By Sasha Milam, Gustavson Content Curator. Originally published in Gustavson’s Year in Review 2018.

Two new scholarships with distinct—and distinctly important—aims were awarded to our PhD students for the first time in 2018. The Dr. Ian Stuart Memorial PhD Award honours the legacy of one of the business school’s most transformational service management professors. This award is donated by Ian’s family in memory of an energetic, generous and authentic man, with the intention of easing the financial burden of a PhD student at the business school who has a dependent child or children. The Jawl PhD Student Scholarship for Research was created by Robert and Devi Jawl to recognize academic and research excellence among incoming PhD students at the business school, with emphasis on helping the school attract and retain top PhD candidates.

“It is so encouraging to see our students supported in this way,” says Dr. Carmen C. Galang, director of PhD programs at the Sardul S. Gill Graduate School. “Awards such as these, which provide substantial and tangible support, go a long way toward ensuring the success of our PhD candidates as they pursue meaningful research at the school.”

Saeed Rahman, a fifth-year PhD candidate who received the Dr. Ian Stuart Memorial PhD Award, can attest to this.

“The demands of earning a PhD and nurturing a family can be difficult to balance. My PhD journey, with a young family, has been a massive commitment and stress for us all. Leaving a well-paying job and moving to a new part of the country had a significant impact on our family. This award will undoubtedly have an enormous personal impact for me, not only in my PhD journey but also in my future career.” Rahman’s work explores how agri-food organizations help set new industry standards for sustainable business practices that protect or even restore ecosystems and biodiversity, and how they can do so while improving the social conditions of farmers and their communities.

Two first-year PhD students—Trevor Israelsen and Sanaz Matin Koosha—received the Jawl PhD Student Scholarship for Research. For her part, Matin Koosha values the support at this critical transition point in her academic journey. “I am so grateful to receive this support to conduct research on respectful behaviours across cultures and contribute to making the world a better place to live.”