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In recent months CAGS has made a commitment to expanding its offering of virtual content, and to providing opportunities for engagement between our members and the higher education community at large.
Building on the success of our first virtual symposia held in November 2020, we are pleased to announce the 2nd CAGS Virtual Symposia, to be held from 26-30 April 2021. This free, week-long event will feature six unique webinars addressing various challenges, opportunities, and inflection points in Canadian graduate education, including student empowerment; the use of digital tools and technologies; strategies for collecting, preserving, and sharing data; equitable inclusion and the struggle against anti-black racism. Discussions on these topics will be led by a diverse group of presenters from across Canada, including deans of graduate studies, faculty members, administrators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career researchers. The goal of this virtual event is to provide a forum for sharing information and experiences, posing questions, and building strategies for adapting to our new environment.
The 2nd CAGS Virtual Symposia will be conducted using the Zoom video conference platform. The webinars are free of charge and registration is open to all deans, associate deans, faculty members, administrators, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. The webinars will be presented in English, and French interpretation will be provided simultaneously through the Zoom platform.
To register for one or more webinar, please click on the links below. Further information about the 2nd CAGS Virtual Symposia please continue reading or write to Ian.Wereley@cags.ca.
Research Data Management (RDM) – The Ins and Outs for Grad Students, Postdocs, and Early Career Researchers
Tuesday, 27 April
12:00 – 2:00 PM (EDT)
Research Data Management (RDM) is increasingly recognized as a key part of the research enterprise in all disciplines. With the recent release of the Tri-Agency Policy on Research Data Management, both researchers and the institutions and people who support them will soon need to implement RDM best practices in their work. This workshop will introduce graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other early career researchers to the fundamentals of both the Tri-Agency Policy and RDM more broadly as it applies to their own research. Participants will be introduced to such essential RDM concepts as metadata, data management plans, data curation, data deposit, and more. Insights will be provided and experiences shared by representatives of the Tri-Agencies; by the Portage Network, a national network of experts dedicated to building RDM capacity and community in Canada; and by graduate students, postdocs, and early-career researchers who are working to implement good RDM practices in their own work.
A panel of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and Informational Professionals from across Canada working in various aspects of RDM.
Adapting Methodologies during the Pandemic using Digital and Arts-Informed Research in the PhD Dissertation: A Dialogue between Supervisor and Supervisees
Wednesday, 28 April
12:00 – 1:30 PM (EDT)
In is sometime said, “The title of your thesis doesn’t matter. The subject doesn’t matter. All that matters is who your advisor is” (2001). The role of a doctoral supervisor is one of unique mentorship, and in the era of Covid-19, unprecedented creativity and adaptation, due to the constraints on traditional field work and data collection methods. Not only must observations be recontextualized (Angrosino, 2005), but digital technologies can substitute for face to face (F2F) interactions. Interviews may be conducted via Zoom, Teams, or Blackboard, as can thesis support groups and meetings. Document and artifact analysis can also be virtually shared, explored, and analyzed without F2F interactions. In this panel discussion, I introduce three of my doctoral supervisees, and their adaptations to research using digital and arts-informed methods (AIR). Jeffrey Thornborrow will share his journey of incorporating comic-based research (Kuttner, Sousanis, & Weaver-Hightower, 2008) as he investigates attachment theory between kindergarten pupils and educators, while Kari Janz explores existentialism and the integrity model of psychotherapy to address the pressing mental health crisis of millennials via fiction writing (Leavy, 2018). Dennis Barrow will chronical his evolving PhD journey during the pandemic, while negotiating ways to research and tell the stories of LGBTQ educational leaders via fictional writing (Leavy, 2018). Together, we seek to (i) re-conceptualize traditional models of graduate mentorship, including the digitalized rapport building between supervisor and supervisees, and (ii) reimagine the methodological role of the arts in doctoral research, during a global pandemic.
The Good and the Bad of Black Grad – Episode 2
“Recruit, Retain, and Represent!”
Wednesday, 28 April
12:00 – 1:30 PM (EDT)
In this episode, we’ll ask our panelists who were the key figures who inspired them along their path. Through our discussion we will define characteristics of leaders in our communities and discuss the importance of diversity in positions of power. We will talk about the necessity of Black representation and how institutions begin to think about recruitment of talented Black scholars to Canadian campuses.
