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Graduate Students’ Association introduces new interdisciplinary symposium

Opportunity for collaborations amongst UCalgary graduate students; abstract deadline Jan. 29
January 27, 2017
From left: Tatum Mitra, Run Ze Yang, and Nedal Marei. Photo by Thao Nguyen, Graduate Students' Association

From left: Tatum Mitra, Run Ze Yang, and Nedal Marei. Photo by Thao Nguyen, Graduate Students' Association 

Graduate student collaborations will be the cornerstone of the Peer Beyond Graduate Research Symposium hosted by the Graduate Students’ Association’s (GSA) Academic Standing Committee on Feb. 22.

The symposium, which will be held in MacEwan Hall, is open to all departments and abstracts are being accepted until Jan. 29.

Runze Yang, chair of the GSA Academic Standing Committee, and the other committee members developed the concept for the symposium during the summer of 2016 because the committee “wanted to come up with ways to help students excel in academia.”

Yang anticipates the symposium to be an opportunity for collaborations amongst UCalgary graduate students.

“The conference will create an opportunity for grad students to explore what everyone else is doing, and by that process it not only opens more doors for collaborations but it will also enhance the graduate community as a whole,” says Yang.

The day long symposium will include the following:

  • Oral presentations,
  • poster presentations,
  • a keynote speech from Dr. Lisa Young, and
  • professional development workshops.

Some of the speakers currently scheduled for the workshops are D’Arcy Norman, manager of learning technologies at the Taylor Institute, who will be speaking about the use of advanced learning technologies, and Dr. Isabelle Barrette-Ng, of the Department of Biological Sciences and the SAGES program, will be presenting on alternatives to the lecture.

Registration is free to graduate students. The symposium is funded by GSA Quality Money and will also provide participants with a free breakfast and lunch.

Tatum Mitra, graduate student in kinesiology and member of the GSA Academic Standing Committee, is excited for the possibilities that the symposium will bring to graduate students because of its interdisciplinary nature.

“I really hope we have high participation,” says Mitra. “I think it’s a great way to network. It’s a great opportunity to share research in a campus setting.”

Students who are interested in participating should submit abstracts that Yang says should be “creative, well thought out, not full of jargon, and shows rigorous data.”

This is the first event of its kind that the GSA will be hosting, and its executives are looking forward to its outcomes.

“I’d like to see this become an annual event,” says Sam Hossack, president of the GSA. “It has the potential to provide a very useful, positive experience for many of our graduate students.”