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Recipient of the Black Excellence Graduate Scholarship, Pamphilious ‘Phil’ Faanu

PhD student receives the department of political science’s Black Excellence Graduate scholarship

The scholarship helps support Black political scientists at the start of their careers.

Oct 06, 2022

PhD student Pamphilious ‘Phil’ Faanu is the inaugural recipient of the department of political science’s Black Excellence Graduate Scholarship. 

Originally from Ghana where he worked as a high school teacher, Faanu always knew that he would eventually study at McMaster University. McMaster’s reputation for rigorous academic work and the strength of the research community compelled Faanu to apply. After completing his Master of Arts in political science at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Faanu applied and was accepted to McMaster’s PhD in Political Science (International Relations) program.

“I was so excited and happy when I got my acceptance email,” he said. “Then when I got the information about the scholarship, I felt like the world was celebrating with me.” 

Faanu will work with political science professor, Nathan Andrews, on a variety of research interests, but most focused on the international political economy of the extraction of natural resources. He is specifically interested in the gender dynamics of stakeholder engagement in mining communities in the developing world. This topic is essential and close to his heart, after witnessing how mining communities and women are mostly at the margins of decision-making in the extractive industry.

“I’ve always had an interest in natural resource and environmental related issues and the impact they have on people. For my master’s degree, my research was Extractive Practices in Ghana’s Mining Sector: The Case of Chinese Artisanal activities and the impact on Rural Livelihoods and Development.”

He plans to focus his research on the strategic stakeholder engagement practices of mining firms and how they contribute to gender parity in Ghana and South Africa.

Speaking on the award at its announcement, political science professor and member of the department of political science’s Anti-Racism Working Group, Peter Nyers said, “The award is part of a wider effort to increase diversity in the Department and to provide financial support to equity-seeking groups. It is also a partial fulfilment of the Department’s commitments in its June 2020 Statement on Anti-Black Racism regarding developing scholarships for visible minorities.”

Once his degree is completed, Faanu hopes to return to teaching, pursuing a career in academia.