“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.”
~Arthur C. Clarke
The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) and the Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA) held the annual Graduate Student Research Conference (GSRC) virtually on October 16 – 17, 2020. 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. 35 student presenters, faculty members, guest speakers, participants, and volunteers came together virtually for this event. 180 people registered to attend the conference and some virtual guests joined in from as far away as Qatar.
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 (AUGSA) and Vikki Bellerose (FGS), Conference coordinator, Camille MacRae, Krystal Zahara, Mary-Anne Parker, Kelcey Carlisle and his IT team, and countless other volunteers and sponsors. This conference would not have been a success without your spirit and generosity.
AUGSA kicked off the conference on Friday evening with a Meet & Greet and a virtual trivia night. About 40 conference participants battled head to head on various topics. Prizes for the winners were provided by AUGSA.
Dr. Shawn Fraser, Dean FGS, opened the conference on Saturday, followed by greetings from Athabasca University President, Dr. Neil Fassina, and remarks from the Minister of Advanced Education, the Honorable Demetrios Nicolaides.
Provost and Vice President Academic, Dr. Matt Prineas provided thoughtful remarks after lunch about graduate education.
Anne–Marie Scott, Deputy Provost, Athabasca University was an excellent keynote speaker providing valuable insights on graduate education at AU. We received many comments from students indicating that they found all of the talks extremely inspiring and informative.
AU is extremely proud of our 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. We received many positive comments from our students:
- “I was so thrilled to be able to present my M.C. thesis findings at the conference this year! …I was glad to see the breadth of research my fellow students were working on! Very impressive and important work that everyone is doing!”
- “The GSRC was, as usual, a great engaging environment to learn about current research happening at AU, and to share my own research with the AU community. I enjoyed the interaction and discussions that happened after the presentations with my colleagues all over the country. It has been valuable for me as an emerging scholar to gain experience with presenting in an academic setting but in an environment that was very supportive.”
- “For my first graduate conference, this was a very positive experience. In particular, I find the diversity of the research being explored at Athabasca University exciting and promising. I look forward to next year!”
Planning for the 2021 Graduate Student Research Conference will begin in January and information will be available in the Spring. We look forward to seeing you next year!