Skip to main content

Concordia University Summer Research Institute (CUSRI) 2016


MAY 31 - JUNE 3, 2016

CUSRI is a three-day event that gives a snapshot of graduate studies to senior undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing research. Twenty competitive candidates will be selected as Summer Research Fellows and benefit from experiential learning activities designed to develop their skills as leaders. Outstanding faculty members will facilitate the experience by showcasing Concordia’s ongoing research and leading hands-on workshops in exceptional facilities.

The Concordia University Summer Research Institute (CUSRI) is an exceptional academic experience built on interdisciplinary and experiential learning. Join Canada’s top academics in one of the country’s most energized cities for a 3-day exploration of leadership in the making.

"This opportunity is an eye-opener. The whole world needs interdisciplinarity. People need to be more open minded." - 2015 CUSRI fellow

"I had a great time during this week, the residence is clean and safe. The activities and presentations were very interesting. I learned new things about an amazing topic." - 2015 CUSRI fellow

This year the CUSRI theme is “Leadership for the Next Generation”

The Concordia University Summer Research Institute is a unique chance for you to go beyond the classroom and really challenge the status quo. Over three days, you will put theory into practice by boldly experimenting with some cutting-edge research. Look forward to getting your hands dirty as we aim to explore questions such as:  

  • Why are leadership qualities important to my career?
  • How can I use my voice to affect social change?
  • How will my story inspire and lead the next generation?
  • How do I make sense of 21st Century health problems?
  • What role does cultural ethnicity play in the foods I eat?  

Taking place in the best student city in North America, you will also be able to enjoy Montreal’s vast cultural scene. Discover how diverse communities contribute to the city’s unique fusion of cuisines while you embrace the many sights of one of Canada’s largest multicultural metropolises. 

Join a selected group of talented students for the CUSRI from May 31 to June 3 at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Twenty competitive senior undergraduate and master’s students from Canadian and international universities will be selected to be Summer Research Institute Fellows. If selected, the fellows will participate in three days of experiential learning, hands-on activities, and team-work, addressing big questions on the theme of leadership.

Program goals: The Concordia University Summer Research Institute aims to provide students, interested in pursuing research, with a snapshot of graduate studies. The experience is facilitated by outstanding faculty members who showcase current and relevant research in exceptional facilities.

A valuable experience: If you are thinking of applying to graduate school at Concordia University in Montreal, this is your chance to participate in an experiential learning opportunity in an interdisciplinary milieu. You will mingle with scholars and researchers at Concordia's state-of-the art research labs while discovering research at the university.

CUSRI Partners: The Concordia University Summer Research Institute is designed and delivered through the collaboration with the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, as well as Concordia’s Departments of Education, Journalism, Psychology and Management and coordinated by the School of Graduate Studies. See schedule for details.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Check in at Grey Nun’s Residence as of 4:00 pm
Grey Nuns Residence, 1190 Guy St. entrance
Campus maps

Distribution of information package

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Foundations of Leadership - Why are leadership qualities important to my career?

9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Room: MB 11.101
Foundations of Leadership

In this session, participants will establish the foundations upon which they can start their leadership development journey. Through interactive methods, they will gain an appreciation for the interplay between leadership, followership, and context. They will also clarify the relevance of leadership and leadership development for their own career endeavors.

9:30 - 11:00 am: What is leadership and how is it relevant to me?
Through mini-lectures and experiential exercises, participants will be able to refine their definition of leadership and understand the interplay between leadership, followership, and context. They will also gain an appreciation for the importance of leadership in organizations and for their own career choice, no matter what path they choose to pursue. This will serve as a useful foundation for the rest of their experience in the Concordia University Summer Research Institute.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Showcase of leadership research
Faculty members and graduate students in Management will take turn to explain the kind of research they are conducting in the area of leadership, coming at it from very diverse perspectives. Each will explain briefly the broad research questions that they are addressing, the method that they are using to study this research question, and the broad conclusions that we can draw from their research and apply to our own life. 

Public Narrative Workshop - How can I use my voice to affect social change?

2:00 - 5:00 pm
1514 avenue Docteur-Penfield, Montréal, Québec H3G 1B9
Workshop by Fondation Jeanne Sauvé Fellows

Lead facilitator (s): Costin Ciobanu + 5 Sauvé Fellows

150 minutes (including bio break)

In this era of rapid global change and of complex social, environmental, and economic challenges, we are beginning to understand our interconnectedness. If we are to meet the challenges before us, we need to embrace a new kind of leadership; one focused on collaborating across cultures, disciplines, and sectors.  The Jeanne Sauvé Fellows will guide participants through three fun, highly interactive workshops focused on three key aspects of collaborative leadership: leading self, leading community, and leading systems change.

