School of Graduate Studies

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Archives 2019

In the winter of 2016, CFRC approached the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) to see if there was interest in doing a show on graduate study research and of course the SGS said yes!  the rest is Grad Chat history.  On behalf of our students and the SGS, to CFRC a big thank you.

Fall 2019

December 2019

December 31st, 2019

Suyin and Colette

CJ the DJ and Suyin DJ Bear.

Overview: It's New Year's Eve but we are still on the air!  Hear what is in store for grad studies in 2020. 

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December 24th, 2019

Suyin and Colette

CJ the DJ and Suyin DJ Bear.

Overview: It's a special day, so with that comes a special edition of Grad Chat as we wrap up 2019. 

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December 17th, 2019

Abbey Lee Hallett

Abbey Lee Hallett, Masters in Art Leadership.

Overview: Abbey Lee talks about the Arts Leadership program and why it is important to train the next group of Arts Leaders who can lead the next generation of our country's arts and culture. 

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December 10th, 2019

Sidra Shafique

Sidra Shafique, PhD in Biomedical & Molecular Sciences.

Topic: Valproic acid induced neural tube defects.

Overview: Deviations in embryonic cell signaling induces birth defects such as neural tube defects seen in children born to mothers who are exposed to valproic acid during pregnancy.

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December 3rd, 2019

Aprajita Sarcar

Aprajita Sarcar, PhD in History.

Topic: Mythical Families in Mythical Cities: Small Family Norm in India, 1955-77.

Overview: I trace the emergence of India's first advocacy campaign about the nuclear family. Through it, I analyze the nuclear family's rise in metropolitan India.  The project  studies urbanization patterns with an eye on contraceptive use amongst  families. 

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November 2019

November 26th, 2019

Maram Taibah

Maram Taibah, PhD in Cultural Studies.

Topic: Gender Performance in Children's Literature and Media in the Middle East.

Overview: As a writer with an MA in film production, I have explored the child’s perspective in both fiction and screenplays. For the past year, I’ve been engaged with a body of fantasy fiction where the story is told through the eyes of an eleven-year-old girl living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The heroine strives to reconcile certain systems and doctrines in her environment with what she sees in the magical worlds that she travels to. This work brings to my attention the need for a closer look at how Arab children’s identities are shaped by the storytelling that they consume, be it offered by close loved ones or the media machine.

For more information on Maram's books and short films, check out her website at

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November 19th, 2019

Amanda Guarino

Amanda Guarino, MA in History.

Topic: Treating hunger: medical expertise, nutritional science, and the development of technical food solutions.

Overview: I looked at how, starting with World War II until contemporary times, hunger came to be predominantly seen as a medical object, and food relief was reconceptualized as medical treatment. The scientific community's research of hunger gave it a medical connotation that influenced the way hunger was managed: from the development of technically-engineered nutrition solutions that were guided by medical expertise to making hunger relief subjected to medical supervision. A medical framework reduces hunger to a biological problem, missing the socio-cultural experience and politico-economic roots of hunger. Further, it favors fast-acting, industrialized, expert-designed, and short-term nutritional solutions. This materialized in various products starting in the 1950s until current times. In viewing hunger through a medical prism, the broader structural causes of hunger and socio-cultural meanings of food are more easily obscured, favoring technical solutions that emphasize immediate, efficient and effective medical and nutritional results. If you want to learn more about Big Bothers Big Sisters and perhaps volunteer then go to their website at -

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November 12th, 2019

Sam MacLennan

Sam Maclennan, MA student in Religious Studies.

Topic: The role of medicine in investigating stigmata, the (re)appearance of Christ’s Holy Wounds on various bodies, in the context of Catholic canonization procedures.

