Graduate Scholar Recipients

Scott Ellis Ann O’Connor
Donabelle C. Hess H. Monty Montgomery
Christine Hochbaum
M. David Kessler

Graduate Scholar Winners

Scott Ellis
A relative newcomer to the sexual health and HIV sector, Scott is a 2008 graduate of the University of East London’s (UEL) Gay Men’s Health Promotion certificate. Currently working in the third sector specialising in HIV prevention with gay men, he is also working towards his BSc (Hons) in Health Promotion at UEL. He is developing a research project in sexual health for his final year of study at this level which will study in more detail the lived experiences of HIV positive MSM in the UK. Minority groups are of special interest in Scott’s work and he has actively taken part in leading workshops and developing training for marginalised groups such as young gay men from structurally homophobic countries. He is delighted to be taking part in the 2010 Diversity Conference and looks forward to the opportunity for learning and progress it provides.

Donabelle C. Hess
Donabelle C. Hess is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of Oklahoma. Her field of interest is to research on the theories of social inequality and conduct field studies on how to break down hostilities and fears between peoples – bridging the racial, cultural, gender, age, socioeconomic disparity in American society. Her current research explores theories of colonialism, Americanization, and transnationalism as they relate to identity construction and intergenerational conflict in Filipino American families. In addition, her research also involves American military life-demands with an emphasis on gender relations in the military and the effect of deployment on the lives of military children. Her professional goals are to develop a non-Western history course with an emphasis on Filipinos in U.S. society and a military sociology course. She earned a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, Norman.

Christine Hochbaum
Christine Hochbaum is a graduate student with a disability at the University of British Columbia. She is currently working towards a doctorate degree in sociology with specialization in the Sociology of Health and Disability and the Sociology of the Family. Prior to her doctoral studies, Christine attained a Master of Arts degree in Family Studies from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Psychology and Conflict Resolution Studies from the University of Winnipeg. Christine’s doctoral research will examine how child disability status and parenting techniques are related to child bebaviour problems. In particular, her research will seek to untangle the question of whether child behavior problems are a result of child characteristics, environmental factors or the reciprocal interchange over time between the environment (parents and others) and the organism (the child). In addition to her studies, Christine is currently employed as a research collaborator on a research project funded by Metropolis British Columbia. Using data from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, this research project examines the degree to which acculturation stress is associated with self-reported health of immigrants and how this association may be mediated by social capital. In conjunction with her research, Christine works as a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses on the Sociology of the Family.

M. David Kessler
David Kessler serves in multiple roles at the University of Texas at San Antonio along with being a full-time student pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education. He is establishing a research agenda in LGBT concerns and academic administration in higher education. For the past twelve years, David has been a student and professional at research universities as well as a small, private, Presbyterian university in the state of Texas. At each institution, he has been an ally and advocate for LGBT students, most recently leading the establishment of a Minor in Sexual and Gender Diversity (LGBT) Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Beyond the campus, David has maintained leadership roles in the higher education student affairs organisation NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, including serving as a National Co-Chair for the GLBT Knowledge Community the past two years.

H. Monty Montgomery
Harpell (Monty) Montgomery is a PhD. candidate in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan. He is of Mi’kmaq ancestry from the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.

Over his career to date, Monty has worked with Indigenous organizations in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and is currently employed with the University of Regina Faculty of Social Work in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Monty’s major fields of professional interest are First Nations child welfare program development and practice; information technology/management for social work practitioners and on-line distance learning with Aboriginal adult learners.

He and his partner relocated to Saskatoon from Victoria BC, in September 2007. They have one daughter who is currently completing a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Victoria. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and hunting.

Ann O’Connor

Ann O’Connor spent more than ten years in the Middle East. She was the administrative director of a 150-bed acute care facility in Saudi Arabia; and the director of an environmental group in Dubai. Today, she is a trainer with Southeastern Louisiana University and a consultant to several branches of the U.S. military. Ann was recognized for her service to the military by Fox 8 News- New Orleans by being awarded the national Jefferson Award for troop training. Ms. O’Connor is an internationally published scholar on military and diversity communication and Islamic literature.
Ann holds a bachelors degree in Organizational Communication and is a full-time graduate student at Southeastern Louisiana University studying Organizational Communication. After completely her masters degree she intends to pursue her PhD in International Organizational Communication.