Doctoral students attend dissertation writing boot camp
This story was originally published on the GSPA website.
"I will finish writing this dissertation come hell or high waters," says one boot camper to another as they clear the plates after lunch at the Lake Shift. Not only was the expression befitting as participants were near a body of water, but it was also a testament to the determination among doctoral students at the Lake Shift Dissertation Writing Bootcamp. The Lake Shift Dissertation Writing Bootcamp, aka Dissertation-on-the-lake, is a yearly writing retreat organized by Queen's University School of Graduate Studies for doctoral students from across Ontario universities, and is held at the Queens' Biological Station situated on Lake Opinicon. Supported by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, five University of Waterloo graduate students, Maša Torbica, Sagar Patel, Shefaza Esmail, Stephanie Barr and Jennifer Kandjii were among the participants of this year's retreat held July 14-19, 2019.
The writing retreat at Lake Opinicon provided a valuable opportunity for structured writing without the day-to-day time-consuming realities of meal-prep, family and work commitments, and university teaching or research assistantships. The daily program comprised of two writing sessions, meal times, and a group session. Each day, participants wrote their goals on sticky notes, which they transferred from the goal chart to the accomplishment chart, when they achieved the goal. This visual representation demonstrated that as a collective, participants were meeting their goals.
Maša summarized her experience at the Lake Shift as one that "offered a productive balance between structured writing time and social immersion in a scholarly community." As the writing sessions were flexible, writers were able to plan their day to incorporate fun, water-based activities such as swimming and canoeing. The hydrophobic could instead hike to Cook island, get an ice-cream at the nearby village, or take a short nap to re-energize.
Updates to Memorandum of Agreement
Two sets of minor amendments to the Memorandum of Agreement between the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) and the University of Waterloo took effect on July 17:
- Section 11.2, Vacation Entitlement: Faculty members who engaged in classroom teaching in every academic term of a contract year now have the option of carrying forward one week of vacation to the following year upon providing written notice to their department chair. Carrying forward one week or more of vacation is still allowed for all faculty in ‘exceptional circumstances.’
- Section 11.5, Faculty Professional Expense Reimbursement Plan (FPER):
- In order to provide sufficient processing time, the period for incurring eligible expenses has been moved to between April 1 of the prior year and March 31 of the current salary year. Faculty may submit electronic claims to their department/school approving authority up to two times per year, no later than 10 business days after March 31.
- The amendments also clarify entitlements in the first and final years of employment at the University, and formally incorporate the provision from the 2015 salary settlement that allows members to carry forward unspent FPER balances for up to three years.
The full text of the current MOA in effect can be found on the Secretariat’s website.
Funding for social science and humanities and other notes
More than 60 faculty members and graduate students at the University of Waterloo are receiving funds to advance their research in the areas of education, immigration, Indigenous health, and the environment.
The funding awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is part of a national announcement of $285 million for researchers and graduate students across Canada by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport.
The researchers and graduate students have been awarded funding for SSHRC Partnership Development Grants, Partnership Grants, Insight Development Grants, and Insight Grants.
The Office of Research has a full listing of the funding awards to Waterloo researchers and graduate students.
“Cheryl Petrie joined the Audio Visual Centre at the University in 1985,” writes Liz Doede. “In 2006, she joined our department when the Audio Visual Centre merged with IST. In her role as Media Resources Specialist, Cheryl has always been dedicated in her work, collaborative with areas she deals with – including other universities with whom she facilitated inter-university media loans – and responsive to instructor requests for materials. She attended media shows and conferences in Ontario and the US to keep informed on this changing market, with new media formats and modes of delivery (move to streaming), consortia licensing, and evolving copyright laws and guidelines. Among her other activities, she’s been on the Copyright Working Group for a number of years, providing expertise on appropriate use of media resources at Waterloo, was part of IST’s “space committee” in MC, and contributed to the initial phase of the digital asset management project that resulted in Waterloo Photos.”
“Cheryl’s last day was August 1st and at her request, there will be no formal send-off. Please join me in wishing Cheryl all the best in her retirement.”
The W Store is offering a free plush goose with stationery purchases by staff and faculty for their children 13 & under. The offer is valid until August 23, 2019 at W Store, SCH and W Store Essentials, SLC & STC with a minimum $10 stationery purchase before tax.
There will be a utility shutdown in BMH from August 19 at 7:00 a.m - August 23 at 11:00 p.m. Services will be shut down to allow for repairs in the tunnel, including compressed air, heating, ventilation, A/C and HVAC system. If you have any questions, speak to Jeff Fischer at extension 46306.