Overview: Stigmata are the focus of this research as they are constantly being interpreted and reinterpreted by various groups, going all the way back to St. Francis. I am focused on 20th century stigmatics, as their lives coincide with the rise of professionalized medical organizations, as well as significant global events related to religion, secularity, and secularism (e.g. WWI & WWII, the Cold War, Vatican II reforms, etc.). Despite popular tendencies to see Catholicism and scientific, empirical inquiry as oppositional, this project shows that clinical medicine and the Catholic hierarchy cooperate and overlap in investigative approaches and how they expect stigmatic-patients to present themselves to inquiry.

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November 5th, 2019

Rebecca Stroud-Stasel

Rebecca Stroud-Stasel, PhD student in Education.

Topic: Teacher acculturation in the context of sojourning overseas.

Overview: While overseas teaching can offer many capacity-increasing opportunities plus a chance to see the world, there are many complicating factors that deserve greater scrutiny. For one thing, teacher turnover is higher overseas and in some schools, the rate in which teachers break their contracts is concerning. Among many challenges facing new teachers, those who go overseas to teach must additionally confront culture shock—or acculturation—as well as policyscapes.

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October 2019

October 29th, 2019

Suyin Olguin

Suyin Olguin, PhD student in English Language & Literature.

Topic: Halloween Special - Vampires and Garlic: the Science, Literature, and Folklore of Fending off Vampirism".

Overview: Why does learning more about vampires and garlic matter?

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October 22nd, 2019

Erin Gallagher-Cohoon

Erin Gallagher-Cohoon, PhD student in History.

Topic: Canadian history of gay and lesbian/queer parenting.

Overview: My research looks at gay parenting from the 1970's to 2005, looking at custody cases in the 1970s where a parent's, often a mothers, sexuality was raised as a potential reason for withholding custody and ending with the ways in which a symbolic child and the presumed childlessness of queer couples was raised in the House of Commons debates on same sex marriage.

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October 15th, 2019

Carmel Mikol

Carmel Mikol, MA student in English Language & Literature.

Topic: Disappearance narratives in contemporary global women's literature.

Overview: My research seeks to identify the social and political uses of disappearance narratives by post-war women writers. Also Carmel speaks about her podcast

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October 8th, 2019

Jeffrey Allan

Jeffrey Allan, PhD student in Political Studies, supervised by Dr Christian Leuprecht

Topic: Why come back to graduate studies now?

Overview: After a successful career as a journalist for the CBC and then a member of various United Nations departments, Jeff has come back to do a PhD. This interview will discuss why some students start their graduate life a little later in their career.

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October 1st, 2019

Kyle Vader

Kyle Vader, PhD student in Rehabilitation Science, supervised by Dr Jordan Miller

Topic: Chronic pain management in primary health care

Overview: The overarching purpose of my thesis is to understand social contributors to chronic pain as well as experiences, barriers, and facilitators to inter-professional chronic pain management in primary health care.

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September 2019

September 24th, 2019

Derya Gungor

Derya Gungor, PhD in Sociology supervised by Dr Annette Burfoot.

Topic: The feminist implications of maternal and infant health promotion in turkey through the current family medicine model.

Overview: In my PhD research, I examined the implications of a Turkish health policy that has a national level mandate to register pregnant women from a feminist perspective. The documented objective of this program and its pregnancy-monitoring mandate is to improve the maternal and infant health rates of the country by providing prenatal medical care and pregnancy-related health-promotion education to all pregnant women.

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September 17th, 2019

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams, PhD student in Rehabilitation Science supervised by Drs Catherine Donnelly and Heidi Cramm .

Topic: Access to primary health care during the military to civilian transition.

Overview: My research is focused on how do Canadian Veterans experience the transition from the Canadian Forces Health Services to provincial primary care during military to civilian transition and how do provincial interdisciplinary primary care teams provide service to Veterans.

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September 10th, 2019

Stephanie Gauvin

Stephanie Gauvin (PhD student) Clinical Psychology, supervised by Dr Caroline Pukall

Topic: Rainbow Reflections: Body Image Comics for Queer Men

Overview: Stephanie and her collaborators have put together a comic book anthology. This is an exciting way to explore the consequences of body dissatisfaction to the health of queer men and to highlight the resilience that queer men experience against body dissatisfaction.

