School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

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Translating Experience Through Research and Creativity

“Think loudly, share broadly,” Kaziwa Salih beams as she reflects on her greatest passions-her love of learning, and her desire to give voices to the voiceless.

A second-year PhD candidate in Cultural Studies, Salih’s research combines cultural theory and genocide studies to explore interconnections between the everyday culture of ordinary people and state policies.  She also seeks to advance knowledge of power relations within the structures of human behaviour.


The Lake Shift

Shifting my writing/thinking

Janna Klostermann
(Carleton University, Ottawa, ON)

I showed up to #thelakeshift writing retreat armed with a list of 37-odd things I could do or should do as a part of my doctoral research. I had a running list of chapters, articles, literature reviews, poems and personal essays to write, revise, rework, rethink, and eventually send off. I had ten or twenty works-in-progress calling my name. I had energy, enthusiasm and ambition, but I lacked a real plan of attack.

On the first night at the Lake Shift, our hosts Colette Steer and Marta Straznicky threw us each a Lake Shift t-shirt and welcomed us to camp. Colette peformed a comedy set, poking fun at herself, poking fun at the camp experience and encouraging us not to take ourselves or our work too seriously. From there, Marta introduced us to the “Slow Professor” movement, encouraging us to slow down, to breathe, and to be gentle on ourselves. She encouraged us not to force it, overdo it or put too much pressure on our work. Listening to them, I was motivated to shelve my running list of ‘could dos’ and ‘should dos,’ to stop jumping from one task to another, and to instead set a few meaningful goals for the week. Without overthinking it, I decided I would:

Show up. Stay present. Stay off the internet during the day. Chip away at a chapter in the morning and a journal article in the afternoon, without jumping from task to task to task.  

On the first morning of work, I settled in at a table in the Main Lodge; a gorgeous lakeside dining room with bottomless coffee, birds chirping at the feeders and grad students plucking at their keyboards. I made a point to sit near a power outlet, and made a point to cover my ears when a fellow student blurted the WiFi password! Then, when the clock struck nine, I charged out of the gates! I wrote with a vengeance, writing a few quick vignettes and drawing energy from others. I was in the zone and in my glory … until 10am when I ran out of steam. An hour into the week-long writing retreat, I ran out of material, momentum and wherewithal. Shoot. I bottomed out, hit a lull, and wondered how I could hang in there for another five full days. Again, shoot.

Rather than jumping ahead to the next thing on my to do list, though, I held myself to my goals. I stayed put and stayed with the tension. I read things over, doodled, and thought about the project and my frustrations with it. I tried not to force it, and tried to be gentle on myself and on the work. Rather than switching to an easier task, I gave the project some breathing space. I gave myself space to be overwhelmed and space to struggle with what I was most wanted to say with my work.

I stayed put, stayed present, and stayed with the trouble. I took up Maggie Berg’s invitation to write as a way to think. I took time to puzzle and process, doodle and daydream. I drafted an outline and a mind-map, and I made connections between different parts of the project. Slowly but surely, I reconnected with the project and with myself. I also connected with others, chatting about our work, swimming, hiking, canoeing and eating cake. I stayed put and stayed present. I happily took the #thelakeshift, shifting my writing and shifting my thinking.

Janna Klostermann (@jannaKlos) is a PhD student in Carleton’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She is exploring the social organization of care/disability from the standpoint of care workers reaching their limits.


Responding to Climate Change Scenarios

Carolyn DeLoyde had no doubt about which university to apply to when pursuing her PhD. “Queen’s offers an exceptional graduate program in geography and the planning field, with a multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary approach to planning. It is a unique one,” explains DeLoyde, an accomplished professional with more than 20 years of experience in planning and area development. She is striving for a long-term career in academia, and a PhD from Queen’s, according to Carolyn, would be the best qualification for her academic path.


Join The Conversation

There is a new and exciting tool for you to promote your scholarship. Announced in the Gazette, Queen’s has signed on as a founding member of The Conversation Canada, a daily independent news and analysis online publication delivering expertise from the academic and research community directly to the public.

The Conversation platform offers explanatory journalism written by researchers – illuminating news with academic expertise and introducing new ideas. Launched in Australia in 2011, 30,000-plus academics from 2,065 institutions worldwide are registered as contributing authors. Canada is the 6th national affiliate of the global network.


International students offered taste of grad studies at Queen’s

Students from around the globe got a glimpse of life as a graduate student at Queen’s at a recent event held through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

Every summer, SGS invites students participating in the Mitacs Globalink international research internships to visit Queen’s and Kingston. During their day-long visit, the undergraduate students – who are spending the summer working on research projects at various Canadian universities (including Queen’s) – take a campus tour, meet with graduate students and professors from various fields, and take a trolley bus tour through Kingston.


Five Queen’s students earn Vanier scholarships

Five Queen’s University doctoral students have earned Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships designed to help Canadian institutions attract and retain highly qualified doctoral students. The five winners’ areas of study include breast and lung cancer, exercise training programs, pre-cancerous cells, emotions, and persistent genital arousal disorder.

The scholarships provide each student with $50,000 per year for three years during their doctoral studies.

“These are Canada’s most prestigious awards for doctoral students and they will put these young scholars on solid footing for future research success,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies. “Our five new Vanier Scholars have shown their tremendous research potential. They are also role models for other students at Queen’s, and will mentor their colleagues and peers. We congratulate them on their success.”


Matthew Holden: Link Foundation Fellowship Comes to Queen's

Matthew Holden, a PhD Student at Queen’s School of Computing, has become the first Canadian recipient of the Link Foundation Fellowship in Modeling, Simulation, and Training. His research has been recognised as a perfect fit in the context of the Link Foundation’s mission to support promising, innovative, and well-designed projects in the founders’ fields of interests.


Becky Shillington: Balancing School and Work

When opportunities for personal or professional growth arise, “Just say ‘yes’, whenever you can,” says Becky Shillington.  “When you are young, you need to extend your scope and take advantage of any opportunities that come your way because that is where experience comes from.”

A native of Kingston, Becky did her undergrad in Biology and English at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, then returned home to enter the workforce. Queen’s first came into her life in 2011 as a place of employment, as she started working in the university’s Residence Life Office and has risen to the manager position she currently holds. “I was lucky to get a job at Queen’s,” says Becky. “Queen’s has such a dynamic working environment that gives you the chance to try various opportunities to know where to go next.”


National 3MT Winner Announced

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) has announced that Shanthanu Krishna Kumar, a master’s student in plant agriculture from the University of Guelph, has won both first place and the People’s Choice Award for the National 3MT! Richard Kil, PhD Candidate in Chemistry at University of Toronto, won the title of runner up.

Congratulations to Shanthanu and Richard!

Please see the CAGS news release for more information about the national 3MT.