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Grad Success Week - May 3-5, 2016

Network with other graduate students while enhancing your research, writing, presentation, and time-management skills during this three-day event.

This summer, count on being productive. Grad Success Week offers three days of seminars and events designed to help graduate students prepare and focus on their important research projects. The summertime is the perfect time to get down to business, and this week of free events will ensure you’re set up for success.

Grad Success Week offers something for every graduate student:

  • Keynote address from Dr. Piers Steel
  • Hear from faculty on how to get published
  • Complete four Writing at the Graduate Level courses in just three days
  • Learn strategies to improve reading, research and presentations
  • Build confidence and learn to manage stress by attending Wellness workshops
  • Network with professionals, academics and your peers
  • Attend an address by the Dean and Associate Dean of FGS


Procrastination and Academic Success for Graduate Students
Date Time Location
Tuesday, May 3 9:00-10:20am TFDL Gallery Hall

According to his website, Dr. Steel was "a practicing procrastinator from an early age". While completing his doctorate at the University of Minnesota, he began studying procrastination formally, eventually making it the focus of his dissertation, as well as for many of his other projects including his book, The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done. In his keynote address for Grad Success Week, Dr. Steel will discuss the phenomenon of procrastination and how graduate students can address it while pursuing academic success. For more on Dr. Steel, visit

Piers Steel is a professor in the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary (Human Resources and Organizational Dynamics) and is also the Distinguished Research Chair in Advanced Business Leadership at the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business. Dr. Steel’s research considers personnel selection, culture, motivation, and procrastination. He has been recognized for exemplary teaching, is highly sought after as a featured speaker at conferences and events, and has published extensively.


Lunch hosted by IEEE Publishing
Date Time Location
Tuesday, May 3 12:00-12:50pm TFDL Gallery Hall

IEEE Publishing will be hosting attendees of Grad Success Week for a free pizza lunch on Tuesday, May 3 at 12pm. Please register.

Faculty of Graduate Studies Lunch hosted by the Dean and Associate Dean
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 12:00-12:50pm TFDL Gallery Hall

FGS wants to treat you to lunch with the Dean and Vice Provost of Graduate Studies, Dr. Lisa Young, as well as Associate Dean, Dr. Robin Yates, who will share some inspiring words to help you kick off your best summer yet of research and writing. Please register.


FGS Graduate Student Panel: Myth-busting the Grad Student Experience
Date Time Location
Tuesday, May 3 10:30-11:50am TFDL Gallery Hall

This panel of current students and recent grads will share their experiences around the highs and lows of completing a graduate degree. This session aims to foster a safe space to discuss and normalize some of the most common beliefs and experiences of grad students and offers peer advice and strategies for working through challenges toward success.


Nazario Robles Bastida is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. He obtained his Bachelor in Communication Studies from ITESM Campus Toluca and his Master from Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México. His current research centers in the processes through which individual and collective identities are created and managed within fan subcultures. In particular, he is conducting ethnographic research on Japanese animation fans, a project that has taken him to different cities of Canada and Mexico. Nazario has been teaching Mass Communication for the Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary since 2014, a course in which he mainly discusses new media and convergence culture.

Vicki Bouvier is a proud Métis woman, born and raised in Calgary. Her education and professional path began in the field of Aboriginal early childhood education and over the next seventeen years encompassed working in the fields of Aboriginal youth leadership and Aboriginal student advising. She recently completed a Master of Arts Degree in the Werklund School of Education and is continuing her studies as a PhD student. Her research specifically focused on the personal narratives of four Métis individuals in order to find connections to, and evidence of Métis ways of knowing.

Mohsen Ansari is a second year master’s student in Computer Science. He completed his undergraduate degree in Computer Engneering from Tehran Polytechnic in Iran. He is part of a computer network research group, and his research looks at enhancing the internet media streaming (through outlets such as You Tube or Netflix). When he was in 2nd grade, Mohsen asked his dad "how many years do I need to be in school till I become a professor?" Mohsen was a little too successful in planting that seed, as his parents continue to encourage him toward that goal, but he now has different dreams.

Academic Integrity and Using Sources Effectively
Date Time Location
Tuesday, May 3 1:00-2:20pm TFDL Gallery Hall

Being a graduate student means being on the cutting edge of research, and properly acknowledging sources is as important as the research itself. In this informal panel discussion, we will explore and unpack the institutional definition of academic integrity and provide participants with a variety of strategies to prevent unintentional plagiarism while researching, writing and revising written work. Key topics covered will include note-taking and reading strategies for writing effective summaries of scholarly articles, paraphrasing research, and common sentence patterns used to discuss existing research or literature.

