Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

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Updated: 2 hours 52 min ago

Thinking about the thesis

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 16:26
Thinking about the thesis

Friday June 8, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

Graduate research and scholarship can take many shapes, and so the thesis can be structured in many different ways.​


Thesis exhibition: 'per/forming memoration'. (Leah Decter, 2018)

Doctoral education has traditionally been viewed as an apprenticeship towards a professorship. Nearly three in five students starting a PhD degree aspire for a career in post-secondary education, according to a recent Ontario graduate program outcomes survey.

Many institutions – including Queen’s – have been thinking about how the PhD must evolve to ensure that graduates are prepared to translate their academic learning and experience in ways that position them for success in many career paths.

In addition to promoting opportunities for graduate students to apply their research skills and to share their research findings beyond the scientific and academic communities, the School of Graduate Studies has looked inward at its own policies.

In recent years, the university’s regulations on the thesis format were revised to allow greater scope in presentation. This allows students to package their research in ways that maximize uptake and mobilization. The added flexibility recognizes the many ways of knowing that constitute scholarly work, and the value of that work beyond the academy.

“The thesis structure used to be limited to monograph or manuscript format targeting academic audiences, yet students may gain tremendous benefit from adopting a different approach,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean (Graduate Studies). “Portfolio or project-based formats, or the incorporation of a white paper or a policy paper, helps increase the potential impact of research, and can yield considerable benefit when navigating the job market.”


'365-257-54' performance documentation by Leah Decter, 2018 (Supplied by Leah Decter)

Dr. Brouwer notes a white paper or policy paper, for instance, is more easily digestible by government, business, and other stakeholder groups than a traditional thesis manuscript.

Dr. Brouwer says that Queen’s is among the leaders in ensuring that academic policies and regulations support creativity and scholarship in its many forms, and supporting student-centric approaches to graduate education and learning. And with a couple of years having passed since the new policies were implemented, the School of Graduate Studies is starting to see some innovative thesis submissions.

Leah Decter recently completed her doctorate in cultural studies, and used the opportunity when she completed her doctorate to incorporate her work as an inter-media artist. In addition to her full-length written thesis, Dr. Decter demonstrated a collaborative curatorial art project and her art exhibition. She also chose to defend her thesis within an art gallery, allowing her committee to be exposed to the artwork itself.

“Research-creation is an integrative form of knowledge production combining traditional research methods with modes of artistic and creative practice that are dependent on the distinct literacies of creative practitioners,” she says.

Producing a thesis is a significant accomplishment in its own right; however, there’s so much more to it than just completing the document according to Dr. Brouwer. “Students oftentimes get so wrapped up in getting the thesis done that they don’t sit back, take a breath and think about all they have accomplished and learned along the way,” she says.

With the new regulations, students can choose to include their reflections on the process, their learning, and the skills they have acquired. These reflections can be helpful to the student when prospective employers ask them about what they bring to the table.

And when graduate students submit their thesis to the Library’s QSpace system, they can catalogue their reflections in the form of a written piece, podcast, or video alongside the document.

The Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS), of which Dr. Brouwer is past president, has been engaged in a national conversation about the evolution of the PhD for some time. Learn more about the national conversation at www.cags.ca.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

Convocation - Spring 2018

Thu, 05/31/2018 - 10:34
Convocation - Spring 2018

Did you know that this Spring a total of 468 graduate students have completed their degrees!  Of that we have 18 graduate diplomas, 348 masters and 94 doctoral students.  Congratulations to  you all. 

Break down of program numbers are: Aging & Health (2), Anatomy & Cell Biology (1), Art Conservation (1), Art History (11), Art Leadership (11), Anatomical Sciences (12), Biology (25), Biomedical & Molecular Sciences (7), Chemical Engineering (12), Chemistry (10), Civil Engineering (14), Classics (1), Computing (21), Cultural Studies (9), Electrical & Computer Engineering (21), Economics (7), Education (86), English (2), Environmental Studies (4), Epidemiology (5), Geography (2), Geography & Planning (4), Geological Sciences & Geological Engineering (14), History (9), Healthcare Quality (4), Kinesiology & Health Studies (8), Law (5), Mathematics & Statistics (4), Mechanical & Materials Engineering (21), Management (4), Mining Engineering (9), Medical Sciences (1), Mathematical Engineering (1), Neuroscience (6), Pathology & Molecular Medicine (3), Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy (8), Philosophy (4), Public Health Sciences (29), Political Studies (3), Psychology (2), Physical Therapy (1), Religious Studies (1), Rehabilitation Science (4), Risk Policy and Regulation (6), Industrial Relations (7), Sociology (6), Public Administration (22), Urban & Regional Planning (18)

