2019 Undergraduate Essay Award winners

YCAR is pleased to announce our 2019 Undergraduate Essay Award winners: Harkit Bhandal and Safa Warsi.
Safa is a fourth-year Psychology major who has spent time as a research assistant in various psychology labs at York. She is interested in culture and religion, particularly in the context of the experiences of minorities in North America. She received the award in the Asian Diaspora category. Professor Richard Lalonde nominated her PSYC 3890 paper, “Views on the Model Minority Stereotype in a South Asian Canadian Context,” for this award. The paper considers the Model Minority Stereotype (MMS), which depicts Asians as being high in certain seemingly positive attributes (e.g., competence and achievement), whilst also being high in seemingly negative traits (e.g., unsociability and emotional reservation). Research to date on this subject has largely focused on East Asian American samples, while Safa’s study explores whether MMS exists in South Asian Canadian populations. 

Harkit Bhandal’s love for coffee fuels what she loves doing best—researching, reading and writing about South Asian diasporic identities. Meghna George, Harkit’s Teaching Assistant for AP/ANTH 1120, nominated the paper in the Asia category. “Understandings of Military Power, Intoxication and Love in Kashmir, India” focuses on how clinicians and patients’ understanding of substance abuse and addiction at a drug rehabilitation clinic known as the DDC reflect an extension of and resistance to military power in the Kashmir Valley.

A fourth-year undergraduate student, the majority of Harkit’s written and advocacy work focuses on how institutions have produced a negative image of second-generation Punjabi-Canadian males. She writes about how second-generation Punjabi-Canadian males contest and negotiate their gender performance dependent on the institution in which they interact. Harkit also volunteers at her local women’s shelter. Beyond her academic and advocacy work, she loves to journal and purchase journals she doesn’t need.   

Both papers will be published later this year in ‘New Voices on Asia’, a special occasional paper series at the Centre. Congratulations Harkit and Safa!

Papers for the 2019-20 academic year can be submitted at any time and will be accepted until 30 April 2020.

For more information, please visit: https://ycar.apps01.yorku.ca/research-fellowships-awards/undergraduate-asia-and-asian-diaspora-essay-awards/


*This story was also published in YFile on 17 September 2019: http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/2019/09/16/ycar-announces-2019-undergraduate-essay-award-winners/?http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/?utm_source=YFile_Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Current-News&utm_campaign=yfile