MAPC student honoured with Mandela Award

Cindy MacDougall
Michael Francoeur

A Master of Arts in Professional Communication student has won a significant graduate research scholarship named in honour of peacemaker and human rights champion, the late Nelson Mandela.

Michael Francoeur is a 2017-18 recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Scholarship—Master’s Scholarship to honour Nelson Mandela. The $17,500 scholarship is awarded to 10 Canadian master’s program students who are conducting research in topics championed by Mandela.

The honour was established in 2013 to “celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy and his tireless pursuit of peace, democracy, justice and freedom through learning, understanding and education.” More information on the award can be found on the SSHRC website.

Francoeur’s thesis looks at national newspaper coverage and representation of residential schools to understand how particular narratives, values and assumptions inform the public conversation on reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada. He has expanded his research from his original plan to study Alberta media alone.

The communications student says he was surprised and humbled to receive the scholarship.

“This award has reaffirmed the importance and necessity of studying this particular topic,” says Francoeur. “The scholarship will support me in exploring conferences and other opportunities to share my findings and add to the conversation regarding residential schools and reconciliation.”

“Nelson Mandela tirelessly championed human rights and social justice,” says Vice-President Academic and Provost Steve Grundy. “We are delighted Michael's research has been recognized as contributing to the difficult and on-going conversations about residential schools and reconciliation that are critical to Canada’s future.”

You can read the full list of the scholarship winners here.