Upcoming event for those in Windsor:
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.
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.
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?
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.
(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!
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.
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.
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:
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):
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).