The Graduate Student Mobility Award gives students funding to travel for research

Past recipients of the award will showcase some of their innovative research on March 2
February 24, 2015
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By Sara DuBreuil

Graduate student Thaïs Bernos is researching the population dynamics and evolutionary biology of freshwater fish. Graduate student Thaïs Bernos is researching the population dynamics and evolutionary biology of freshwater fish. | Photo courtesy of Thaïs Bernos

On March 2, the atrium of the Computer Science, Engineering and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV) will be filled with groundbreaking research projects as it plays host to the Graduate Student Mobility Award Showcase.

The Graduate Student Mobility Award provides financial assistance to graduate students who want to conduct research outside of Quebec. At the showcase, 15 past recipients of the bursary will share their research and their experiences with participants.

“The bursary allows our students to go into the world and conduct fieldwork, primary archival research and experience firsthand what they are researching,” says John Potvin, graduate program director of the Humanities PhD program. “This is absolutely crucial and essential for good and solid research.”

The showcase provides an opportunity to discover some of the creative and original research that is being done by Concordia students.

Here’s a preview of some of what will be presented at the showcase:

Northern Aboriginal girls and their mediated worlds

Rachel MacNeill, Master of Arts, media studies

Yellowknife native Rachel MacNeill has always known she wanted to work in the north. This past December, with funding from the Graduate Student Mobility Award, she traveled to the community of Behchoko in the Northwest Territories.

“I’m exploring how girls aged 13 and 14 in a relatively isolated community in the north use media — especially social and online media — to inform and explore their identities and senses of self,” she says.

Her project is based in participatory action, and during her three weeks in Behchoko, she was able to hold after-school workshops with her participants. In the future, MacNeill hopes to work directly with girls in marginalized communities on participatory media projects.

What it’s like to be a woman working in Hollywood

Kerry McElroy, Interdisciplinary PhD (cinema, history, women’s studies), humanities

“I use media, popular culture and film to look at histories of women and gender,” says Kerry McElroy, who traveled to Los Angeles to do research for her dissertation on women in performing arts and media.

McElroy did archival work on the history of women in Hollywood at the Library of the Oscars, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Library of Moving Image at the University of California, Los Angeles. Travelling to Los Angeles was essential for her research, as the archives contain pieces of history that cannot be digitized, including costumes, scripts and labour contracts. She was also able to conduct oral-history interviews with prominent women working in film. While doing field research, McElroy made connections that changed the course of her dissertation. 

“My dissertation has grown to encompass what was the situation for women in Hollywood a hundred years ago and how that compares to today,” she says, explaining how the historical ended up being a jumping off point to the contemporary. 

The dynamics of brook trout

Thaïs Bernos, Master of Science, biology

Thaïs Bernos, a graduate student in the ecology, evolution and genetics in conservation biology lab of Dylan Fraser, is researching the population dynamics and evolutionary biology of freshwater fish. More specifically, she focuses on a system of brook trout located in Newfoundland and is investigating the relationship between genetic diversity, population size and the environment.

“A better understanding of this relationship is crucial from a conservation standpoint,” Bernos says. “It could allow us to better identify the threats faced by small populations in a world where the future of many species is threatened by human activities.”

To conduct her research, Bernos spent June 2014 in Cape Race, Newfoundland, surveying stream environments, estimating brook trout population sizes and collecting fin samples from 15 different streams.


The Graduate Student Mobility Award Research Showcase takes place on March 2, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., in the atrium of the
Computer Science, Engineering and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV) (1515 St. Catherine W.), on the Sir George Williams Campus.
 



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