Upcoming Event: Women Won’t Forget (Dec 6th) Vigil

Tomorrow is the 29th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, where 14 women were killed at École Polytechnique because they were women. Tomorrow marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

At the Unversity of Windsor, the candlelight vigil starts at 6 p.m. at the Memorial of Hope, located between Dillon and Essex halls. Fourteen female engineering students will read a statement about each of the victims before placing a rose on the monument, and the event will also honour Lori Dupont, a Windsor nurse who was murdered at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital in 2005. A presentation will follow at 6:30 p.m. at the Hum Café in the CAW Student Centre. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

And if you find yourself in the Toronto area, the Women Won’t Forget Collective will be hosting their candlelight vigil at Philosopher’s Walk at 6 p.m. (event website). And as usual, extra hands are always needed to help set up if you’re able to come a few minutes early.


Upcoming Event: “We Don’t Have to Wait for Social Change” Lecture on Sexual Assault Resistance Education

Just wanted to quickly highlight what I’m sure will be an excellent talk by Dr. Charlene Senn later this week. You could accuse me of being biased because she’s my supervisor but (1) the chances she’ll ever read this post are slim, and (2) she’s a very experienced educator and gives great talks. Charlene is a Canada Research Chair and will be discussing her super-awesome-and-actually-effective Sexual Assault Resistance Education program. If you’re in Windsor, see the details below and be sure to check it out!


Farewell APAGS!

This is a tough post to write. I will start by saying that I am so grateful for the time I spent as part of the APAGS family as an Ambassador, Campus Rep (ACT), and on the Convention Committee. Getting to know this group of energetic, driven, visionary group of student leaders has been so inspiring and so much fun.

As you may know, this was my third and final year with the Convention Committee. I ran for a Member-at-Large position and unfortunately was not elected to serve. However, I’m confident that my colleague will do an awesome job advocating for science-oriented students 🙂

I’m almost afraid to put this in writing, but I hope to graduate soon (eek!) so my time with APAGS is coming to a bittersweet close. Obviously, I’m sad to go but it’s exciting as well. I still have a ways to go before graduation (sometimes it seems closer than others…) but I’m looking forward to whatever comes next. Thankfully, in 2016 the Office for Early Career Psychologists opened with Dr. Eddy Ameen at the helm as Director – so APA, I’m not done with you yet!

A Note on Conference Collaborations

Prior to conference deadline season, I wanted to write a brief post about collaborating on research panels and workshops. Frankly, collaboration wasn’t really on my radar prior to becoming involved with APAGS and Convention Committee. I remember wanting to present at larger conferences (like APA or CPA) and being disappointed that the divisions I was interested in weren’t accepting individual talks. What ended up happening more often than not was that I ended up submitting a poster or not submitting at all.

I didn’t really know how these things came together but I had vague notions that everyone must know each other or come from the same school or have worked together in the past. Though this may be true in some cases, many times it’s not. The first time I was asked to be part of a panel with people that I had never met, it was through the APAGS Convention Committee and I assumed that it was something that was common for us but not everywhere else. I was WAY off on that one! I quickly realized that’s how a lot of presentations happen, and since then I’ve been much more proactive in trying to bring people together.

If you have a project or a rough idea for a conceptual frame that might span several related talks – take that seed of an idea and reach out to your network to see who else has work that might be a good fit. At this point, the idea doesn’t have to be fully formed as chances are that it’ll evolve as the participants bring their work and feedback to the collaboration. Don’t be afraid to develop something new for convention – if you have a good idea, you can usually find people with the right expertise to make it happen.

Where do you find these people, you ask?  

  • Divisions/Sections – If you’re a member of a division or section (like Division 45 or SWAP), make use of the listserv if there is one, or email the chair with your idea. the chair can then forward it to the division or point you in the right direction. Remember, these divisions/sections exist to connect people with similar interests and further research, teaching, or practice in the area. Make ’em work for you!
  • People you know – People know people. They know people that you don’t know, and who might be working on projects that would be appropriate. Simply asking around is a great way to meet new people and stay connected to old ones.
  • Pass it on! If you see a call to collaborate or are asked to jump in on something that’s not really your area, send the email to a colleague or pass along someone’s contact info who might be a better fit. This is how strong networks are made and as your network expands, more opportunities will be sent your way 🙂

A final note – some of your collaborations won’t come together for one reason or another. It can be hard to disappoint people, but these things happen and people generally understand. Collaborating is a great way to hone your leadership and organizational skills and get your work out there. All good things 🙂

Upcoming Event: Impact of Policy on Indigenous Children’s Access to Services Research Talk

For those of you in the Windsor area, Dr. Sinha from McGill University will be presenting on the impact of social policies on Indigenous children’s access to services. It looks like a great talk. I’ve asked about the possibility of streaming it or making it available online (I’ll keep you posted!) for those of us non-locals 🙂

P.S. The RSVP deadline has been extended to Monday, November 5th.

