Scholarships

Awarded annually in June to a graduate student in the Faculty of Education based on academic achievement and research on violence prevention and student well-being in schools. The award will be determined annually by an adjudication committee that will consist of: Claire Crooks, Ray Hughes, Peter Jaffe and David Wolfe that will select recipients based on merit according to the award terms.

Dr. David Wolfe is a Senior Research Scholar and Professor with the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at the Faculty of Education at Western University. He held the inaugural RBC Chair in Children’s Mental Health from 2002 to 2012 and served as Editor-in-Chief of Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal from 2007 to 2012. Dr. Wolfe is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, past President of Division 37 (Child, Youth, and Family Services), and received a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He is a recipient of the Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science from the Canadian Psychological Association and the Blanche L. Ittleson Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Delivery of Children’s Services and the Promotion of Children’s Mental Health from the American Orthopsychiatry Association. He has provided extensive assessment and consultation to child protective services, schools, and the courts with respect to issues of child abuse and violence.

The Centre for School Mental Health is proud to issue this award valued at $1,500.00.

2016 Recipient - Caely Dunlop

Congratulations to Caely Dunlop who has been awarded the David Wolfe Scholarship in Research on Violence Prevention. Caely is completing her MA in Applied Psychology at the Faculty of Education this month. Over the past two years, she has connected directly with facilitators and youth across Ontario and the Northwest Territories to gain their perspectives on healthy relationship programming. Caely's contributions to academic publications, stakeholder reports, and knowledge mobilization efforts in the areas of school mental health and interpersonal violence have demonstrated her passion and dedication to research on violence prevention and student well-being in schools. These attributes are supported through receipt of this new award created by the Fourth R Team in recognition of Dr. David Wolfe. For the past 35 years, he has shared this same drive to advance knowledge and extend support strategies on children's mental health. His extensive assessment and consultation to child protective services, schools, and the courts with respect to issues of child abuse and violence are exemplary and ongoing.

Caely Dunlop will return in the fall to further pursue her passion for violence prevention and mental health promotion among children and youth when she begins her Ph.D. in School and Applied Child Psychology. Keep up the great work Caely!

2017 Recipients - Laura Olszowy & Michael Saxton

Congratulations to Laura Olszowy and Michael Saxton who have been awarded the David Wolfe Scholarship in Research on Violence Prevention.

Laura Olszowy is a doctoral student in School and Applied Child Psychology at Western University under the supervision of Dr. Peter Jaffe. Previously, she completed an M.A. in Counselling Psychology and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociocultural Anthropology, both at Western University. Broadly, her research has focused on the intervention and prevention of domestic violence. Her doctoral research focuses on the challenges that child protection workers face in assessing and managing risk and planning for safety in the lives of children and families impacted by domestic violence.  Her clinical experiences in the social service and education sectors have illuminated the key role that community collaborations have in providing support to those impacted by domestic violence. Together, her research and clinical experiences have furthered her passion to raise awareness on this topic.

Michael Saxton is in year two of his Ph.D. studies in Applied Psychology at the Faculty of Education under the supervision of Dr. Peter Jaffe. The majority of Michael’s work pertains to researching domestic violence and the workplace. Michael is currently working on a number of projects within the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children at the Faculty of Education including the Domestic Violence @ Work Network.

Congratulations Laura and Michael!

2018 Recipient - Amanda Kerry

Congratulations to Amanda Kerry who has been awarded the David Wolfe Scholarship in Research on Violence Prevention. Amanda is in year three of her Ph.D. in School & Applied Child Psychology at the Faculty of Education. Through her clinical experiences at the MA and Ph.D. level, Amanda has honed her focus in furthering the work of preventing domestic violence and other forms of interpersonal violence. With previous experiences in corrections, child and mother support, and therapy for men who engaged in abusive behaviours, this has led Amanda most recently in her doctoral studies to implement and adapt the Fourth R Health Relationships Plus Program (HRPP), a small groups program targeting violence prevention and healthy relationships, in the youth justice system. Her research is specifically examining the feasibility and fit of the adapted HRPP program to better meet the needs of youth offenders and fit the constraints of a correctional setting. Amanda’s passion and focus in this work will allow her to continuously make meaningful contributions to the field and conversations on relational violence, just as Dr. David Wolfe did.

Congratulations Amanda on winning this distinguished award. 

2019 Recipient - Courtney Cadieux

Congratulations to Courtney Cadieux who has been awarded the 2019 David Wolfe Scholarship in Research on Violence Prevention.

Courtney Cadieux is a second year Master's student in the School and Applied Child Psychology program at Western University's Faculty of Education under the supervision of Dr. Clare Crooks. Previously, she completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Western University. Courtney’s current research focuses on the Parent in Partnership with Educators Program (PIPE) - an intervention for families who are struggling to communicate with schools around the mental health needs of their children, especially those navigating the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process. Courtney conducted a small pilot study where she conducted a file review of ten families as well as eight interviews with parents who have completed the program.

