MDP scholarship winners for 2019-2020

Tue. Oct. 29, 2019

The Master’s in Development Practice Program would like to congratulate 4 MDP students for winning these competitive and prestigious scholarships: Henok Alemneh, Taylor Wilson, Racheal Kalaba and Alexander Oldroyd.

MDP Winner of a SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Master’s Scholarship - $17,500, based on academic excellence and to support highly qualified researchers

Henok AlemnehHenok Alemneh is a 2nd year MDP student who has a background in the fields of tourism and development (Diploma, BA & MA). This has provided him with opportunities to passionately engage with holistic concepts in the broader field of development practice including economic, environmental and socio-cultural research, policy,  and programming. Moreover, the unique Indigenous focus of the MDP program at the University of Winnipeg has given Henok the opportunity to get involved in Indigenous tourism research and practice through a field placement with the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA) in Aotearoa New Zealand, and through a research collaboration with the Pimachiowin Aki - World Heritage Site in Canada.

Among the scholarships and awards Henok has received in recognition for his efforts, the most recent one is a ‘Best Paper Award’ at the International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD 2019) for a paper that resulted from his field placement with WINTA. Henok was awarded an Outgoing Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship and Dr. Douglas W. Leatherdale Global Citizen Internship award for this field placement.

Henok's research looks at resilient Indigenous tourism engagement in Pimachiowin Aki. He is very grateful for the SSHRC scholarship, and special acknowledgements go to Dr. Gina Sylvestre, Dr. Julie Pelletier and the MDP team who have continued to provide an enormous support for the project.

“Let me say this to those individuals and organizations who motivate and support students in so many ways - Please know that you are making a big difference in our life while you are also teaching us to follow in your foot steps.”

MDP Winners of a 2019 University of Winnipeg Graduate Studies Scholarship (UWGSS) – $15,000, awarded on the basis of academic excellence and demonstrated commitment to community service

Taylor Wilson Taylor Wilson is currently in the 2nd year of the Master’s in Development Practice - Indigenous Development program. She is Ojibwe and Filipino and a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation. Taylor is a graduate from the University of Winnipeg with her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Conflict Resolution. Taylor has a strong interest in community development with a focus on Indigenous health and food systems. She spent the summer before her first year of MDP in the Indigenous Summer Scholar’s program working for Dr. Jaime Cidro in food sovereignty and the following summer she spent her first field placement in Adelaide, South Australia at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in their Aboriginal Health Equity Theme (Wardliparinnga) evaluating their Aboriginal Diabetes Study’s health promotion and clinical research practices. She is currently working multiple projects in partnership with the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg, a youth leader for Canadian Roots Exchange’s Youth Reconciliation Initiative, and in the beginning stages of planning her own food project with her home community. After MDP, she hopes to get her PhD, with the goal of working as a professor mentoring Indigenous students and contributing the larger body of decolonization work globally.

"The UWGSS allows me to commit fully to my work in the MDP, it provides me the opportunity to be fully engaged in school and pursue jobs that help me grow as an Indigenous scholar and researcher. I am responsible for carrying out work that revitalizes my community and supports others to do the same. By being awarded the UWGSS, MDP and the University of Winnipeg acknowledge strength of Indigenous scholars. I am so thankful for that"


Racheal KalabaRacheal Kalaba is a 2nd year MDP student from Zambia with a BA in Development Studies and a MA in Management at All Hallows College Dublin, Ireland. During the past year she has been involved in academic and community work focusing on Indigenous communities and emergency preparedness. Her research interests are disaster preparedness and risk reduction in Indigenous communities.

Racheal is grateful to the MDP program for their continuous support and is honored and privileged to be receiving the UWGSS award. She is a volunteer with Canadian Red Cross – Emergency department in Manitoba as well as the Graduate student representative for the UWinnipeg as a Co-Director. Through the influence of Canadian Red Cross, she did her international field placement in the Commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean. She lived and worked with the Kalinago People, and also worked with the International Organization on Migration (IOM) and Dominica Red Cross on disaster management and preparedness. Racheal recently presented at the “International Conference on Sustainable Development” at Columbia University in New York. She would like to sincerely thank The University of Winnipeg, Canadian Red Cross – Manitoba, and The Commonwealth of Dominica communities who have provided mentorship and support.

"I am grateful to the MDP staff for their support and the Graduate Studies for the award and allowing my dreams to become a reality in my quest for knowledge’

MDP Recipient of The University of Winnipeg President's Scholarship for World Leaders - $5,000 awarded to international students on the basis of academic excellence and demonstrated leadership

Alex OldroydAlex Oldroyd is entering his 1st year of the MDP program. He is a part Native Hawaiian student from the United States with a BA in English Language and Literature and a Certificate in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Brigham Young University. He is excited to build relationships with Indigenous Peoples in Canada and to learn from the distinguished faculty at the University of Winnipeg. He is grateful to be a part of a program that values and honors Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing. As an entrepreneur and business owner, Alex hopes to study ways in which entrepreneurship and innovations such as impact investing and social impact bonds could be used to improve economic development among Indigenous peoples. He is also interested in digital sovereignty, public policy, and language revitalization.

“It’s hard for me to know exactly where my journey here will take me. But when the program places as much importance on Indigenous worldviews and on its own Indigenous context as it does on academic rigor and professional development, incoming students like me don’t have to worry about the specific outcome. We can be confident that no matter what we end up doing, we will have the training and relationships necessary to become competent and respectful development practitioners. I am grateful to the University and President Annette Trimbee for the scholarship, the confidence in me that it reflects, and the flexibility that it affords.”