Experts studying social phenomena receive Excellence in Media Relations Awards

Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The University of Ottawa is pleased to announce the winners of its 2014 Excellence in Media Relations Awards for the Research category. The recipients, Tracy Vaillancourt, Faculty of Education and School of Psychology, and Claude Messier, School of Psychology, were exceptionally successful in translating their knowledge and research findings to media across all platforms.

Claude Messier and his research on linking unusual brain activity to out-of-body experiences received an incredible amount of media attention, both in English and French. His contributions to the media, while scientific, managed to preserve the human side of the experiences. The national and international media it garnered played a key role in enhancing the University of Ottawa's research reputation. His article in Frontiers in Human Sciences ranked 5th place among 1721 articles, received over 280 mentions in social media and was referenced close to 70,000 times across the globe. Professor Messier's research interests include functional changes produced by memory processing, cognitive aging, physiology and neuropsychology of memory, brain and diabetes, adult neurogenesis and interactive voice response systems and neuropsychological tests.

Tracy Vaillancourt is Canada Research Chair in Children's Mental Health and Violence Prevention. Her research examines the links between aggression and bio-psychosocial functioning and mental health, with particular focus on bully-victim relations. She is currently leading a Community-University Research Alliance on the prevention and intervention of bullying. She is a core member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies. Her research has been featured in close to 100 national and international outlets, including BBC World News, New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes Magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Psychology Today. Professor Vaillancourt's research interests include aggression, bullying in schools, social neuroscience and mental health.

We thank all the nominees and University of Ottawa professors who share their knowledge, research and expertise with the media. In doing so, they provide a service to the University and to the community at large by educating the broader public and encouraging discussion on a variety of topics that affect our lives. The Excellence in Media Relations Award, a prize worth $5000, is given annually to two University of Ottawa faculty members to recognize their outstanding service.  There are two categories for this award which alternate each year: Research and Commentary.

The University would also like to thank the journalists who made up the 2014 selection panel for their hard work reviewing all the nominations and making the final decisions. We look forward to continuing this collaborative effort in the future.

Media inquiries

Danika Gagnon
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 2981
Cell: 613-863-7221

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