Upcoming Events: Oct 4th Vigil, TBTN, & Conversations about Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice

This post is a brief one, but I wanted to pop in and share a couple upcoming events. The first event is actually coming up today, so it’s a bit last minute but it’s worth a mention:


And with a little more advanced notice, the Windsor-Essex Take Back the Night 2017 is happening this Saturday, September 30th from 6-9pm. There will also be a post-rally event with food and fun on Maiden Lane! Meet at the Windsor Aquatic Club (401 Pitt St W).

Finally, the 12th Annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil to honour missing and murdered aboriginal women. In Windsor, the vigil will be Wednesday October 4th from 6-7:30pm at Dieppe Gardens.


And for those in Toronto, the Native Women’s Resource Centre (191 Gerrard Street East) will be having their feast and vigil starting at 5pm on October 4th.


APA 2017 Convention: Weekend Update

Saturday started off with a Food For Thought breakfast with Dr. Deborah Tolman, professor of Women and Gender Studies at Hunter College and professor of critical social psycholog at CUNY. Super exciting! Dr. Tolman spoke about how she got started in her research (adolescent girls’ sexuality and desire) and things she learned during her career. She talked about the importance of understanding your audience and meeting them where they are – especially when your research deals with sensitive topics or non-traditional viewpoints. Check out her talk on the APAGS Facebook page.

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APA 2017 Convention: Thurs/Fri

Another convention done. What a whirlwind! First order of business – acquire ribbons. Second order of business – spend hours deciding what order to attach them to maximize visual appeal. (PS. How pretty is the SPSSI ribbon?! Well done, division 9.)

Now that we’ve covered the ribbons, here are a few of my favourite moments from days one and two.

One of the best things about convention is spending time with people that I don’t have the chance to see very often. This year I had a mini-reunion with my friend Jessica who lives in Chicago. She was invited to speak at the Alternative Careers program (bright and early Thursday morning!) about her work as a trial consultant and her adventure starting her own consulting firm. Exciting stuff! At the session we also heard from Eddy Ameen, speaking about the notion of “alternative” careers, Melissa Menzer about her job at the National Endowment for the Arts (I had no idea they did so much research!), and Jason Cantone about his work at the Federal Judicial Center (during which I learned the term “baby judge school”). It was a strong start to convention 🙂 Across the programs, the speakers discussed thinking about the transferable skills we gain during grad school and the various ways they can be applied in practical settings, conducting informational interviews (it never hurts to try!), advocating for yourself, pursuing varied (read: non-academic) experiences, and paying it forward when the time comes (and keeping an eye out for mentors in the meantime). Great stuff. Very early though, so I’m not sure how many students had arrived at convention yet.

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Dissertation Writing Obstacles: Proposal

I know, I know, do we really need yet another post about the dissertation writing process?! Much has already been written about writing and the interwebs are filled with various resources for students struggling with the writing process. While many of the struggles we face as students are similar (and believe me, the struggle is real!), people work in different ways and a lot of what I read and what people advised didn’t resonate with me. So I thought I would talk about my personal experience in case someone else out there finds it helpful. And besides, reading about writing basically counts as work, right?

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Upcoming Event: APA 2017

My favourite time of the (academic) year – conference season!!! CPA and APS have flown by and APA will be here soon (August 3 – 6). For those of you heading to Washington DC, here are a few of the awesome things that the APAGS Convention Committee has planned.

  • Food for Thought Breakfasts – A chance to hear from established psychologists working in clinical, advocacy, and research positions in an intimate setting. Bonus: free food.
  • Alternative Careers with a Doctorate – This one is always a favourite of mine. If you’re interested in working somewhere other than in clinical practice or academia – this is worth checking out. Each year APAGS invites people with interesting “alternative” careers (e.g., UX research, policy work, jury consulting, research for the National Endowment for the Arts & the EPA, etc.) about how they found their jobs & things they’ve learned along the way!
  • Intro to the R Statistical System – It might not be the most interesting topic (for us non-statsy folks anyway), but it’ll sure come in handy. The farther I get into my research career, I find myself working on projects and research I’d never have anticipated and have found myself wishing I had a broader knowledge of statistical software packages. For this reason, I wanted to highlight this session for anyone in the same boat!
  • APAGS Social – Food. Fun. Frolicking.

Dec 2016 convention mtg 1

(Above) APAGS Convention Committee planning meeting for 2017 convention

The full APAGS schedule can be found here. And if you’re on the fence about attending, gradPSYCH has posts about why you should attend convention, what to do if it’s your first time, and how to get there.

See you there!

Writing Good Letters

In the academic world, letters make the world go ’round. Letters for grants, scholarships, advocacy, awards, and recommendations are commonplace. If you hang around long enough, you will inevitably be asked to write one. Early on in my academic career, I was asked to write a letter for a student who was applying for a study abroad program, and recently, I was asked by a colleague to write a letter of support for a teaching award. In my experience, students talk a lot about how to locate appropriate references and ask for letters, but don’t really talk about how to write strong letters – especially as a student or early career professional.

I certainly don’t have any expertise in this area (I would love to hear your comments and tips!), but I thought it might be helpful to share a few thoughts for anyone in a similar position.

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Upcoming Events & Brief Introduction to the HRC-VAW!

