Storytellers logoJane McArthur and Amy Peirone have each won a berth in the next round of competition in the SSHRC Storytellers contest.

Two UWindsor students among national finalists in competition to highlight research impact

Two University of Windsor doctoral candidates have been named finalists in a national competition that shows how social sciences and humanities research is making a difference in the lives of Canadians.

Jane McArthur and Amy Peirone have each won $3,000 and a berth in the next round of competition in a contest called Storytellers sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. As two of the 25 finalists across the country, Peirone and McArthur will travel to British Columbia in June to give oral presentations before a live audience at the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

“I am both thrilled and honoured to have been chosen a top 25 SSHRC Storyteller,” said McArthur. “As a UWindsor researcher studying women's environmental health issues, I am optimistic that the work of storytelling for knowledge mobilization can be an important piece in addressing the challenges that lay before us, locally and beyond.”

For the competition, both McArthur and Peirone produced three-minute videos explaining their research.

McArthur’s video explains her research on breast cancer rates in female workers at the Ambassador Bridge. She interviewed the women to find out what they know about breast cancer risks, where they get their information about breast cancer and if they’d made any connection between their cancer risks and environmental exposure.

The research could inform public policy and suggest how future study of breast cancer clusters can help society better understand environmental causes and controls, McArthur said.

Peirone’s video explains her research, in conjunction with Myrna Dawson at the University of Guelph, on variations in sentencing in homicide cases across Canada based on factors like the location where the trial takes place and socio-demographic characteristics of the victims and the offender.

It’s the second time Peirone has made it to the finals in the Storytellers competition. She finished in the top 25 in 2017 for a video on her research with UWindsor professor Betty Barrett on intimate partner violence.

“I’m very excited to be a SSHRC storyteller finalist for the second time,” Peirone said. “This contest and Dr. Dawson’s research on the geography of justice in Canada highlights the need for SSHRC-funded research that explores and addresses important issues for Canadians — in this case, access to justice in Canada.”

The finalists in the competition come from 18 post-secondary institutions across Canada and were selected from more than 200 entries.

“Once again, we were very impressed by the creativity the finalists have shown in their submissions, Ted Hewitt, SSHRC president, said Thursday. “In a very concrete way, their projects show how social sciences and humanities research is more important than ever for our society.”

In announcing the 25 finalists Thursday, SSHRC provided links to the winning videos.

—Sarah Sacheli