Left to Right: Ken Rasmussen, Associate Director, JSGS; Elijah Alquist, JSGS student; and André Fortier, Chair of the IPAC Endowment Fund
Left to Right: Ken Rasmussen, Associate Director, JSGS; Elijah Alquist, JSGS student; and André Fortier, Chair of the IPAC Endowment Fund

JSGS student takes bronze award at the Institute of Public Administration of Canada’s national conference

As the first place recipient in the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School’s annual poster competition in April, Elijah Ahlquist was selected by his teammates (Jenn Bergen, Stephanie Barr and Mary Chan) to attend and present at the 63rd IPAC National Annual Conference on August 28-31 in Victoria, B.C.

While at the conference, Ahlquist was awarded the CAPPA-IPAC National Student Thought Leadership Award (bronze) for his poster and presentation. “This is a great accomplishment and reflects the high quality of education provided at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy,” said Elijah. The presentation entitled, Case Study: National Food Labelling in Canada, focused on the economic impact and potential health risks associated with a lack of nutritional information on pre-packaged foods. He argued that though the Canadian government has intervened by regulating producers to include nutrition labels on all pre-packaged foods to inform healthier decisions, consumers vary in their ability to interpret and effectively use this new information. Elijah suggests that additional improvements, such as increased information, graphic codes and third-party endorsements, are needed in order to further remedy this failure.

Elijah found that meeting other regional student poster presenters and discussing their unique research was a valuable opportunity to share knowledge and ideas. “The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) 2011 conference and student thought leadership competition was an incredible experience, one that I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend,” said Ahlquist. “During the conference, I participated in a number of educational sessions and events designed for new professionals, and had endless opportunities to network with members of the public service from all levels of government and regions of Canada.”

This year’s conference brought together officials from all orders of government, and academics and guests from around the world to engage in story-telling and discuss how stories have contributed to the evolution of public administration. Keynote speakers included:

  • Thomas Berger, lawyer, judge and humanitarian, is among the pre-eminent legal figures in British Columbia. 
  • Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer with the Toronto Star, a guest columnist for Le Devoir and L’Actualité, and weekly political panelist on At Issue on CBC’s The National. 
  • Heather Landon is the Chief of Administrative Services for the UN Mission in Sudan. 
  • Elizabeth May is an environmentalist, writer, activist, lawyer and leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. 
  • Wayne G. Wouters is the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, Government of Canada.

For more information on each speaker and their presentations, visit www.ipac.ca

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