2021 Graduate Student Research Conference Highlights
The theme of this year’s conference was: Then, Now, and Expanding Possibilities
The Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA) held the annual Graduate Student Research Conference virtually on October 1 – 2, 2021. This conference provides the opportunity for AU graduate students to present their impressive research, connect with the AU community, and engage in informative presentations and discussions.
This year’s conference proved to be another energizing and inspiring event. There were 45 student presenters, faculty members, guest speakers, participants, and volunteers who came together virtually for this event. We also accepted the top 5 undergraduate abstracts, and those students were invited to present at this year’s conference. Excitingly, 100 people registered to attend the conference from across Canada and the United States.
It takes a lot of commitment and organization to run this conference each year. A special thank you to the conference co-chairs Meaghan Sullivan and Vikki Bellerose, Conference Coordinator, Lindsay McNena, Krystal Zahara, the steering committee, abstract reviewers, the facilitators and countless other volunteers and sponsors. This conference would not have been a success without your spirit and generosity.
Friday evening opened with a welcome from Dr. Matt Prineas, Provost and VP Academic, followed by a keynote address from Dr. Andrew Perrin, Associate Vice President, Research. AUGSA continued the evening with virtual trivia and a social. Approx. 40 conference participants tested their knowledge on various topics and the winners received a $50 Amazon gift card provided by AUGSA.
Dr. Shawn Fraser, Dean FGS, opened the conference on Saturday, followed by greetings from Athabasca University Interim President, Deborah Meyers, and opening remarks from Anne-Marie Scott, Deputy Provost.
After lunch, a panel that complimented the conference theme, “Then, Now, and Expanding Possibilities”, was presented. Dr. Agnieszka Palalas spoke on “Then”, Melissa Stevenson, Master of Nursing Student touched on the topic of “Now” and Rory McGreal engaged us on the topic of “Expanding Possibilities”.
Gabrielle Heselton, Master of Counselling graduate and 2021 Governor General’s Gold Medal Award winner, was the Alumni speaker and spoke about her research “Through Their Eyes: Engaging Marginalized Communities in Thesis Research”.
AU is exceptionally proud of all the student presenters. The commitment of our students to their educational journey is always impressive. Students stated that the Graduate Student Research Conference increased the value of their AU education.
The People’s Choice Award was voted upon and awarded to Jessica O’Reilly, and EdD student, for her presentation on ‘MINOTAWÀN: LISTENING TO LEARNERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF OER-ENABLED PEDAGOGY’.
We received many comments from students indicating that they found all the talks remarkably inspiring and informative.
Planning for the 2022 Graduate Student Research Conference is in progress and information will be updated on the conference website once it is confirmed.
We look forward to seeing you next year!