that support this type of professional and research development. My interactions with the Foundation and its members also helped to broaden my theoretical and methodological perspectives. As someone with a specific training in public health and epidemiological research, these experiences were essential in my successful shift toward a more socially oriented form of research. My involvement with the Trudeau Foundation has helped me grow as a person, as a researcher, and as an engaged citizen.