School of Graduate Studies

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Graduate Studies

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What is Grad Chat?

A 30 minute radio show featuring one to two graduate students each week.  This is an opportunity for our grad students to showcase their research to the Queen's and Kingston community and how it affects us.  From time to time we will also interview a post-doc or an alum or interview grad students in relation to something topical for the day.

Grad Chat is a collaboration between the School of Graduate Studies and CFRC 101.9FM

How To Sign Up

Just print off and fill in the "Interviewee Form" (70KB).  Return it to Colette in the SGS office at steerc@queensu.ca 

Actual interviews are done on Mondays between 10:00am and 12:00pm each week in the CFRC recording rooms.  A schedule will be organised with those who have signed up already.

Opportunities of Grad Chat

  • For grad students to showcase their research to a bigger audience
  • For grad students to practice talking to the media
  • For Queen’s and Kingston to hear about graduate research on campus
  • As a recruitment tool via the podcasts made which will be posted on our website and program websites.
  • For our alumni to talk about what they researched and where they are now to show grad degree employability

Winter 2017 Podcasts

April 18th, 2017

Interviewee - Theresa Ainsworth

Theresa Ainsworth - MA in Classics, supervised by Dr Daryn Lehoux

Research: Bees and Medicine in Ancient Greece

Overview:My research is mainly in the field of ancient science. For my final research paper, I hope to look at the importance of beekeeping in ancient Greece, the connection between the bees’ status as a sacred animal and the extensive use of its bi-products (i.e. honey and beeswax) in ancient medical practice, and whether or not there is any surviving evidence for apiary trade/industrialization in antiquity. I am also interested in ancient astronomical theory, and how the sacred and scientific interacted in that area.

Also if you wish to send in an article for the new peer reviewed journal, go to the Classics website for more details.

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April 11th, 2017

Interviewee - Suyin Olguin

Suyin Olguin - PhD in English, Language & Literature, supervised by Dr Brooke Cameron

Research: Food, Masculinity, and the Science of Nutrition in the Victorian novel

Overview: Suyin's dissertation will bring into conversation social and historical scholarship concerning food and literary works by Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hughes, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, Robert L. Stevenson, and Bram Stoker to argue that good health, achieved through a balanced diet of animal flesh, fruits, and vegetables, was regarded as a primary trait of Victorian manhood and crucial to the betterment of the English nation. My project is divided into three intersecting subjects—food, science, and masculinity—to highlight the connection between health, gender politics, and national identity.

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April 4th, 2017

Interviewee - Stefan Merchant

Stefan Merchant - PhD in Education, supervised by Dr Don Klinger

Research: How Ontario teachers assess learning skills and work habits

Overview:Teachers all across Canada are expected to assess and report upon student learning skills and work habits, but very little is known about how they do this. Except in rare cases, teachers receive no training on how to assess learning skills and work habits, and thus far, none of the research on teacher grading has investigated this portion of the report card. This research looks at how teachers define the different learning skills and work habits, how they distinguish between different levels of achievement, and how they make grading decisions.

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March 28th, 2017

Interviewee - Christopher Bennett

Christopher Bennett - MA in Gender Studies, supervised by Dr Jane Tolmie

Research: Representations of trauma in the ‘It Gets Better Project’

Overview: Chris' thesis is concerned with how trauma is represented and articulated in social activism, specifically concerning how the suicides of queer youth are represented in the It Gets Better Project (IGBP). To this end, hisresearch question is as follows: How is trauma represented in the IGBP and what sort of cultural work do these representations do? He argues that the representations of trauma in the IGBP (re)produce a narrative of trauma inundated with notions of whiteness that constructs queer subjectivity as emerging through and from white subjectivity whereby the queer subject is always already both the white subject and the traumatized subject. The narrative of trauma here is built upon three assumptions: first, that all queer youth experience trauma as an effect of being queer; second, that through this normalization there is also a homogenization of suffering; finally, that this normalization and homogenization leads to the erasure of other traumas, even those experienced by other queer youth..

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March 21st, 2017

Interviewee - Heather Braund

Heather Braund- PhD in Education, supervised by Dr Christopher DeLuca

Research: Developing elementary students’ metacognition through formative assessment practices and effective feedback

Overview:Heather's research investigates how teachers’ formative assessment practices can be used as a tool to promote the development of metacognition and self-regulated learning in their elementary students. With the ever-increasing demands and necessity for critical thinking, it has become more important for students to be able to regulate their own thinking and be self-starters as they pursue their aspirations. Formative feedback in the classroom may very well be the starting point for developing metacognitive thinkers; hence Heather's research supports classroom teachers to better construct formative feedback as they promote the metacognitive development of their students.

