Graduate students from Guelph and Laurentian win 2017 Mandelbaum Fellowships

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TORONTO – The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Henry Mandelbaum Fellowship: Laura Jane Weber from the University of Guelph, and Beaudin Bennett from Laurentian University.

“The Mandelbaum Fellowship recognizes graduate students who combine exceptional scholarship with deep engagement in their communities,” said Gyllie Phillips, Vice-President of OCUFA. “Despite receiving many excellent applications, the committee was unanimous in selecting Laura Jane and Beaudin as the recipients of the 2017 Fellowship.”

At the Doctoral level, Laura Jane Webber was recognized for her research into the practice of flying pregnant women from their communities in Nunavut to give birth in southern hospitals. Weber, a student in Guelph’s Population Medicine and International Development Studies program, is committed to community engagement and has an impressive record of research and volunteer work.

At the Master’s level, Beaudin Bennett was recognized for his exploration of intimate partner violence in First Nations communities on Manitoulin Island and the perspectives of Indigenous women impacted by this violence about the acute injuries, chronic anxiety, and depression they suffer. A student in Laurentian’s Indigenous Relations program, Beaudin’s leadership and volunteer work show a strong commitment to social justice.

The Mandelbaum Fellowship was established to honor Henry Mandelbaum, Executive Director of OCUFA from 1996-2011. The Fellowship is awarded to a graduate student who has demonstrated academic excellence, shows exceptional academic promise, and has provided significant community service in his or her university career.

“Henry was passionate about social justice, and improving the lives of those who faced formidable social and economic barriers,” said Phillips. “Sadly, Henry passed away in 2012, but we are honoured to continue his work through the Mandelbaum Fellowship.”

Laura Jane Weber and Beaudin Bennett will receive their awards at a ceremony hosted by OCUFA in Toronto on May 13, 2017.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at


For more information, contact:

 Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-979-2117 x232 or
Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director at 416-979-2117 x229 or