The session will challenge participants to explore how their personal values, strengths, and cultural backgrounds can reinforce their unique leadership styles (self). It will expose them to innovative activism tools to lead change (community). And it will challenge them to consider their role as leaders in response to the broader social changes occurring globally (systems change).

Main topics of interest covered in the session:
Public narrative, storytelling, public leadership, public speaking, social and political change.

Learning Outcomes: what will students have learnt/discussed/gained by the end of the session?

  • understand the role of storytelling in enabling social and political change;
  • develop their own compelling public narratives;
  • practice speechwriting and public speaking skills;
  • provide and receive feedback in a constructive way.

Open Invitation to the Public - Montreal pioneers lead the way, their way

7:00 - 9:00 pm
Room: DB Clarke Theatre

Join us for a conversation with four leading Montrealers as they discuss what it means to be a leader in today’s society. Our cross-disciplinary panel will recount their own success stories and explain how they are able to achieve their goals without compromising their passions. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Leaders as Journalists: Infectious Disease Stimulation - How will my story inspire and lead the next generation?

Workshop by Dr. David Secko (Journalism) and Dr. Andrea Hunter (Journalism)

9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Loyola Campus, Room CJ 2.409

Journalism and leadership combine in this simulation to ask: How will your reporting inspire and lead the next generation? We will get hands-on with our stories and craft some journalism on infectious disease to inspire and enact social change.

9:30 - 9:40 am:  Introduction 
Dr. David Secko introduces Journalism Studies and the role of journalism in leadership. The rules of the simulations are explained.

9:45 - 11:00 am:  Infectious Disease Outbreak. What’s your story? 
Simulation begins. Workshop on crafting your story on the outbreak into a form that inspires, leads and enacts social change. Together with journalism faculty, staff and students, CUSRI participants will develop a journalistic story on the infectious disease outbreak. They will be rapidly trained in how to write for radio in five easy steps, before entering the radio newsroom to broadcast their work to the world.  

11:00 am - 12:00 pm:  Studying how journalists communicate 
Reflections on the simulation. After reporting on the simulation, we will listen to our stories and reflect on our journalism. What was it meant to convey? Did it inspire us? Did it show leadership? Could it enact social change? Dr. Secko will then speak about his research program in journalism studies and recent work to collect the lived experience of West African journalists who covered the 2014 Ebola outbreak. The session will end with a discussion of how graduate studies in journalism can foster leadership skills.

Leading the Investigation on Healthcare - How do I make sense of 21st Century health problems?

2:00 - 4:30 pm
Loyola Campus, CJ Building, Room PY 09

Researchers at Concordia study many of Canada's most pressing health problems, and they do so in a complex and multilevel way -- covering the full range from genes and neurons, to behaviours and subjective experiences, to the sociocultural environment. Tomorrow's leaders -- in healthcare, government, public policy, science journalism, and more -- need to be able to think clearly and act decisively in light of this complexity, but without getting bogged down in it. This workshop will introduce students to several of the techniques used to study health and wellness across these domains, guiding them in different ways of thinking about health problems across biological, psychological, and sociocultural levels.

2:00 - 2:45 pm: Introduction
Dr. Andrew Ryder introduces research conducted at the Centre for Clinical Research in Health, with an emphasis on Clinical Psychology. Problems with contemporary thinking about mental health, particularly among non-specialists in leadership position, are discussed. An alternative interdisciplinary perspective will be presented.

2:45 - 3:45 pm: Mental Health Case Studies: Culture, Mind, and Brain
CUSRI participants will have the opportunity to consider several mental health case studies, contrasting common beliefs about these conditions with the multilevel approach. In collaboration with psychology faculty and graduate students, participants will grapple with the best ways of describing the interacting levels of a mental health problem. The reason so many people in communications and leadership roles adopt overly simple views is that these views are easy to understand and pass on to others. How can we think about – and talk about – these complex problems in ways that are both accurate and effective?

3:45 - 4:30 pm: Reflection: Why is it Important to Get It Right?

Simpler views of mental health issues might not get all the details, but at least the message is easy to get out there—right? Participants will reflect on the case study exercise and discuss the potential costs of over-focus on one level of analysis. Dr. Ryder will present some implications of getting this wrong: misinterpretation of research findings, failure to even consider certain kinds of studies, political decisions made with limited or misleading information, and the problematic influence of vested interests. The next generation of leaders will need to have a good critical handle on these issues as part of engaging with, rather than rejecting, the science.