Dr. Sinha

Upcoming Events: “The Business Costs of Domestic Violence” & Sisters in Spirit (Oct 4th) Vigils

Apologies for the late notice, but if you’re in the London area tomorrow there is a public presentation by Dr. Vara-Horna, visiting scholar to Western from Peru. His talk is titled, “The Business Costs of Domestic Violence” and he will be speaking about evidence-based strategies to prevent and respond to domestic violence in the workplace. The talk is hosted by the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children. If you can’t make such short notice, there is also a webinar on Friday, October 5th from 12 – 1:30pm EST.5

VAW talk 1

Second, the annual Sisters in Spirit vigil (October 4th) in honor of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada is coming up this Thursday.

In Windsor, the vigil will be held at Dieppe Gardens from 6 – 8pm (see agenda below):


In Toronto, there are two Sisters in Spirit vigils:

  • Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto will be hosting a candlelight vigil and moment of silence at Allen Gardens at 5:30pm
  • YWCA Toronto Women’s Shelter will be hosting a moment of silence and vigil at 7:30pm

If you can’t make it out, NWAC (Native Women’s Association of Canada) has published a Community Resource Guide with information and actions that advocates, supporters, and educators can take to support the community and wok to end violence against Indigenous girls and women. Download the guide here

Resource: Informed Opinions Learning Hub

For those of you who have followed the blog for a while, you may recall an earlier post about being misquoted in the news. Part of the issue is that I’m not great at conveying my meaning in a clear, news-friendly way (further evidenced by the fact that none of the material from my interviews about the Athena award made it into the final articles & radio coverage). If you’ve ever seen me communicate in person, this probably comes as no surprise. At times I’m at a loss for words and at other times I have too many words – basically meaning that I like to give lots and lots of context for what I’m saying. Helpful, but not sound byte-friendly.

What this boils down to is that communicating with the media is a skill. The Informed Opinions learning hub with a variety of resources aimed to help women find their voice and communicate clearly as women are still under-represented in the media (see the research & about portions of the site). The organization also does a number of other things, such as connecting journalists with qualified, diverse experts via a database, but I wanted to highlight the Learning Hub in particular. There are trainings and resources on a variety of topics (training on written & oral communication, interviews, writing commentary, being strategic & increasing your impact) and if you expect to cross hairs with the media during your career, I would encourage you to check it out. And if you don’t expect to interact with the media, the trainings are also valuable for communicating with other stakeholders and audiences (think knowledge translation/mobilization), so again, I would encourage you to check it out.

Link: Informed Opinions Learning Hub

As always, this will also be added to my ‘Favourite Things‘ resource list.


Upcoming Event: Ending Sexual Violence & Harassment (Conference)

The CAMH Institute for Mental Health Policy Research is hosting a 1-day, free conference on sexual violence prevention for researchers, clinical and prevention practitioners, policymakers, and students. Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment: Current Research and Prevention will be held on September 24, 2018 from 9:00am – 3:30pm in the Bell Gateway Building at CAMH. The line-up looks great, so if you do work in the area and can make it to Toronto – check it out! Details are below and on the Eventbrite page (Register Here!).

CAMH Ending SV n Harassment

Research Randomizer

Just a quick post about a new resource I’ve added to my Favourite Things list on the  Research page (Research Things!). Simple, useful, and easy to use, Research Randomizer is a website that will generate random numbers within your specifications so you can both randomly sample and randomly assign. The website has easy tutorials on how to use the tool for your specific research-y purpose.

Research Randomizerhttps://www.randomizer.org 

And if you use the tool in something you’ll be publishing, here’s the suggested citation:

  • Urbaniak, G. C., & Plous, S. (2013). Research Randomizer (Version 4.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved from: http://www.randomizer.org/



APA 2018 Convention

Sorry folks! Usually I write my recaps a bit sooner, but I jumped right into internship (yay!) the day after convention it’s been a busy few weeks. As the semester is gearing up and my head is in the internship-clouds, I’ll keep this short and sweet. Where to begin…

This year’s convention was in the hot-yet-freezing city of San Francisco. It was my first time visiting and it’s certainly an interesting spot. I loved the legacy transit vehicles that are in use and it was fun to “spot” different cities as they passed (Hi TTC! Hi Detroit!). Amidst the beauty, San Francisco has a lot of poverty but also a lot of community activism and strength. Interestingly, after convention I came across an example of this in the health equity literature for my internship. Corburn and Cohen (2012) write:

“In Richmond, California, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, one-third of residents live at or below 200% of the federal poverty line, over 60% of the population is African-American, Latino, or Asian-American, one in seven people are unemployed, residents live with elevated concentrations of industrial and mobile source air pollution, and it is one of the most violent cities, measured by per capita homicide rates, in the United States. In Richmond, African-Americans have the highest rate of infant mortality, low-birth weight babies, and asthma hospitalizations in Contra Costa County, and residents of the Iron Triangle neighborhood, one of the poorest in the city, die on average 13 years earlier than their wealthier white neighbors.”