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March 14th, 2017

Interviewee - Natalia Equihua

Natalia Equihua- MA in Cultural Studies, supervised by Dr Petra Fachinger and Dr Audrey Kobayashi

Research: Narratives of Mexican Women who Migrated to Canada for Love

Overview:Natalia's work looks at the experiences of Mexican women whose motivation to come to Canada has been a romantic relationship with a person who lives in Canada -whether their partner is Canadian or not. She focuses on exploring their journey: how they experienced their departure from Mexico, what their love story is, and more importantly what it has been like for them to leave their country to move to a new one for the sake of love. To understand this phenomenon, She has sat down with 15 women in Montreal and Kingston to listen to their migration stories. What her work aims to do is not only to explore an a common yet under researched side of migration, but also to highlight the importance of studying migration in relation to the emotions that both produce it and that are produced by it..

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March 7th, 2017

Interviewee Rhett Andruko

Grad Chat Live - Part of CFRC fundraising campaign

Listen to CJ the DJ as she interviews undergrad student Rhett Andruko about his research as well as I@Q, Faculty of Arts & Science Grad Week and of course CFRC fundraising week

Rhett Andruko- BSc in Environmental Studies, supervised by Dr Paul Grogan

Research: Primary controls on decadal growth patterns of a dominant deciduous shrub in the low Arctic

Overview:Deciduous shrub growth in the arctic, largely as a result of climate change, has the potential to act as a positive feedback to climate change. Increasing shrub canopies trap more snow, insulating and warming soils over the winter, and can release large amounts of carbon from arctic soils into the atmosphere. However, our knowledge of arctic shrub growth is limited. There are areas of the arctic, such as the Canadian continental low arctic, where satellite data indicates little vegetation change; however actual on-the-ground studies verifying this are scarce. Similarly, some studies indicate that shrub growth may preferentially occur in certain habitat-types, however this has not been widely demonstrated. In my thesis, I measured annual and decadal patterns in the growth of a dominant shrub, Dwarf Birch, as well as climate patterns and habitat characteristics, at a site called Daring Lake in the central low Arctic. Preliminary results indicate that there was net shrub growth in this area, and that it was ubiquitous across the landscape, but that it was not likely due to climate. Rather, decreasing herbivory pressure from caribou appears to be responsible for vegetation change at this site, and if this pattern is widespread, it could mean that carbon release from soils in this region might be higher than previously expected.

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February 28th, 2017

Interviewee - Catherine Crawford-Brown

Catherine Crawford-Brown - MSc in Pathology & Molecular Medicine, supervised by Dr Chris Mueller

Research: Blood-based detection of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer

Overview:Estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed subtype of breast cancer. We have identified a methylation signature unique to this subtype of breast cancer such that it can be differentiated from normal tissue and other subtypes of breast cancer. During the normal lifecycle of a tumour, DNA is released into the circulation. We hope to be able to detect this DNA using our differential methylation pattern in order to diagnose ER+ breast cancer at earlier stages. This tool could also be used to track effectiveness of treatment and to predict when relapses are occurring.

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February 21st, 2017

Interviewee - Michael Kalu

Michael Kalu - MSc in Rehabilitation Science, supervised by Dr Kathleen Norman

Research: The Impact of Clinical Internships on the Internationally Educated Physiotherapists seeking the opportunity to practise as a physiotherapist in Canada ;

Overview:Most internationally educated physiotherapists (IEPTs) do not work as physiotherapists in Canada because of the differences in professional training and practice models in their home countries. These differences mean that most IEPTs do not pass the licensing examination required to practise in Canada: the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE). Therefore, the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging (OIEPB) program was introduced to promote an increase in the success rate of IEPTs who become learners in the program, and to facilitate their entry into the Ontario physiotherapy workforce. The aim of my study is to characterise the profile of strengths and weaknesses of IEPT learners as identified by their preceptors during the clinical internships of the bridging program. This profile provides information to improve the quality of the clinical experiences of the learners in the OIEPB program. The profile should also guide the assessment of eligibility for all IEPTs when they immigrate to Canada and settle in Ontario. The overarching goal of my project is to provide a framework to support the development of targeted clinical skills to allow IEPTs greater success in passing the PCE and becoming an independent physiotherapist in Canada.

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February 14th, 2017

Interviewee - Rachel Wayatt

Rachel Wayatt - MA in Cultural Studies, supervised by Dr Jennifer Hosek

Research: The use of Theatre as a tool for propaganda in the Third Reich;

Overview:The use of theatre as a tool for propaganda is under addressed in the scholarship about the Third Reich. I am particularly interested in the use of ritual theatre, theatre that re-created Aryan origin myths, using casts of 1,000 people. It was not uncommon that for a production, non-performers would participate in the performance. If you were a farmer, you would find yourself marching in this production with 200 other farmers. I am interested in what the experience of watching and participating in something like that had on the spread of the ideology of the Third Reich

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February 7th, 2017

Interviewees - RIOT Group 3

Katrina Cristall - M.Sc in Pathology & Molecular Medicine, supervised by Dr Chris Mueller

Stephanie Guy - PhD in Pathology & Molecular Medicine, supervised by Dr Leda Raptis

Cancer Research: Collaborative program in Cancer research and Community Outreach - Part 3;

Overview:Cancer Research at Queen's is huge and in graduate studies we have the collaborative program in Cancer Research. Many of our students in that specialization also do a tremendous amount of community outreach. This show will highlight some more research our students are doing in Cancer research as well as highlight the upcoming "Let's Talk Cancer".