This live webinar and its recording will be preserved and shared with current students and scholars who may be searching for guidance, support, and community on this particular topic.
Building Paths of Self-Discovery & Development: Empowering Graduate Students Through a Digital Platform
Thursday, 29 April
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM (EDT)
A graduate program is an advanced education that trains students in their abilities to acquire, interpret, produce, and analyze research at an advanced level (Boland, 2002). The demographic of graduate students within higher education have shifted (Polson, 2003), moving away from the traditional full-time, young, cis-white male, to a more heterogeneous graduate student population. As such, the needs of graduate students have shifted (Poison 1999), as well as the requisite value graduate students bring to their respective institutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a heterotopia, halting progress, and allowing the re-examination and imagination of graduate student engagement. The College of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Saskatchewan embraced this time to pivot how we engage and view graduate students from entry to completion. In stark comparison to previous generations, graduate students seek information that is not only programmatic in nature, but also how to manage competing responsibilities, navigating non-traditional career frameworks, harmonizing family commitments, and building meaningful professional and personal connections. To complicate matters further, faculty members’ also face increased obligations that often conflict with student supervisory responsibilities. Faculty must balance robust research programs, teaching and academy engagement with the individual development each graduate student.
USask’s Grad HUB reinvents the graduate student’s path taking a holistic approach to our relationships with graduate students, while reimagining the value and role that graduate students play within our institution. By design, the Grad HUB is an online self-directed website (Britto & Rush, 2013) that empowers student agency to take control of their graduate journey. As an informational focal point for both new and returning students, the Grad HUB is a centralized location of synthesized information presented through a student lens. In a thematic approach, the Grad HUB leads students on a path of self-discovery from transition, arrival, and navigation of the academy, to developing their unique blueprint for success. Along the way we create thoughtful connections and thought-provoking content that students would otherwise need to ‘experience’. As examples: how one may wish to dress for cold weather, an introduction of colloquialisms, how to successfully manage competing deadlines, how to engage in a critical conversation and more. The HUB also introduces students to the institution’s learning management system allowing students to take a deeper dive into HUB content while also facilitating predevelopment of soft skills graduate students rely on throughout their program.
Our approach embraces the complexity of graduate students’ roles within the institution by introducing development opportunities during the student life cycle, not only as students, but as influencers and as champions of graduate education. Our innovative platform leads students to self-discover their own unique independent learning plan while introducing academy norms. We match institutional preparatory activities and professional development with tools and pathways that lead to skillset development for various roles to which they will engage throughout their graduate student experience.
Incoming graduate students are introduced to the HUB from the point of receiving an admission letter and at a variety of pre-designed intersecting points throughout their program. The objective of our digital platform, The Grad Hub, is to onboard graduate students in a way that is iterative, collaborative, inventive and evolutional; underpinned by institutional framework.
This presentation shares the story of the value we place on graduate education and the students that pursue it. We share what led us to create an innovative platform that places an emphasis on graduate students. We will talk about the importance of collaboration, opening to change and knowing when to adapt.
Town Hall with Dr. Ted Hewitt – President of SSHRC
Friday, 30 April
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (EDT)
In this one-hour virtual Town Hall event, participants will have an opportunity to meet and converse with Dr. Ted Hewitt, President of SSHRC. Dr. Hewitt will provide an update and overview of what is new at SSHRC, and field questions from the audience through a moderated Q&A session.
Dr. Hewitt is eager to interact with CAGS members, to learn how the pandemic has affected their research, and to gain a sense of their priorities and challenges going forward. The event is open to all, but faculty members, administrators, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows are especially encouraged to attend. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their perspectives.
Innovation in Research Creation in Art and Design – A Showcase of Graduate Students from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD)
Friday, 30 April
1:00 – 3:00 PM (EDT)
This online event will be hosted by CAGS and chaired by Steven Lam, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and feature six graduate student panelists. Each panelist will be asked to present for 8 minutes on their research process and creative practice in connection to innovation and research-creation, defined as “an approach to research that combines creative and academic research practices, and supports the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation.” Panelists will be students of the MDes and MFA programs at Emily Carr.
The panel will be followed by a Q&A and discussion with the attendees, who will include graduate faculty, students, administrators and staff from across Canada. This will be a great opportunity to share your work with a broad audience and provide insight into graduate research at Emily Carr.