Scholarship Writing
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 10:30-11:50pm TFDL Gallery Hall

This informal panel discussion will look at strategies for writing statements of purpose, statements of intent and other documents typically associated with scholarship and program applications. The workshop highlights potential idea and organization strategies. The last part of the workshop focuses on perception management, particularly issues of style and tone.


Dr. Christopher Fuller is a Research Associate for the Departments of Geography and Engineering, and a Writing Advisor for both the Writing Support and RWRD ESL programs at the Student Success Center, at the University of Calgary. His MSc and PhD research was primarily funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Foundation for innovation (CFI), and the Artic Institute of North America (AINA), with additional support from several other institutional, provincial, and international grants and scholarships.

Kady Lyons (panel moderator) is a PhD candidate and Vanier scholar in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary and she studies fish physiology with particular interest in elasmobranchs, sharks and rays. She obtained my Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz and my Master’s from California State University Long Beach. Kady has been working with Writing Support Services since 2014 and enjoys working with students on the variety of writing assignments they bring to the SCC.

Colleen Cuthbert is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Nursing. Colleen is also a Nurse Practitioner at the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary, and her clinical practice has helped to shape her research interests. Her research is focused on promoting healthy behaviors in populations who are at risk for health decline. Her PhD thesis is a multidisciplinary project in collaboration with the Faculty of Kinesiology. Colleen’s research is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, an Izaak Walton Killam pre-doctoral scholarship, and a Psychosocial Oncology Research Training fellowship.

Articles that get Published: Science and Engineering
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 1:00-2:20pm TFDL Gallery Hall

Have you ever wondered what journal editors are looking for? Get the inside scoop on publishing in peer-reviewed journals in Science and Engineering. This session will feature a panel of distinguished faculty who will share their knowledge and experience in academic publishing. Hear their thoughts on academic publishing from a journal editor’s perspective, including what stops a paper from making it to peer-review and what kinds of writing engage reviewers.


Dr. Leland Jackson (Department of Biological Sciences) studies the role of macrophytes in stabilizing water quality in aquatic ecosystems. He is the Executive Director of Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets, has extensive experience as a journal referee and he sits on the editorial board of Aquatic Conservation.

Dr. Anthony Russell (Department of Biological Sciences) has published prolifically on the evolutionary and functional morphology of living and extinct amniote vertebrates; the biology and ecology of the amphibians and reptiles of Alberta; and, in conjunction with the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Cretaceous-era vertebrates of North America. Dr. Russell has served on numerous editorial advisory boards, and is currently Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Zoology.

Dr. Danielle Marceau (Schulich School of Engineering) research program is Environmental Geocomputation, an emerging discipline which seeks to develop intelligent computer-based information systems for the solution of complex environmental problems. She sits on several editorial boards, and is the French editor of The Canadian Geographer, as well as the editor of the same journal’s GIScience section.

Dr. Barry Sanders (Department of Physics and Astronomy) is the Director of the Institute for Quantum Science and Technology and is the AITF iCORE Strategic Chair in Quantum Information Science. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of New Journal of Physics and a past associate editor of Physical Review A.

Melanie Masserant is an Account Development Specialist with Springer Publishing.

Slides: Writing Academic Publications in Science and Engineering - What editors and reviewers look for - Dr. Russell

Articles that get Published: Arts and Social Sciences
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 1:00-2:20pm TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom

Have you ever wondered what journal editors are looking for? Get the inside scoop on getting published in peer-reviewed journals in the Arts and Social Sciences. Featuring a panel of distinguished faculty with extensive knowledge and experience in academic publishing, this session will offer a journal editor’s perspective on what stops a paper from making it to the peer-review stage, and what kinds of writing engage reviewers.


Dr. Maureen Hiebert (Department of Political Science) is a member of The Consortium for Peace Studies and the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. She has published extensively in the field of Comparative Genocide Theory and is co-editor of Genocide Studies International.

Dr. Michael Tavel Clarke (Department of English) researches American literature and culture, with a focus on theories of the body and gender studies. He is a co-editor of ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature.

Dr. Loren Falkenberg (Haskayne School of Business) is an award-winning scholar publishing on ethical and social responsibilities of corporations. She has consulted on several corporate social responsibility programs and is an editor for The Journal of Business Ethics.

Dr. Faye Halpern (Department of English) specializes in nineteenth-century American women authors and their rhetorical practices is a co-editors of ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature. She recently published an article called “10 Tips for Getting Published” for Inside Higher Ed (see 10 Tips for Getting Published - Halpern )

Writing at the Graduate Level

Strategies for Writing Literature Reviews
Date Time Location
Tuesday, May 3 2:30-3:50pm TFDL Gallery Hall

A literature review is more than a series of summaries.  While each discipline's literature varies, all disciplines expect a literature review to present a synthesis of current knowledge.  This workshop focuses on strategies and approaches that all students can use to organize their literature, draft their review, and revise their review.  Key features of the workshop include effectively gathering a body of research, criteria for selecting literature, and approaches for organizing literature reviews.

