Soroptimist Foundation of Canada grants include:

Grants for Women - 4 annual, $7500 each, for post graduate study;

Grants for Women

Ashley Hayward
Judy Parnell
Kailey DeLucry
Pauline Song
Shawna Narayan
Tait de St. Croix

If you wish to be in contact with any of the winners please e-mail

Ashley Hayward
PhD Peace and Conflict Studies
University of Manitoba

Ashley Hayward is a Metis wife and mother of two daughters from Winnipeg, Manitoba and a doctoral student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. She has broad interests in Indigenous health, the social determinants of health, culture as a health intervention, and human rights. Ashley is currently the Research Coordinator for a CIHR funded Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research project called Kishaadigeh led by Dr. Jaime Cidro at the University of Winnipeg.

Ashley has served on volunteer Board of Directors for organizations such as Agape House, a crisis shelter for women and children escaping family violence, and teaches in the Walls to Bridges format alongside Karen Ridd at the Women's Correctional Centre in Headingley, Manitoba.

Ashley's doctoral research focuses on Indigenous maternal and child health. As a community engaged researcher, Ashley works in partnership with a range of Indigenous organizations including the Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres and Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre of Winnipeg, Inc. Her research is community-driven and collaborative, creating a bridge between academia and social services. Her work supports community organizations with evidence-based research and she plans to continue working with community organizations following the competition of her degree.

Judy Parnell
Masters Distance Education
Athabasca University

Judy Parnell was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In 2003 her passion for education and technology enticed her to pursue the Masters of Distance Education (MDDE) program from Athabasca University (AU), receiving a 3.95 GPA (to date). With only the thesis remaining, in 2006, she had to withdraw due to health reasons (blood cancer), leaving her with a chronic pain condition and disabled. As a result, Ms. Parnell was forced to leave a career she loved, affecting her physically, professionally, financially, and psychologically. As a long-time advocate for women, racial minorities and the disabled, she now found herself relating to these issues on a personal level. .

Now, over 14-years later, Judy has returned to Athabasca with an even stronger determination of using her professional and personal experience to assist Canadian disabled chronic pain patient. With 70% of chronic pain patients being women, there is an immense need for research and programs for Canadian female chronic pain patients. Judy's focus is now on developing research and programs designed to help other Canadian chronic pain patients, especially Canadian women, and young girls.

Kailey DeLucry

Kailey is beginning her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Regina. Originally from the Maritimes, Kailey completed her BA at St. Thomas University, graduating with the Governor General's Medal. Kailey's passion to help women and girls stems from her experience as a big sister to her brother, Sam, who has Down syndrome. At age 7, Kailey transformed into Sam's biggest advocate and supporter. At 25 years old, this is a role she continues to hold, championing his right to a proper, inclusive education and now, his right to independence and autonomy in adulthood.

Kailey became a member of the Saint John Down Syndrome Society when Sam was born, and this group ignited her desire to work closely with those who have intellectual disabilities. During her undergraduate degree, Kailey was a member turned co-president of Best Buddies. Currently, she is a member of Astonished!. Kailey has made many friends along the way, and these friends opened her eyes to a specific obstacle faced by those with disabilities—appropriate sexual education.

After completing her PhD, Kailey plans to move back to New Brunswick to work with families, children, and adolescents in the area of intellectual disabilities and sexual health using a feminist perspective.

Pauline Song
PhD Student
University of Victoria

Pauline Song is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Victoria where she has been an invested member of the Department of Psychology, working to create an environment that is welcoming to all.

Her life experiences from around the world have shaped the direction of her career, and she is passionate about creating accessible mental healthcare for cultural minority women and their families. She completed her undergraduate degree in Child, Youth, and Family at the University of Guelph, and this focus on family systems and positive development has continued to shape her understanding of how women relate to their world.

Pauline's research has revolved around examining predictors of intimate partner violence over the transition to parenthood. Women are disproportionately the victims of intimate partner violence in Canada. Further, minority women are less likely to access mental healthcare, and are more likely to have adverse mental health outcomes than non-minority women. When considering what is needed in order to provide minority women with culturally-attuned and supportive mental healthcare, our public system is still woefully ill-equipped. Minority women and their families who are in crisis need better supports. Pauline's career goals are focused on finding efficient and creative ways for the Canadian public mental healthcare system to address these unique needs.

Shawna Narayan
Masters of Science in Experimental Medicine
University of British Columbia

One in five Canadians will personally experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year. With such a high prevalence, a significant number of Canadians will search for resources and support for screening, diagnosis, management and self-care. Health technologies such as e-mental health resources are suited to provide mental health services virtually to ensure more Canadians are receiving the care they need. Shawna's research explores the experiences ethnic minorities have with anxiety and depressive resources to help support the creation of culturally responsive e-mental health services. With majority of the participants identifying as women, she hopes to support the development of improved e-mental health services and better treatments for anxiety and depressive disorders while providing health care professionals with a greater understanding of treatment needs.

Tait de St. Croix
Masters Student in Applied Health Science
University of Waterloo

Tait de St. Croix is currently completing her master of science degree in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, at the University of Waterloo. She is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph, completing her BA Honours in Philosophy and Ethics in Life Science. Tait's research focuses on the aging population, specifically in relation to medical tourism. The reality of long term care homes in Canada, is that with the aging population, we do not have enough resources to support our elders in a way that ensures proper care is being taken. Her thesis is working to identify alternative methods of long term care, to help support the aging population.

Tait works to ensure that her research is done in an inclusive way, wanting to guarantee that individuals with dementia are included in the study for proper representation. This is important to her because there are approximately 76,000 new cases of dementia diagnosed in Canada, a year (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2018). She sees it as prevalent and necessary that research is done to include these aging adults.

Tait's philosophy background draws her towards ethical concerns in our current system, and encourages her to strive to include a moral principle within her work, and help to identify spaces of positive growth for the aging population. Women make up more than half of the aging population, and being a woman herself, Tait takes pride in helping this population of aging adults. Being a woman gives Tait insight to her research and introduced a feminist lens on her work, providing opportunity for women to be heard in research with their word being taken as it is, the truth.

One of her current hopes is to see Canadian women be properly represented in research, including representation of all ages, races, abilities, and socio-economic status, which allows researchers to hear them and their experiences, and make real change. Tait's hope for the future is to identify a system which can support our aging population, and overall minimize the abuse, neglect, and bias felt by aging women, as well as the entire aging population in long term care homes.

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