A launch of the comic books is coming soon to Kingston. If you are interested and what to find out more follow Stephanie's group on the Twitter handle  @QueerBodies

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Summer 2019

June-August 2019

May 2019

May 7th, 2019

Sue Bazely and Paulina Marczak

Sue Bazely (PhD student) and Paulina Marczak (MSc student) both in Geography and Planning

Overview: Sue and Paulina discuss the "Stage 1 Cultural Resource Recording Project: Under the St. Paul’s Church Hall, Lower Burial Ground in Kingston" and how you can also get involved.

See the Kingston Lower Burial Ground website for more details and how to volunteer.

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Winter 2019

April 2019

April 30th, 2019

Northern Symposium 3

Branaavan Sivarajah , PhD student in Biology, supervised by Dr John Smol. Wraps up the Symposium

Russell Turner, MSc student in Biology, supervised by Dr Vicki Frieisen. Research topic - Population genomics of an Arctic seabird, the majestic Common Eider sea duck!

Christina Braybrook , MSc student in Geography, supervised by Dr Neal Scott and Dr Paul Treitz. Research topic - Modelling growing season net CO2 exchange for High Arctic mesic tundra using high resolution remote sensing data.

Overview: Part 3 of the Northern Research Symposium, the graduate students assisting in the program and how their research is related to the North.

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April 23rd, 2019

Kayla Dettinger

Kayla Dettinger, M.A (History), supervised by Dr Sandra den Otter

Research:  The history of the UK charity the Pilgrim Trust from 1930-1960 and its efforts to come to the "rescue of the things that mattered in our country" as a self-defined "salvage corps".

Overview: Talking on both Kayla's Master's experience as well as her role now with University Relations and how her graduate experience helped her with this job.

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April 16th, 2019

Northern Symposium 2

Branaavan Sivarajah , PhD student in Biology, supervised by Dr John Smol. Talks about the Symposium

Lila Colston-Nepali , MSc student in Biology, supervised by Dr Vicki Frieisen. Research topic - Using genomic tools to answer conservation questions in an arctic seabird, the Northern Fulmar

Jacqueline Hung , PhD student in Geography, supervised by Dr Neal Scott and Dr Paul Treitz. Research topic - Seasonal controls on terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycling in the Canadian High Arctic.

Overview: Part 2 of the Northern Research Symposium, the graduate students assisting in the program and how their research is related to the North.  For more information go to the Symposium website

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April 9th, 2019

Northern Symposium

Branaavan Sivarajah , PhD student in Biology, supervised by Dr John Smol. Talks about the Symposium

Greg Robson , MSc student in Geography, supervised by Dr Paul Treitz and Dr Scott Lamoureux. Research topic - Risk assessment of permafrost disturbances via differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (DinSAR)

Dana Stephenson , MSc student in Geography, supervised by Dr Laura Thomson. Research topic - Glaciology, glacier dynamics.

Overview: An introduction to the Northern Research Symposium, the graduate students assisting in the program and how their research is related to the North.  For more information go to the Symposium website

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April 2nd, 2019

Carolyn DeLoyd

Carolyn DeLoyde , PhD student in Geography, supervised by Dr Warren Mabee.

Topic: Quantifying ecosystem services to enhance the use of Natural Heritage Systems to respond to climate change.

Overview: My research is focused on developing better responses to climate change within the context of land use planning. I am exploring the potential of Ontario’s Natural Heritage System (NHS) planning approach to facilitate this.

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March 2019

March 26th, 2019

Julian Yang

Julian Yang , PhD student in Medieval History, supervised by Dr Richard Greenfield.

Topic: Constructing holiness and unholiness through writing and reflection of authorial motivations in Christian literary works produced in medieval Byzantium.

