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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Congratulations to Daniela Bramwell and Emma Sabzalieva, this year's recipients of the Vanier Scholarships

They are researching democratic citizenship in Ecuadorian high schools and higher education in Central Asia. And they have just received the most prestigious support for their work.

By Vesna Bajic

June 6, 2017

The Government of Canada announced this year's Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS)  on May 31, and the list included LHAE doctoral students Daniela Bramwell and Emma Sabzalieva.

The Vanier CGS program was launched in 2008 to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and  is considered the most prestigious of its kind. It invests millions in research across the health sciences, natural sciences and social sciences and humanities.

"We were so proud that two highly selective Vaniers have gone to our department," said Professor Nina Bascia, LHAE Chair. "Our students are exceptionally strong and promising."

New Vanier Scholar Daniela Bramwell is a first year ELP and CIDE PhD student. She obtained an MA from the University of Toronto, and then returned to Ecuador for a year to teach undergraduate courses, manage the Teaching and Learning Institute and coordinate the BA in Education program. Now a Vanier Scholar, and a proud mother, she is eager to continue her studies after her maternity leave.

The objective of Daniela's study is to compare the implicit lessons in a democratic citizenship high school course and the explicit lessons in the official curriculum, in both high and low income schools in Ecuador. Her research questions include: are implicit and explicit democratic citizenship lessons the same; are lessons different for high and low income students; and what can this tell us about democratic education and equality?

Emma Sabzalieva grew up in the UK as a committed European with a distinctly global outlook. She has lived in Vietnam, Russia and Tajikistan. Emma has an MA (Hons) in Russian Studies and History (University of Edinburgh) and an MBA in Higher Education Management (Institute of Education, London).

She received a prestigious Study Abroad Studentship from the Leverhulme Trust (2015-2017). Her blog on Central Asian education, society and politics is one of The Guardian’s best social media accounts for academics. Until 2015, Emma pursued a successful career in university administration, most recently as College Registrar at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. She is co-author of Managing your career in higher education administration (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and a Fellow of the UK Association of University Administrators. Emma was elected Chair of Governors of a British public elementary school (2012-2015).

The title of her thesis is "How does higher education respond to major institutional change? The fall of the Soviet Union and universities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan."