2021 Recipients

For each conference, a small number of Emerging Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students and emerging scholars who have an active research interest in the conference themes. Emerging Scholars perform a critical role in the conference by chairing the parallel sessions, providing technical assistance in the sessions, and presenting their own research papers. The 2021 Emerging Scholar Award Recipients are as follows:

Abiola Ojo

Abiola Ojo

Lead City University, Nigeria

Dr Abiola Ojo holds a PhD degree in health education from the Premier University in Nigeria, University of Ibadan. She is the current head of the Department of Kinesiology, Sports Science and Health Education, Lead City University, Ibadan, Nigeria. She was an academic advisor and online tutor at the University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre. She has work experience with NGOs, and she is a consultant to health, education, and community-based organizations. Her areas of research boarder on global sustainable, healthy living, and pedagogies. She is a member of several national and international professional associations.

Kaitlin Thurman

Kaitlin Thurman

Oregon State University, United States

Kaitlin Thurman is a Masters of Science student at Oregon State University studying Environmental Sciences. She currently works for Spokane Community College in their Physical Science Department as an Instructional Technician. In the past, she has worked for the Spokane Tribe of Indians as a Fisheries Biologist and was responsible for the invasive species elimination in the Columbia River Basin. Kaitlin enjoys traveling the world, spending time with her Fiancé, cuddling her fourteen pound rabbit, and reading information about climate change or environmental issues.

Daniel Banini

Daniel Banini

University of Central Florida, United States

Daniel K. Banini is a Ph.D. candidate in security studies at the School of Politics, Security and International Affairs, University of Central Florida. Daniel is anticipating completing his dissertation during the Spring of 2021. His research agenda sits at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations, with individual research projects focusing on themes such as environmental security, conflict processes, governance, and democratization, emphasizing Sub-Saharan Africa. More specifically, Daniel's dissertation adopts a three-pronged approach to probe the interplay of ecology, state legitimacy, and corruption of Africa's state stability. Daniel's research appears in outlets such as African Security and Small Wars & Insurgencies.

Janki Shah

Janki Shah

Toronto School of Management, Canada

Janki Shah is a Business faculty at Toronto School of Management, teaching various business courses. While teaching, she incorporates a practical approach to the concepts and plays her role in creating a mindset that cares for people and the environment. Besides being a successful and busy entrepreneur, Janki makes sure to play her part when it comes to giving back to society. Janki has been actively involved in the community providing educational guidance to students in course planning based on their degree and future goals. She has also been providing her judging services to DECA for identifying the business talent across North America. During the year 2020, Janki has incorporated many innovative ideas on the academic and business forefront to cope with the challenges. Janki’s research interests align with organizational behavior, organizational culture, organizational learning, and knowledge management. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Management at Capella University and is on a path to becoming a lifelong scholar-practitioner.

Jayme Jones

Jayme Jones

Selkirk College, Canada

Jayme is a Researcher in the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute in the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at Selkirk College in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. Her applied research supports the needs of the rural region to be resilient, such as on a project to assess the state of climate adaptation in various local governments and facilitate capacity building and relationship building among stakeholders. Jayme has a passion for engaging others to co-create resilient communities. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Environment and Management where her master's thesis examined community action on climate change within the Columbia Basin.

Long-Chen (Tommy) Li

Long-Chen (Tommy) Li

Project Leader, Chemists Without Borders, USA

Mr. Long-Chen Li is the co-founder of Sustainable Environment for Earth and a project leader at Chemists Without Borders. He has been involved with the global sustainability community for years now. As a CEO, he believes the future of global climate change lies within the hands of global business leaders. His area of research includes Biochar and other carbon sequestering materials. He has been a pioneer in Biochar promotion and research in the greater China region, including Taiwan (R.O.C), and India.

Md Monirul Islam

Md Monirul Islam

University of Tsukuba, Japan

Md Monirul Islam has completed his MS at the age of 24 years from Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh, and now pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Tsukuba, Japan under the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT Scholarship). In his professional life, he has been working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh. At this stage, he has 25 research articles published in reputed international and national journals. His research interest focuses on the field of climate change, GIS & remote sensing, vulnerability assessment and geospatial crop insurance, land use policy, and food security.

Shannon Welch

Shannon Welch

Danial Morgan Graduate School of National Security, United States

Shannon Welch provides governmental and international affairs research support impacting areas of national security. Mrs. Welch has a graduate degree in National Security and Cyber Intelligence from Daniel Morgan Graduate School and an undergraduate degree in Global Conflict and Coastal Biology from Hood College. Furthermore, Shannon Welch’s experience includes working with NGOs and private consulting firms, which have included: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and the Audubon Society. She has a vested interest in the effects climate change has on national and international security. Her research focuses on military base erosion, climate refugees and threats to national security from climate change events like hurricanes.”

Michael Tong

Michael Tong

University of Adelaide, Australia

Michael Tong is an emerging experienced medical science and public health researcher with strong background in environmental epidemiology, community health promotion, climate change and population health research at the University of Adelaide. Since completing his PhD on the healthcare system capacity assessment to address the challenges of climate change on infectious diseases, his research has focused on the health impacts of extreme heat, assessment of disease burden, climate change adaptations, and health system capacity building. Dr Tong has both quantitative and qualitative research skills as well as experience in cross-cultural research in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

In Their Words

I learned a lot about the different climate research and initiatives happening worldwide. It was also very valuable experience facilitating the sessions."

Lindsay Luke, 2015 Awardee

My team building and communication skills have been tremendously enhanced by serving as a moderator in an interactive international group"

Dellarue Howard, 2015 Awardee

Being a graduate scholar forced me to network and become involved in the conference more than I would have as just an attendee."

Kelly Stevens, 2015 Awardee