Tags: News

Convocation - Spring 2018

Thu, 05/31/2018 - 10:34
Convocation - Spring 2018

Did you know that this Spring a total of 468 graduate students have completed their degrees!  Of that we have 18 graduate diplomas, 348 masters and 94 doctoral students.  Congratulations to  you all. 

Break down of program numbers are: Aging & Health (2), Anatomy & Cell Biology (1), Art Conservation (1), Art History (11), Art Leadership (11), Anatomical Sciences (12), Biology (25), Biomedical & Molecular Sciences (7), Chemical Engineering (12), Chemistry (10), Civil Engineering (14), Classics (1), Computing (21), Cultural Studies (9), Electrical & Computer Engineering (21), Economics (7), Education (86), English (2), Environmental Studies (4), Epidemiology (5), Geography (2), Geography & Planning (4), Geological Sciences & Geological Engineering (14), History (9), Healthcare Quality (4), Kinesiology & Health Studies (8), Law (5), Mathematics & Statistics (4), Mechanical & Materials Engineering (21), Management (4), Mining Engineering (9), Medical Sciences (1), Mathematical Engineering (1), Neuroscience (6), Pathology & Molecular Medicine (3), Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy (8), Philosophy (4), Public Health Sciences (29), Political Studies (3), Psychology (2), Physical Therapy (1), Religious Studies (1), Rehabilitation Science (4), Risk Policy and Regulation (6), Industrial Relations (7), Sociology (6), Public Administration (22), Urban & Regional Planning (18)

Tags: News

Dr. Suning Wang wins national graduate mentorship award

Wed, 05/30/2018 - 15:50
Dr. Suning Wang wins national graduate mentorship award

May 30, 2018

Dr. Suning Wang, Department of Chemistry, has won the first Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship. 

CAGS’ President Susan Porter stated: “There were many extraordinary nominees for this award, and the competition was extremely difficult to adjudicate. Dr. Wang’s record and the sincere gratitude and enthusiasm of her students for the mentorship she provided them was truly inspiring and stood out as exemplary. CAGS is delighted to have Dr. Wang serve as the inaugural role model for this award!” 

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies instituted this award as an indication of the high value we place on graduate mentorship. In highlighting and celebrating mentors who exemplify all that is best in this form of pedagogy, CAGS also hopes to inspire others to reach that level of achievement. 

 

See the full announcement on the CAGS website

Tags: News

Dr. Suning Wang wins national graduate mentorship award

Wed, 05/30/2018 - 15:50
Dr. Suning Wang wins national graduate mentorship award

May 30, 2018

Dr. Suning Wang, Department of Chemistry, has won the first Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentorship. 

CAGS’ President Susan Porter stated: “There were many extraordinary nominees for this award, and the competition was extremely difficult to adjudicate. Dr. Wang’s record and the sincere gratitude and enthusiasm of her students for the mentorship she provided them was truly inspiring and stood out as exemplary. CAGS is delighted to have Dr. Wang serve as the inaugural role model for this award!” 

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies instituted this award as an indication of the high value we place on graduate mentorship. In highlighting and celebrating mentors who exemplify all that is best in this form of pedagogy, CAGS also hopes to inspire others to reach that level of achievement. 

 

See the full announcement on the CAGS website

Tags: News

Pulling double duty: SGS Parent Day 2019

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 00:00
Pulling double duty

May 15, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

An upcoming event aims to help graduate students and post-doctoral fellows balance their family and scholarly lives.​

Long nights, years of hard work, and plenty of life lessons along the way – graduate studies and parenting have a lot in common. For those who are furthering their education and raising their kids, it can be a challenge to keep up with both responsibilities.


Leena Yahia and her husband are both doctoral candidates, and they have four children together. They are helping to organize a workshop for fellow graduate students who are also parents. (University Communications)

That’s why the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is co-organizing an upcoming workshop to help students and post-docs who are parents, or who want to become parents, with resources, wisdom, and an opportunity to discuss ideas that would help them keep it all on track.