Long time no write! Well, that’s not strictly true. I have been writing. A LOT actually. Like many other students, I struggled with bouncing back from my comprehensive exams and immersing myself into my dissertation work. However, for the first time in a long time I can picture the “end”. Being able to visualize the finished proposal has been very motivating 🙂 A longer post about some of the obstacles and things I found helpful is in the works – once I get closer to the other side!

I wanted to quickly pop in to highlight two upcoming events – the first from the Health Research Centre for the Study of Violence Against Women. What a mouthful! Let’s just shorten that to the HRC-VAW from now on.

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Upcoming Events!

For those of you in the Windsor area, there are a number of events coming up that might be of interest. Thanks goes to fellow FRG’er and grad student extraordinaire Ayesha for spreading the word! Speaking of FRG – keep an eye out for an upcoming Brown Bag Research Talk with one of our recent travel grant winners.

Alright, onto the events!

Windsor on Watch (Feb 14th) – Local activist group, Windsor on Watch (FB page) will be meeting with women from Michigan to discuss potential collaborations and actions. They are soliciting participation from local women, so don’t be shy! The meeting will be held at 2pm at The Pause Cafe (downtown Windsor).

The Vagina Monologues (Feb 15th) – A V-Day play sponsored by the UWSA and Windsor Law at The Capitol Theatre. All proceeds will go to the Windsor Essex Sexual Assault Crisis Centre (and other orgs that focus on violence against women in the workplace). The event FB page has the details and you can buy tickets here. ***They need volunteers!!***

Dept of Sexuality, Marriage & Family Studies 7th Annual Research Symposium Call for Proposals (Feb 21st deadline) – Via Dr. Jane Nicholas, last year’s FRG Conference keynote speaker:

The department of Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo hosts an annual research symposium to showcase graduate and undergraduate research. This year they are partnered with the HeForShe committee (Waterloo is the Canadian school that has joined the UN’s HeForShe initiative – woot!). If you have any questions, email Dr. Nicholas. See below:

International Women’s Day 2017 (March 7th) – Hosted by Women’s and Gender Studies:


Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (March 11): The following courtesy of Siân Evans, Jacqueline Mabey, and Michael Mandiberg (Art + Feminism webpage):

DON’T AGONIZE, ORGANIZE! The award winning, record breaking Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon is happening this March. Join us again or organize for the first time to improve Wikipedia and affirm the importance of the arts and intersectional feminisms. It matters more than ever as we face a post-fact world, and what may follow.
Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of the disparity is not: content is skewed by the lack of female participation. Established in 2014, Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon is a response to the gender gap in content and participation on Wikipedia.
As the lead co-organizers of Art+Feminism, we’ve been deeply disturbed by the sheer amount of fake news on social media, and its influence on the recent US election. We believe this makes our work even more pressing. Now more than ever we must gather together to improve Wikipedia and affirm work of women, people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized peoples.
Hold an Edit-a-thon at your local university, artist run center, museum, community center, etc! Art+Feminism Edit-a-thons address content and participation gaps by inviting people of all gender identities and expressions to gather for communal updating of Wikipedia entries related to art and feminism. The leadership collective supports Edit-a-thon organizers by: providing an organizer’s kit with suggested workflow, promotional and training materials, and more; funding to defray the costs of refreshments and childcare; and training and support.
The 2017 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at The Museum of Modern Art, New York will take place on Saturday, March 11, 2017. Node events are welcome to hold their event on this day or any other date in March, 2017 that makes sense for your community. To learn more and get involved, contact the lead co-organizers at info@artandfeminism.org.
Note: If any FRGers are interested in participating, contact Kathryn Huckson at huckson@uwindsor.ca

“What was that blur?” “The Fall, I think.”

So… October happened. And then November. And then DECEMBER. When did December happen?! What a busy semester. A full update isn’t in the cards at the moment, but here’s a quick post I’ve been meaning to type up for a while.

In October, the psychology department hosted Dr. Jen Rinaldi, assistant professor of legal studies at UOIT for a colloquium. The talk was titled “Examining the Intersection of Body Image and Identity in LGBTTIQQ2S Women using an Art-based Methodology” and discussed a digital storytelling workshop that was conducted in 2015. While the findings of the project – Through Thick and Thin – were interesting, I wanted to share a bit about the method that was used. It was certainly new to me and I ended up taking some notes:

For those that aren’t fluent in “plate” – here are the key points. The project asked women to create autobiographical microdocumentaries, short multi-media films about how their body image interacted with different aspects of their identity (gender, sexual preference, ability). The participants learned how to use the equipment to create and edit their films. Working with the participants helps to create trust, break down power barriers, and facilitate relationships. The narratives created by the women were used to educate the health community (as well as the public) about a variety of issues, exposing people to a range of experiences and fostering empathy. In addition to empowering people to tell their own stories, using this format allows for the maximum impact in a short amount of time. Bonus – the catchy, personal stories enhance and personalize the message. For those who are interested, the videos can be viewed on Rainbow Health Ontario’s YoutTube channel.

The method has so many potential applications, especially for action research, community-university partnerships or projects involving education or outreach – where the message is best conveyed by the experts (the participants themselves). For those who are interested, Podkalicka and Campbell (2010) have a short paper talking about some of the applications and downfalls of digital storytelling using a case study example (read it here).