The University of Winnipeg



Criminal justice graduate cohort all awarded SSHRC grants

Elise Diplock, Myla Held, Janae Dandewich, Bilguundari Enkhtugs, Danielle Hermann

Congratulations to the 2022 Criminal Justice graduate cohort for all receiving Canada Graduate Scholarships from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

This funding is bestowed on post-secondary researchers who build knowledge on people and societies providing solutions for social changes. Each student in this cohort will use this funding to explore different social influences on Manitoban communities, ranging from the portrayal of rape myths in the police service to the documentation of oral histories from survivors of The Manitoba Developmental Centre.

Receiving an SSHRC grant is a reassurance of my academic abilities. It’s a boost of confidence and a personal reminder of my capabilities. It is a material reminder that I am living up to and exceeding the demands and expectations of a graduate program.

Kyle Lowen

Myla Held

Held’s oral history thesis will examine how the closure of The Manitoba Developmental Centre in Portage la Prairie has impacted previous intellectual disability residents. Using the work of institutional theorists as a basis, Held will interview survivors of The Manitoba Developmental Centre about their experiences inside and outside of the institution.

“It is important to document their narratives,” said Held, “to ensure that large institutions do not arise again in the future.” This research is a powerful contribution to research on victimization within institutional settings, documenting one of the last institutions housing persons with intellectual disabilities.

Elise Diplock 

This recent Criminal Justice studies graduate will start her research on how local police and media select and represent missing persons. Diplock will conduct interviews with media relations experts from the Winnipeg Police Service and local media outlets to find patterns in which missing persons cases are being reported and why.

Through this research, Diplock hopes to fill the gap on the topic of missing persons in Canada.

“Given the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, I believe that research on missing persons is vital,” said Diplock.

Her hope is that this research will help law enforcement in their response to missing persons and how the media can be a tool to reduce the volume of missing persons in Manitoba.

Janae Dandewich 

As someone who is invested in the well-being of all women, Dandewich leapt at the opportunity to investigate the use of rape myths in the Winnipeg Police Services and local media. After taking an interpersonal violence class as a part of her undergraduate degree, she saw the extent women go to protect themselves from becoming victims of sexual assault.

“We did an activity in this class where we discussed how people protect themselves from being sexually assaulted,” said Dandewich. “Us women filled an entire whiteboard of proactive measures, whereas the men didn’t even cover a quarter of theirs.”

Dandewich’s research will look at the use of rape myths in Winnipeg Police Service press releases and Twitter posts and compare them to local news stories to see the difference in representation. With this information, Dandewich hopes to spark policy change in how sexual assaults are discussed, creating a safer environment for those who want to report their experiences.

Bilguundari Enkhtugs 

Known as “Dari” by friends and colleagues, this graduate student seeks to examine the impact of maternal incarceration on families with young children. Her focus will explore shifts in family dynamics, food insecurity, and social anxiety among children whose mothers have been incarcerated.

“A safe and healthy community starts with community investment, an investment in education and safety, including food security and a healthy diet, for kids and youth,” said Enkhtugs.

Through innovative data gathering methods, Enkhtugs will use her results to influence policies related to family support in Canadian justice systems.

Danielle Hermann

This former UWinnipeg soccer player and Honours Psychology graduate proposes to study why Canadians request exemption from participating in jury duty. As there is limited knowledge of Canadian jurors, Hermann attempts to find out more about perceptions and issues of jury duty among Canadians.

“Whether it is perceptions of jury duty or the language used in jury summons, I want to know why Canadians ask to not participate in jury duty,” said Hermann.

Her hope is that this research can influence policies relating to jury selection and participation ultimately resulting in an increase in jury attendance in Canadian courtrooms.

Kyle Lowen

As a lifelong hockey fan and music lover, Lowen enjoys attending Jets hockey games and concerts at Canada Life Centre. While at these events, he noticed an influx of policing, which sparked his interest in how these events are policed. For his research project, Lowen will seek to uncover the balance between social control measures and policing efforts in Winnipeg’s sports, hospitality, and entertainment district. The focus of his research will be on the influences of these measures on marginalized populations around Canada Life Centre, which hosts a variety of events in the heart of Winnipeg.

With this SSHRC grant, Lowen is excited to begin his project as a researcher.

“Receiving an SSHRC grant is a reassurance of my academic abilities,” said Lowen. “It’s a boost of confidence and a personal reminder of my capabilities. It is a material reminder that I am living up to and exceeding the demands and expectations of a graduate program.”

Lowen is hopeful that his research efforts will influence policy on how public and private policing is conducted in urban areas, particularly at large events.

The Department of Criminal Justice at The University of Winnipeg is an interdisciplinary program that intersects with criminology, sociology, psychology, education, and history. Visit the Department of Criminal Justice webpage to learn more about their programs.