Overview: For the successful completion of this project, examining the authorial role in composing hagiographical literature and possible motivations behind hagiographers for promoting the cult of saints is paramount. Medieval Byzantium was actually quite a skeptical society, and as such, hagiographers were necessitated to bolster the persuasiveness of their narrative by using various literary techniques for a successful fashioning of their protagonists as saints. Spiritual and religious motivations were not the only inspirations of their strong dedication, however, because in Byzantium, ecclesiastical, imperial, or popular recognition of the cult could result in substantial economic and political benefits for its followers. These apparent circumstances around the genre of hagiographical literature and the cult of saints in Byzantium are deeply considered at the heart of my historical investigation.

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March 19th, 2019

Nasreen Sultana

Nasreen Sultana, supervised by Dr Liying Cheng.

Topic: Influence of an English public examination on classroom teaching and learning: A washback study.

Overview: My research investigates the washback effect of the biggest secondary public English examination in Bangladesh on classroom instruction. The results of the exam work as the gatekeeper to higher studies, better career as well as better financial prospects.

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March 12th, 2019

Karina Gerhardt-Strachan

Karina Gerhardt-Strachan , Masters in Kinesiology & Health Studies, supervised by Dr Elaine Power.

Topic: Exploring the place of spirituality in Canadian health promotion.

Overview: Advocating a holistic approach, health promotion examines many aspects of health and well-being, including physical, mental, sexual, community, social and ecological health. Despite this holism, there is a noticeable absence of discussion surrounding spirituality and spiritual health. For this thesis project, I was interested in exploring how leading scholars in the field of health promotion, in Canada, understand the place of spirituality in health promotion. 

If you are interested getting in touch with Karina, either to discuss the possibility of a speaking opportunity you or your organization might have or just to learn more about her research, please feel free to email her at

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March 5th, 2019

Caroline Tuck and Sean Bennet

Drs Caroline Tuck & Sean Bennet, supervised by Dr Stephen Vanner.

Topic: The role of diet in gastrointestinal disorders on gut health.

Overview: Our research investigates the role of dietary modification and its effect on gut health including the microbiota, metabolomics and symptom profiles.

Want to help out with the research?  Caroline and Sean are looking for volunteers to help with two studies and need some people to act as controls and also people who have irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.

Contact Celine Morissette (Hotel Dieu Hospital) - 613 544 3400 ext 2479 or email  OR 

Contact Caroline Tuck - 613 549 6666 ext 6526 or email

Follow what is going on twitter - @tuck_caroline  or @DrSeanBennet

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February 2019

February 19th, 2019

Kaj Sullivan

Kaj Sullivan, PhD in Geological Sciences, supervised by Drs Daniel Layton-Matthews and Matthew Leybourne.

Topic: Postprandial zinc isotopic effect in human serum.

Overview: My research will help ensure the best representative sample is taken in future studies investigating the potential of zinc isotopes as biological markers of disease like breast cancer and Alzheimer’s.

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February 12th, 2019

Nevena Martinovic

Nevena Martinovic, PhD in English Language and Literature, supervised by Professor Leslie Ritchie.

Topic: 18th Century Theatre. Aging actress on the long 18th C London stage.

Overview: Women were first allowed on stage in London in 1667 when the theatres reopened after the Interregnum. I’m interested in how these first female players navigated the negative reception to their aging bodies and how they represented themselves in the face of it

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February 5th, 2019

Jill Price

Jill Price, PhD in Cultural Studies, supervised by Professor Matt Rogalsky.

Topic: ReCraftivism: Unmaking One’s Way Out of the Anthropocene.

Overview: My research asks, how can reclaiming, and recrafting of textiles offer technologies of resistance and restorative narratives to counteract capitalist ideologies and the phenomena of consumptionism found in the shadows of Canada’s colonial history?