Courtney has been a research assistant at the Centre for School Mental Health during her time as a master’s student and has been involved in a number of ongoing projects including Making Mindfulness Matter (M3), Teach Resiliency, the Fourth R, and the Healthy Relationships Program (HRP).

Courtney is set to defend her thesis in June 2019 and will continue as a doctoral student in the fall of 2019 under the supervision of Dr. Crooks.



Awarded annually in June to a pre-service teacher in the Faculty of Education who has demonstrated innovative practices in violence prevention curriculum or programming in schools. The award will be determined annually by an adjudication committee that will consist of: Claire Crooks, Ray Hughes, Peter Jaffe and Dave Wolfe and will select recipients based on merit according to the award terms.

Ray Hughes is a Founding Partner for The Fourth R program with the Centre for School Mental Health at the Faculty of Education at Western University. He had a distinguished career in education with over 35 years of experience as a teacher, Department Head, university lecturer, and consultant. Ray was involved in coordinating the implementation of violence prevention programs for 190 schools and 80,000 students in his position as the Learning Coordinator for Violence Prevention with the Thames Valley District School Board in London, Ontario. He was also a member of the Ontario Safe Schools Action Team, whose mandate was to draw on best practices from across Ontario and to advise the Minister of Education on all aspects of school safety. Ray continues to provide regular professional development to superintendents, school administrators, teachers, parents, and students on violence prevention and safe schools initiatives. He has developed and implemented school-based programs related to substance abuse, domestic violence, gender equity, dating violence, human sexuality, interpersonal violence, conflict resolution, and bullying prevention. Ray has also developed a safe schools course for teacher candidates in Faculties of Education.

The Centre for School Mental Health is proud to issue this award valued at $1,500.00.

2016 Recipient - Adam Manery

Congratulations to Adam Manery who has been awarded the Ray Hughes Scholarship on Innovative Practices in Violence Prevention. Adam is enrolled in the new two-year Bachelor of Education program, studying to become an Intermediate/Senior teacher in the History and Social Sciences disciplines. Last year Adam moved from Alberta to pursue the opportunity to join a cohort that specializes in the Advanced Studies in the Psychology of Achievement, Inclusion, and Mental Health. The passion to enact positive and long-lasting change in schools as an educator is alive in Adam and this is recognized by the new Ray Hughes award. As the National Coordinator for the 4th R program with the Centre for School Mental Health at the Faculty of Education, Ray continues to model the epitome of leadership for violence prevention in schools. His ability to reach superintendents, school administrators, teachers, parents and students to deliver meaningful training programs that influence behaviour and policy change is truly commendable.

Congratulations Adam on winning this distinguished award!

2018 Recipient - Steven Budafalvi

It is our pleasure to announce Steven Budafalvi as the 2018 recipient of the Ray Hughes Scholarship on Innovative Practices in Violence Prevention. Steven is a year two Pre-Service Teacher, Primary/Junior stream in the Bachelor of Education Program at the Faculty of Education. His studies primarily emphasize achievement, inclusion and mental health in the classroom. With a background in kinesiology and physical education, special education, and adult and continuing education, Steven is passionately committed to fairness and safety for all in the learning environment; embracing diversity and all learning styles; promoting respect, acceptance and inclusion among all; and empowering students. Outside of the classroom, Steven is an avid traveller where he continues to advance his teaching experiences with opportunities in British Columbia and Switzerland thus far. Aside from his commitment to academia, Steven also maintained his membership and leadership as a captain on the Western men’s varsity water polo team in 2016 and 2017. Steven is described by supervisors as professional, caring, dedicated, and well organized among many other traits. His sincere interest in the education system and how educators assist learners is very much recognized in this award.

Keep up the great work Steven!

2019 Recipient - Helena Pirgionas

It is our pleasure to announce the 2019 recipient of the Ray Hughes Scholarship on Innovative Practices in Violence Prevention, Helena Pirgionias. Helena is within the most recent cohort to graduate from the Bachelor of Education degree program at the Faculty of Education at Western University. Helena completed her degree in the Intermediate/Senior cohort with teachable subjects in History and in particular, French. Her efforts to learn and apply violence prevention efforts in the school and classroom setting stem from the Safe Schools course with Dr. Peter Jaffe and her opportunity to complete the Fourth R Grade 9 Health and Physical Education training for French Catholic students. Helena describes many situations where she has drawn on policies, healthy relationship tactics and violence prevention efforts in her practicum that refer back to her learnings at the Faculty of Education. 

Now that she understands and has seen first hand the positive effects of ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all students and staff, Helena now describes herself as a committed educator in implementing violence prevention initiatives within the classroom and school community at large. Congratulations Helena on this well-deserved award!