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January 31st, 2017

Interviewees - RIOT Group 2

Sarah Maritan (right front)- MSc in Pathology & Molecular Medicine, supervised by Dr Lois Mulligan

Mathieu Crupi (left front) - PhD in Pathology & Molecular Medicine, supervised by Dr Lois Mulligan

Jennifer Power (middle back) - MSc in Pathology & Molecular Medicine, supervised by Dr Susan Cole

Cancer Research: Collaborative program in Cancer research and Community Outreach - Part 2;

Overview:Cancer Research at Queen's is huge and in graduate studies we have the collaborative program in Cancer Research. Many of our students in that specialization also do a tremendous amount of community outreach. This show will highlight the research our students are doing in Cancer research as well as highlight some of the great outreach they are doing under RIOT - The Research Information Outreach Team. World Cancer Day is on February 4th and to help raise funds so we can continue the research, Queen's is hosting the inaugural Daffodil Gala. You can find out more about that on the RIOT website

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January 24th, 2017

Interviewee - RIOT Group 1

Zaid Taha (left back) - MSc in Biomedical & Molecular Science, supervised by Dr Leda Raptis

Chelsea Jackson (right back) - MSc in Pathology & Molecular Medicine, supervised by Dr David Berman

Sarah Nersesian (middle front)- MSc in Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, supervised by Dr Andrew Craid and Dr John Allingham

Cancer Research: Collaborative program in Cancer research and Community Outreach - Part 1;

Overview:Cancer Research at Queen's is huge and in graduate studies we have the collaborative program in Cancer Research. Many of our students in that specialization also do a tremendous amount of community outreach. This show will highlight the research our students are doing in Cancer research as well as highlight some of the great outreach they are doing under RIOT - The Research Information Outreach Team. World Cancer Day is on February 4th and to help raise funds so we can continue the research, Queen's is hosting the inaugural Daffodil Gala. You can find out more about that on the RIOT website

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January 17th, 2017

Interviewee - Freddy Monasterio

Freddy Monasterio - PhD, supervised by Dr Karen Dubinsky & Dr Susan Lord

Research Topic: "Creative economies, new models of cultural self-management, and the production of live music shows in contemporary Havana;

Overview:Freddy looks at important changes in the cultural, economic, and social landscape of contemporary (post-1990) Havana. His focus is on the outcomes of the radical transformations, known as the modernization of the Cuban socioeconomic model, introduced after 2008 as a way to cope with 26 years of crisis. Besides the poor and ambiguous regulation in the cultural sector, these transformations have opened spaces for the emergence of creative economies and experimental models of cultural self-management without precedents in the history of socialist Cuba. Freddy uses case studies from the field of live music performance to illustrate these ongoing dynamics. Some of these examples include the music festival Havana World Music and the cultural center Fábrica de Arte Cubano.

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January 10th, 2017

Interviewee - Gillian Reid-Schacter

Gillian Reid-Schacter - MSc, Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, supervised by Dr Madhuri Koti

Research Topic: "The role of STAT1 in the modulation of the tumour immune microenvironment and response to chemotherapy in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer"

Overview: High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) is the most prevalent and fatal histological subtype of ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, 70% of HGSC patients show resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs, and clinical management is challenged by a lack of accurate prognostic and predictive biomarkers of chemotherapy response. It is now established that immune cells within the tumour microenvironment significantly contribute to tumor cell death or survival following exposure to chemotherapy. Previous research has shown that Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) expression significantly associates with progression free survival and response to chemotherapy in HGSC. High levels of STAT1 and its target genes potentially contribute to better CD8+ T-cell recruitment and immune mediated chemosensitivity in HGSC. My work investigates the mechanistic role of tumor cell intrinsic alterations in STAT1 expression on in vitro phenotypic characteristics, and in tumor progression and immune cell recruitment in a syngeneic mouse model of HGSC.

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January 3rd, 2017

Interviewee - Debrah Zemanek

Debrah Zemanek- M.A.Sc. Civil Engineering, supervised by Dr Pascale Champagne & Dr Warren Mabee

Research Topic: "Evaluating the environmental and economic trade-off of integrating Canola Biojet Fuel in the Canadian aviation fuel supply chain"

Overview: Debrah's research focuses on life cycle assessment of aviation fuel produced from canola. The ‘food vs. fuels’ debate has generated controversy over the sustainability of biofuels. However, finding alternatives to fossil fuel is imperative to mitigating the risk that climate change poses to society. Debrah's thesis will evaluate the economic and environmental impacts of a Canadian canola biofuel supply chain and compare it to our current petroleum supply chain. Optimization techniques will be combined with the results of the life cycle assessment in order to find a level of biofuel production that achieves the greatest environmental benefit for the least cost.

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