See some of Jill's work on her website at

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January 2019

January 29th, 2019

Shikha Gupta

Shikha Gupta, PhD in Rehabilitation Science, supervised by Professor MaryAnn McColl.

Topic: Extent, determinants, and consequences of cost-related non-adherence to prescription medications among people with spinal cord injuries in Canada.

Overview: Many people in Canada have to forgo their medications due to cost; a phenomenon called "cost-related non-adherence." Despite emerging evidence, there is little conceptualization or exploration of cost-related prescription non-adherence with respect to disability in Canada. Spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most catastrophic and devastating disability for patients, their families, the community, and the healthcare system. Although people with SCI are high users of medications, evidence is missing regarding implications of medication-related costs on their health and social outcomes. This research aims to address this.

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January 22nd, 2019

David More

John David More, PhD in History of Pre-Confederation Canada, supervised by Professor Jane Errington.

Topic: French-Canadian Mariners on Canada’s Fourth Coast During the Early Post-Conquest era, 1760-1815.

Overview: Thousands of Canadien mariners, including shipmasters, officers, sailors, boatmen and shipbuilders were essential to the successful defense of Quebec and Upper Canada during American invasions of 1775-6 and 1812-14. My research into their complex histories deepens our understanding of French-English relations during this crucially important period in Canadian History..

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January 15th, 2019

Luissa Vahedi

Luissa Vahedi, MSc in Epidemiology, supervised by Dr Susan Bartels and Dr Heather Stuart.

Topic: ‘Even Peacekeepers Expect Something in Return’: An Exploratory Cross-Sectional Analysis of Sexual Interactions Between UN Peacekeepers and Haitian Citizens.

Overview: In 2004, the United Nations (UN) Security Council established Resolution 1542: The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). MINUSTAH officially began in June of 2004 and ended in October 2017, making it the longest UN peace operation in Haiti. During this time, allegations of sexual interactions between male UN peacekeepers and female Haitian civilians, including sexual abuse and exploitation, surfaced in the media. The UN frames civilian-peacekeeper sexual interactions as inherently exploitative and abusive, thereby supporting a zero-tolerance policy on sexual interactions with beneficiaries of assistance. However, during MINUSTAH civilian-peacekeeper sexual interactions were widespread and, in some cases, conceived children fathered by peacekeepers born to Haitian women- known as peace babies. The UN does not claim responsibility for children fathered by peace keepers, resulting in Haitian women bearing the burden of establishing the paternity of their children. My research will examine community-level narratives of sexual relationships between Haitians and United Nations (UN) peacekeepers during the MINUSTAH. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, this thesis will aim to: (1) Understand the lived experiences of Haitian women who are raising peace babies conceived during MINUSTAH; (2) Investigate the association between geographical location and community-level accounts of sexual interactions between Haitian citizens and MINUSTAH peacekeepers; (3) Investigate the relationship between the subject matter of participants’ narratives and perceptions of UN legitimacy in Haiti.

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January 8th, 2019

Michael Wood

Michael Wood, PhD in Neuroscience, supervised by Dr J. Gordon Boyd.

Topic: Low levels of brain tissue oxygenation during critical illness may be associated with the subsequent development of delirium and cognitive impairment.

Overview: Survivors of life support often develop newly-acquired impairments that reduce their quality of life (e.g., ability to live independently). An early indicator of neurological dysfunction while on life support is the onset of delirium, which is characterized by inattention, altered levels of consciousness, or disorganized thinking. However, the underlying cause of delirium, as well as long-term cognitive dysfunction, remains poorly understood. Approximately 230,000 Canadians are cared for in ICUs annually, and the majority of these patients will experience delirium. As the mere presence of delirium has been associated with debilitating outcomes, delirium represents a major public health concern.

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January 1st, 2019

CJ the DJ &Chantal Valkeborg

CJ the DJ. and Chantal Valkenborg.

Topic: What to expect in 2019.

Overview: From workshops to community events, find out what is happening in graduate studies for the winter and summer terms.

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