In the same article the authors describe the “Measuring What Matters” initiative, which came out of a partnership between community-based organizations and the health department, and aimed to identify areas of priority (and corresponding indicators) for the community in terms of health care inequities. The project has been ongoing since 2012 and the Richmond Health Equity Partnership continues to track progress and work towards equity on these indicators. On Sunday, I had a few hours to explore the city outside of the convention center and I came across many beautiful works of public art that highlight some of the ongoing struggles and concerns faced by the community.

Now, onto convention! Kicking off Thursday morning was a conversation with Dr. Stephanie Shields of Pennsylvania State University at the APAGS Cafe Chat. We made a circle and Dr. Shields was kind enough to let us pick her brain about research and her career. There were a few pieces of advice that stuck with me. First, keep a “mother CV” where you record absolutely everything and keep it updated. That way, when it’s time to apply for jobs or reflect on your professional journey, it’s all at your fingertips. Many of us already do some form of this (best intentions!), but remembering to keep it up to date when we’re busy and not actively job searching is a challenge. Schedule a time to review your CV on a regular basis, such as monthly or at the beginning of every semester. Second, keep all of the “life justifications” that you write. Y’know, all the awkward statements you write when applying to grad school and then again for scholarship applications and then again for teaching statements and then again for grant applications, and so on and so forth. Well, if you haven’t noticed already, if you plan to remain in academic settings you’ll basically have to keep writing these things for the rest of time. So you might as well (a) keep them and (b) use them as part of your reflective process. Dr. Shields spoke about looking back on the statements she’d written to identify growth and things to work on. To be honest, prior to that conversation I thought of those statements as a sort of necessary evil – painful to write and never to be thought of again. I’m fairly certain I’m not alone in that, which is a shame because it seems like a lost opportunity for scholarly development. And really, if we have to spend the time writing them, it makes sense to get as much out of it as possible.

APA 2018 1

When not in APAGS programming, I mostly attended teaching presentations on a variety of topics (e.g., scaffolding for millennials and rubrics). I may write about some of them in later posts, but one study that was particularly interesting was presented by Dr. Alvin Malesky of Western Carolina University. Dr. Malesky and team were interested in learning more about how students actually cheat in online courses. A very timely topic. Essentially, the researchers ran an online intro psych course exactly as if it was a regular course (including listing it with the registrar) but invited half of the students to cheat however they wanted. They even provided one student with funds to hire an online service that will take the course on your behalf. All of the students also completed journals about their perceptions of assignments (e.g., how much time they took, workload, etc.). Long story short, the instructors were not able to tell who was cheating (despite knowing that half the class was) and the assignments that students who were not cheating found most challenging were the ones that were the easiest for the other group of students. Overall the study raised more questions than answers about what this means for teaching, but several suggestions were made. Since first generation methods like turn-it-in are not sufficient for detection, and since instructors themselves are unable to tell, the panel suggested that mindful course design and use of engagement strategies may decrease instances of academic integrity violations. Interesting research design and certainly a lot to think about!

As always, the APAGS social was amazing – good drinks, good food, good people – but this year, we were also celebrating APAGS’ 30th birthday (#APAGSturns30) so we basically had a big birthday bash (complete with cake!). Afterwards, I ended up at baseball game – unfortunately, that’s about as sports-specific as I can get with the details. The stadium (ballpark? arena? who knows…) was right on the water and had a beautiful view of the water from several vantage points (though I have been told that there are no bad seats at a baseball game). The following night was the Division 30 social, which was a lot of fun and filled with colourful characters 🙂

There were a number of other excellent presentations (and I certainly have a number of reflections about the city), but I want to wrap up by talking about Convention Committee. This year was my third and final year on the committee 🙂 Unfortunately, this year we didn’t have a dinner with all the APAGS staff and other committee members, which was a little sad but I hope our paths will cross again. Convention itself was amazing and tiring and fun and I learned many things (as usual). As for the committee, I’m grateful to have had the chance be a part APAGS leadership and to have met so many fantastic people from around the world. I hope to continue my journey with APAGS in the form of an elected position, and you can read a bit more about my campaign on the Member-at-Large, Candidate Statement page.