“The idea for the workshop was developed with the Graduate Student Life Advisory Group – a collaboration of students, faculty, and student services staff who work together to enhance the graduate student experience at Queen’s,” says Marta Straznicky, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies. “We hope that the event will be an opportunity for the community of parents to meet one another and form a network of support.”

Leena Yahia and her husband are both Queen’s doctoral candidates and they have four children together. After noticing many of their friends and colleagues having similar struggles, they formed a support network and approached the SGS about holding an event on campus.

“We want our kids to have the best experience, while also wanting to be the best students,” says Ms. Yahia. “Rather than complain, we decided to be socially innovative and put something together – and the SGS was very responsive in helping us organize the event.”

The event will begin at 8:30 on Friday morning in room A234 of Duncan McArthur Hall, and will include discussions on time management, stress and mental health, mentorship, existing supports and gaps, and funding. A panel discussion will feature faculty members and post-doctoral fellows balancing caregiving and academic responsibilities, as well as graduate students – like Ms. Yahia – who are studying and parenting simultaneously.

Ms. Yahia notes that, while her graduate studies take time away from her children, it has brought the family together and taught her children to depend on each other and themselves. Plus, she has been able to introduce them to the possibilities of a university education.

“My daughter wants to be a scientist and is keeping in touch with my professors,” she says. “My teenage son wants to be a geneticist and sees what it is to get a university education...he sees that his dream is a not-too-distant reality.”

Ultimately, Ms. Yahia hopes this conversation will spark more discussions about how to make studies at Queen’s more family-friendly through different approaches to conference funding, class scheduling, and spaces for graduate study parents to meet.

Learn more about the workshop and register here.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News

Pulling double duty: SGS Parent Day 2019

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 00:00
Pulling double duty

May 15, 2018
By Phil Gaudreau, Senior Communications Officer

An upcoming event aims to help graduate students and post-doctoral fellows balance their family and scholarly lives.​

Long nights, years of hard work, and plenty of life lessons along the way – graduate studies and parenting have a lot in common. For those who are furthering their education and raising their kids, it can be a challenge to keep up with both responsibilities.


Leena Yahia and her husband are both doctoral candidates, and they have four children together. They are helping to organize a workshop for fellow graduate students who are also parents. (University Communications)

That’s why the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) is co-organizing an upcoming workshop to help students and post-docs who are parents, or who want to become parents, with resources, wisdom, and an opportunity to discuss ideas that would help them keep it all on track.

“The idea for the workshop was developed with the Graduate Student Life Advisory Group – a collaboration of students, faculty, and student services staff who work together to enhance the graduate student experience at Queen’s,” says Marta Straznicky, Associate Dean, School of Graduate Studies. “We hope that the event will be an opportunity for the community of parents to meet one another and form a network of support.”

Leena Yahia and her husband are both Queen’s doctoral candidates and they have four children together. After noticing many of their friends and colleagues having similar struggles, they formed a support network and approached the SGS about holding an event on campus.

“We want our kids to have the best experience, while also wanting to be the best students,” says Ms. Yahia. “Rather than complain, we decided to be socially innovative and put something together – and the SGS was very responsive in helping us organize the event.”

The event will begin at 8:30 on Friday morning in room A234 of Duncan McArthur Hall, and will include discussions on time management, stress and mental health, mentorship, existing supports and gaps, and funding. A panel discussion will feature faculty members and post-doctoral fellows balancing caregiving and academic responsibilities, as well as graduate students – like Ms. Yahia – who are studying and parenting simultaneously.

Ms. Yahia notes that, while her graduate studies take time away from her children, it has brought the family together and taught her children to depend on each other and themselves. Plus, she has been able to introduce them to the possibilities of a university education.

“My daughter wants to be a scientist and is keeping in touch with my professors,” she says. “My teenage son wants to be a geneticist and sees what it is to get a university education...he sees that his dream is a not-too-distant reality.”

Ultimately, Ms. Yahia hopes this conversation will spark more discussions about how to make studies at Queen’s more family-friendly through different approaches to conference funding, class scheduling, and spaces for graduate study parents to meet.

Learn more about the workshop and register here.

This article was originally published in the Queen’s Gazette. Reposted with Permission.

Tags: News