July 13, 2021

UCalgary Political Science Congratulates: Karolina Krisandova!

2020–21 winner of the Silver Medallion for Political Science!
Krisandova Banner

Medallions presented at convocation are among the most prestigious of University awards. These awards reflect the highest academic distinction earned by a student in a particular discipline.

Silver Medallions: Each department (or equivalent unit) awards one silver medallion to the student graduating with the highest distinction in scholarship in their program.


How did you decide on Political Science as your Major? Were you tempted by any other programs?

I could never really see myself studying anything else, truth to be told. In my early teens, I used to meticulously put aside a portion of my allowance for a monthly magazine that focused on European political affairs, which would have my grandmother shake her head and ask “what will become of you?” Later in grammar school, a series of sensational WikiLeaks revelations imbued the subject matter with excitement a sense of rebelliousness. Simply put, Political Science asks questions that I have always been interested in, both about inter-human relationships and their overarching governance structures. It’s an incredibly diverse field of study that draws on many other disciplines, which makes it that much more stimulating. Nevertheless, as a huge space nerd, I like to joke that if physics was just a bit friendlier, majoring in Astronomy might have come as a close second.

K Headshot

As the Silver Medallion winner, you have obviously had a very successful university experience: is there any advice or tips that you’d like to share?

I owe much of my success to having had instructors who inspired both academic curiosity and meticulousness. When you are a recent immigrant, you feel like you have a lot to prove. While this can be an excellent drive, it can also easily make academia seem dauntingly all-consuming. Therefore, the best advice I can give is to ground yourself in your community. For much of my undergrad, I volunteered at the Women’s Resource Centre, where I not only found an excellent support system, but also a place to meaningfully implement and expand the knowledge and skills I was gaining through my education.

Where has your degree taken you so far?

I suspect that none of us expected to be making major life decisions during an ongoing global pandemic. My plan for next year is to pursue a master’s degree in Public Policy with an emphasis on global justice. At the moment, I’m working as a Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator at Mosqoy, a non-profit organization that works with the Quechua population in Peru towards global sustainability and local resilience, a cause that is very close to my heart.


Congratulations to Karolina Krisandova on winning the 2020–21 Silver Medallion in Political Science!

Karolina was previously the 2019-20 winner of the Barbara and Murray Smith Scholarship in Canadian Politics! You can read more about Karolina and the Scholarship by visiting our website. 

To find out more about our paper prizes and past prize winners, please visit the Political Science website.