The winners of the 2023 National Student and Thought Leadership Awards!

June 29, 2023


The Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) and the Institute of Public Administration in Canada (IPAC) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 National Student and Thought Leadership Awards!

The National Student and Thought Leadership Awards in Public Administration, a joint initiative of CAPPA and IPAC, are a set of two awards that recognize talent in Canadian public administration and policy programs at the regional and national levels. They highlight excellence in public administration and showcases the top talent emerging from Canadian programs each year.  The five recipients of the National Student Award for 2023 were nominated by CAPPA-member programs in Public Administration, Public Policy, or Public Management in recognition of their overall program and leadership contributions, outstanding research, or excellent capstone or thesis work undertaken during the 2022-23 year.


The National Thought Leadership Awards recognize excellence in research that pushes boundaries. IPAC National provides prizes for the top three presentations, as well as a complimentary registration for the IPAC National annual conference (

This year’s winners are:

Gold:   Rebecca Van Massehoven, Brock University, “Navigating Environmental Governance in Canada: The Importance of Understanding Participatory Environmental Governance”

Silver:  Melodie De Marinis, York University, “Perspectives of Working Mothers in the Ontario Public Service on Hybrid Work Arrangements”

Bronze:  Julie Matthews, Western University, “The Binner’s Project: How innovative local economic development strategies can help address wicked problems”

Work by the five winners of the National Student Award will be viewable online at the and websites in the coming weeks.  Look for work from the following outstanding students:

Kwaku Ayisi, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina Campus

Melodie De Marinis, York University

John Halligan, McMaster University

Julie Matthews, Western University

Rebecca Van Massehoven, Brock University


Thank you to the members of the Award Jury, Dr. Elizabeth Schwartz, Dr. Brooke Jeffrey, and Mr. Sam Andrey, for their time and service to the public administration community. Belle Young at the University of Victoria coordinated applications and award logistics, for which we thank her.

Thank you also to the programs, departments, and schools who nominated talented students for these awards.  We encourage you to participate in next year’s National Student and Thought Leadership Award process, and look for the call for nominations in Spring 2024.

For any questions about this year’s award, please contact Dr. Andrea Rounce on behalf of CAPPA at andrea.rounce@u