Leah Schmidt, MPhil in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies, University of Cambridge, UK (Rotary Club of Calgary and Rotary Club of Cambridge South), Global Grant Scholar, 2017-2018

Leah is an MPhil student in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Cambridge (Queen’s College), where she studies feminist approaches to international relations and security studies, with a focus on theorizing embodied subjects under violence. Leah has worked with Amnesty International, Global Affairs Canada, and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations (NYC) and is a passionate advocate for politicalized marginal identities.
In her previous professional experience, she has supported research on the national American Women’s Rights policy blueprint for the 2017 Federal Presidential Administration under the National Organization for Women; spent three years leading queer advocacy and safe space creation as Coordinator of the University of Calgary Student’s Union Q Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity; was selected as the Girls and Young Women’s Advisory Council Representative under Status of Women Canada; and served as a post-secondary representative for the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women and the Disabled Woman’s Network of Canada. She has also served in various conference leadership positions for the National Collegiate Conference Association (National Model UN), University of Calgary High School Model UN, the national Political Science Students’ Association, World Health Organization Simulation, and has led the University of Calgary Model United Nations Team to rank in the Top 50 North American Teams, among involvement with numerous other student clubs and organizations.
Leah is a Fulbright Canada Killam Fellow, having previously completed graduate research on queer theories and discursive pedagogies at American University in Washington, DC. She has also received the Top 30 Under 30 Award, the Laurence Decore Award for Student Leadership, the Alyson Woloshyn Legacy of Leadership Award, and the Chevening Scholarship for her work in grassroots social justice organizing.
As a student, she was a competitive Irish Dancer, classical vocalist, and jazz pianist, and is currently directing Alberta’s first full-length documentary on queer and social justice organizing as Artist-in-Resident under Fairytales Queer Presentation Society.
Upon the completion of her graduate studies, Leah aims to continue representing Canada in human rights and anti-violence policy work on the international stage through forums under the United Nations. She is excited to visit the UK for the first time, and thrilled to get the opportunity to explore all of the academic, cultural, and professional opportunities Cambridge has to offer.
See where Leah’s career has taken her since her Global Grant Scholarship by visiting her LinkedIn page or following her on Twitter at @lmschmidt42.