Friday, June 3, 2016

One Day as an Active Citizen at Concordia: Theory, Practice, and Praxsis - What role does cultural ethnicity play in the foods I eat?

Room: MB 15.254 

There is a consensus among scholars that ‘education for global citizenship, sustainability and pace,' deserves more attention. However, these are contested, complex, and multilayered concepts. This workshop highlights global interdependence along with varied and conflicting demands that local/national and global/international citizenship places on individuals.

The workshop will take students beyond and across the boundaries of cultures, nations, and academic disciplines to help them explore diverse perspectives on the ethical dilemmas that individuals face being both a citizen of a particular nation-state, as well as  ‘citizens’ of the world. Students will be introduced to many contemporary and emerging global issues and asked to reflect on their personal backgrounds and consumption patterns in relation to other traditions, perspectives, and consumption patterns.

The workshop is designed to help the students explore the interconnections between social justice, economic, environmental, and political issues and critically engage with complex matters related to global citizenship. The analysis and discussions of various topics will take place in the larger context of North-South relationships within a globalized, interconnected world. Particular emphasis will be on how these issues frame and affect citizenship especially for marginalized persons and communities in both the developed and the developing societies.

Participants will address various aspects of global citizenship within the broader context of development, environment/sustainability, food security, transnational migration/environmental refugees, technological advancement/surveillance and neoliberalism—the dominant economic ideology in the current phase of globalization. Students will explore the role of education, agency and activism in altering current lifestyles for a more sustainable, socially just and equitable world.

The last part of the workshop aims at praxis, i.e., putting theory into actual practice. In this part student will learn about being responsible for their wellbeing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle based on local produce.

9:30 am: Introductions
Meeting students and introductions

10:00 am - 12:00 pm: Good citizenship, social justice, and lifestyles
Workshop on good citizenship and social justice

12:00 - 1:30 pm: Learning to eat nutritionally adequate, sustainable & healthy diets—cooking with Adeela
This is the praxis part of the workshop. Students will walk with Adeela to the nearby food store to see produce, read labels, and buy food which will be prepared and shared at the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation’s kitchen.

1:30 - 2:30 pm: Lunch and Chitchat
Food as a site of, community, sharing, love, food and storytelling, food for healing…

2:30 - 3:00 pm: Reflections
What we learnt and where do we go from here?

Montreal pioneers lead the way, their way

Join us for a conversation with four leading Montrealers as they discuss what it means to be a leader in today’s society. Our cross-disciplinary panel will recount their own success stories and explain how they are able to achieve their goals without compromising their passions. 

Lucinda Chodan

From her beginnings as a Gazette arts reporter to her current post as the paper’s editor-in-chief, Lucinda Chodan understands Montreal and its residents like few others. Under her leadership, the Gazette has undergone a major transformation to reach readers on different platforms and provide them with content that match their needs.

Have fun. Be honest when you make a mistake. All of the things your parents probably taught you when you were growing up serve you in good stead. (Global News Montreal, 2013) 

Désirée McGraw 

Named one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women in 2014, Désirée McGraw is credited with co-founding Al Gore’s Climate Project in Canada and serving as an advisor to former prime minister Paul Martin. Now president of Pearson College in Vancouver, McGraw draws on her experiences at Montreal’s Jeanne Sauvé Foundation to empower the next generation of public leaders in Canada. 

The world needs a new generation of change agents, undaunted by complexity, to tackle national and global issues. (Concordia News 2015)

Andy Nulman

As a co-founder of Montreal’s Just for Laugh Festival, Andy Nulman was instrumental in transforming the two-day show into an international event that attracts comedians and audiences from across the globe. An entrepreneur, author, teacher and public speaker, Nulman currently serves as CEO of Play the Future Inc., a digital gaming platform that engages users to predict the future.

My inspiration really came from someone saying “No.” I had to prove it could be done. (Montreal Gazette, 2008)

Cherry Smiley

Cherry Smiley, from the Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) and Diné (Navajo) Nations, is a PhD student at Concordia whose research seeks to end violence against Indigenous women and girls. She aims to Indigenize the academy by encouraging the full and meaningful participation of Indigenous women and girls in the research and creation of policies that affect their lives. 

My name, given to me by my grandmother, carries the strength and hope of my ancestors in a contemporary, colonial, patriarchal and capitalist world. (Concordia 2016)

Back to top

© Concordia University