2018 Tavender Award Winner: Simran Gulati, Faculty of Science
Congratulations to honours cell biology student Simran Gulati, who has won the $5,000 Tavender Award to further her Stretch Experience. Over the past summer, she travelled to India with the Rotary Club to spread awareness of menstrual hygiene in rural communities.
After ten weeks touring villages surrounding Chandigarh, a city in India, Simran spoke to over 1,300 males and females between the ages of 13 and 40. While not a controversial topic in Canada, her menstrual hygiene campaign faced opposition in India because of outdated gender norms and wide-spread myths. She persevered, believing, “The holes in their education leads to holes in their health.” She raised awareness by presenting at schools and answering personal questions one-on-one. Her efforts positively impacted gender equality in the communities, and by extension, the individuals she reached.
Simran is proud of the success of her project and is even more passionate about the issue than when she began. Now that she has gained confidence in her ability to make a difference, she sees opportunities to raise awareness locally. With the $5,000 award, Simran plans to offer educational sessions in Edmonton, expanding the scope to address menstrual hygiene for individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+ or are experiencing homelessness. We’ve seen her tenacity to succeed and know she’ll continue to make a positive impact with this project.
2017 Award Winners
Tavender Award: Kaitlyn Walcheske, Faculty of Secondary Education
Kaitlyn Walcheske, a fourth-year student, has won funding to uplift the voices Indigenous students and raise awareness about barriers to education.
Kaitlyn's Stretch Experience took her to Finland over the summer to study how Sámi culture was integrated into the Finnish education system. She now plans to use the award to facilitate sharing locally. She has joined a Zine Project at the U of A called Nantâwihiwêwin (Cree for “doctoring yourself day after day for a long time”), that helps their readers heal their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves. Further, she is working with the National Centre for Collaboration in Indigenous Education to continue interviewing educational stakeholders to collect stories of best practices.
We're proud of Kaitlyn's dedication and look forward to seeing where her project takes her! Read more about her project, in her own words, on the PLLC Stretch blog.