Three University of Waterloo doctoral students return from Lake Shift

Monday, July 24, 2023

Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs sent three doctoral students to Lake Opinicon for the 2023 Lake Shift writing retreat that ran from July 2-7 at the Queen’s Biology Station. While at Lake Shift, Emily Shantz, Cael Dobson, and Mana Monfared had dedicated and structured time to write, participated in various workshops on effective dissertation writing, and networked with other doctoral students from across Ontario.

chairs by lakeWhen asked what she thought about the experience Lake Shift provided, Emily had a lot of fantastic things to say; “Attending the Lake Shift was an amazing experience! By far, my favourite part of the experience was all the wonderful people I met. It was fantastic to connect with PhD students from different universities, studying in different disciplines, and finding common threads among our research, experiences, and of course, the dissertation process. It’s now several weeks out from the Lake Shift, and our cohort is still going strong! We meet up almost daily for virtual writing sessions, are planning in-person meet ups for the fall, and even have a peer workshop series in the works. The support has been incredible!”

Photo of Cael, Emily, and ManaDuring their time at Lake Shift, all three students were able to make substantial progress towards their dissertation. For example, Cael mentioned that they were able to write a couple thousand words and designed a new timeline to complete their dissertation.

When asked if they would recommend this experience to other PhD students, all three students mentioned that they absolutely would. Mana said “It is incredibly helpful to have peers who are going through the same challenging period of PhD education as you are. I cannot express what it was like to be surrounded by that kind of nature and write, learn, eat, and converse. It truly helped me to refuel my energy and focus. It was also an opportunity for me to reflect on my goals and gain new insights. Overall, I'm grateful for the experience and the new relationships I gained from it.”

Are you a PhD student looking to attend Lake Shift or access supports on writing your dissertation? Keep an eye out for future opportunities through Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs and our many campus partners like the Writing and Communication Centre.

  1. 2024 (15)
    1. May (3)
    2. April (2)
    3. March (2)
    4. February (7)
    5. January (1)
  2. 2023 (43)
    1. November (1)
    2. October (4)
    3. September (6)
    4. July (3)
    5. June (8)
    6. May (5)
    7. April (6)
    8. March (3)
    9. February (5)
    10. January (2)
  3. 2022 (34)
    1. December (3)
    2. November (2)
    3. October (2)
    4. September (4)
    5. July (2)
    6. June (2)
    7. May (2)
    8. March (2)
    9. February (6)
    10. January (9)
  4. 2021 (100)
  5. 2020 (78)
  6. 2019 (52)
  7. 2018 (7)