PhD student awarded prestigious research grant


PhD candidate Anthony Turner has won the 2013 ASAC-CJAS Ph.D. Research Grant Award for his research on how the virtual space enables people to engage in social action.

The Administrative Sciences Association of Canada and the Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, who give out the award, highlighted both the originality of Turner’s dissertation and its integration with his research program.

The dissertation, called “The virtualization of free space and action: Advancing a modernized model of power inequity attenuation and the Free Space Index,” focuses on two main aspects of social engagement online.

First Turner examines how minority groups can advance their position in society by leveraging the power of new media. His research shows that online environments allow people to converge from a distance, and achieve social power and justice.

But he says there are apparent trade-offs. New technologies leave online social engagement open to people intent on causing harm, such as those who make and propagate defamatory statements on social media.

Turner’s committee members consist of the Chair, Associate Professor Marc-David Seidel, as well as Associate Professor Nancy Langton and Associate Professor Katherine White.

The research award was presented on June 10 at an Awards Presentation Luncheon in Calgary.