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Bermudian student in Canada receives research grants

Tierrai Tull (File photograph)

A Bermudian student living in Canada has been awarded research grants that she will use to study society’s relationship with cultural appropriation.

Tierrai Tull, 22, said she intended to expand on a research project she started while studying abroad in London after winning the University of Toronto Excellence Award and the Professor Frank Peers Award for International Study and Experience.

Ms Tull said that she could not share much about the project but hoped to expand on a previous project through this research grant.

She added: “The main point was to get research experience and see if this is something that I would want to continue with.

“I think now I’m less afraid of postgraduate research. I think this time abroad helped me understand what I want to study.”

The UofT Excellence Award offers undergraduate students a chance at conducting or participating in research projects over the summer.

Projects, through the award, often receive several thousands of dollars of funding, much of which comes from the school.

The Frank Peers Award is given to two or more students enrolled in a political science major or programme who plan to study abroad or take up internships.

Ms Tull said that she had applied for the UofT Excellence Award to prepare herself for the intense research of graduate school.

She told The Royal Gazette that she grew up with “this mystical perception of research” when it came to academia, but wanted to get a better understanding of the work that would go into postgraduate studies.

Ms Tull got a small taste of research after participating in a course about qualitative research methods while studying in London.

She took part in a project that studied how cultural appropriation, or the theft and misuse of important elements from another culture, appeared in human behaviour, history and business models.

Ms Tull explained: “If you look up yoga online, for example, is the first thing you see going to be an Indian yogi from several thousand years ago or is it going to be a White suburban instructor?”

She also used the project to analyse how often certain cultures suffered appropriation.

Ms Tull said that, although she was not particularly confident that she would win the award, she had no plans on stopping her research project if things did not pan out in her favour.

She said: “My intentions for applying were incredibly personal and connected to the goals I set for myself.

“I’ve learnt there’s more than one way to do things and I held that close while waiting for a decision.”

Ms Tull added that her success was a reminder that international students, particularly Bermudian college students, could garner great success in their academic field despite sometimes feeling outnumbered.

She explained that she received her awards “not because I’m exceptional, but because I’m representative of what happens when we take sponsorship and mentorship seriously”.

Mr Tull added: “I think everyone knows that Bermudians can achieve great things.”

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Published June 10, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated June 10, 2023 at 7:25 am)

Bermudian student in Canada receives research grants

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