Strategies for Developing Research Proposals
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 9:00-10:20am TFDL Gallery Hall

This session provides strategies on developing appropriate research questions, conceptualizing information surrounding a topic, and selecting a project scope that matches your time frame. While noting differences across disciplines, this workshop discusses strategies students can use to begin the planning and drafting of a research proposal. Key features of the workshop include developing preliminary research questions, creating coherence between parts of the proposal, and revising for errors that prompt confusion or misreading. Please note that this session does not provide information related to preparing proposals for scholarship/funding applications.

Critical Thinking and Scholarly Writing
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 9:00-10:20am TFDL Gallery Hall

This workshop will help students understand the structure of academic argumentation through claims, evidence and warrants. We will also consider a few critical thinking themes that form the blueprint for all academic writing. These include critiquing a position based on context/point of view, strength of evidence, flaws in reasoning and underlying epistemological assumptions. Students will have a chance to connect these themes to their own research.

Revising and Editing
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 2:30-3:50pm TFDL Gallery Hall

Most students review, rewrite, and edit their documents (often more than they like to admit). This workshop will help students structure their revision process to become more effective at revising their documents. The workshop addresses various writing processes to help students become attuned to where they are most likely to make mistakes. Students are also encouraged to develop their own revision checklist, based on their experience with their own writing, as the workshop covers organizational, sentence-level, and surface level errors.

Research, Reference, and Data Management

Research Project Management
Date Time Location
Tuesday, May 3 4:00-4:50pm TFDL Gallery Hall

One of the greatest challenges faced by graduate students is the size and complexity of the dissertation, for which no previous academic work can have fully prepared them. In addition to the cognitive challenge of giving coherent form to such a mass of material, there are the closely interrelated time-management and motivational challenges associated with a large project. In this seminar, we will look at the principles of project management, one of the most powerful tools for addressing these challenges. Presenter: Paul Papin (Academic Development Specialist, Student Success Centre).

Slides: Research Project Management - Papin

Data Management
Date Time Location
Tuesday, May 3 4:00-4:50pm TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom

Learn about research data management. Research data, whether made up of spreadsheets, interview transcripts, image collections, digital records, or other material, will be crucial to your career as a graduate student and researcher. Properly managing this data you will save you time and headaches by ensuring your data is not accidentally lost while making your data easier to work with and verifying your research findings. This session will focus on how to manage your data before, during, and after your research, as well as describe how to use Data Management Plan Assistant, a Canadian online tool for creating data management plans. Presenters: John Brosz (Coordinator of Research Data and Visualization) and Paul Pival (Research Librarian - Data Analytics and Economics).

Slides: Data Management - Brosz and Pival

Reference Management
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 2:30-3:20pm TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom

This session will provide an overview of the various reference management tools useful for organizing your references and formatting your papers/thesis. Presenter: Sandra Lipton.

Manage Your Research Identity and Track Your Impact
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 10:00-10:50am TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom

How do you stand out in a crowded field of researchers? How can you present a coherent picture of your research and its impact when applying to postgraduate programs? This session shows you how to create researcher profiles in services like Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar, as well as to use surveys tools for analyzing the impact of your published research. Presenters: Heather Ganshorn and Christie Hurrell.

The Reasons Why You are Losing Access to your Research, Explained: Understanding Copyright and Open Access
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 11:00-11:50am TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom

As a graduate student and researcher you may be excited to get your work published; however, you may not be aware of the various publishing models available or what author rights you may want to retain in the publication process. Many researchers are surprised to learn that they may not be able to reuse their own published works in standard publishing contracts, whether it is through self-archiving or sharing with a colleague. It is important to consider these issues and have a plan to negotiate for rights prior to submitting for publication and signing a contract. Presenters: Rowena Johnson (Copyright Officer), Kathryn Ruddock (Manager, Digitization and Repository Services).

Slides: Copyright and Open Access Basics - Ruddock and Johnson


Moving Beyond Conflict in Supervisory Relationships
Date Time Location
Tuesday, May 3 2:30-3:20pm TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom
The relationship with your graduate supervisor is one of the most important relationships in your academic career. However, sometimes conflict can occur in this relationship that can have a negative impact on your progression as a graduate student. For graduate students experiencing conflict with their supervisor, there are often strategies that can be utilized to overcome this conflict. This workshop is designed for graduate students wanting to learn how to address conflict in their supervisory relationships. You will learn effective communication skills to support constructive conflict resolution, explore processes and factors to contemplate if considering a change of supervisor, and strengthen strategies in taking care of yourself in high stress periods.
Self-Efficacy and Confidence
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 2:30-3:20pm TFDL Gallery Hall

Henry Ford stated, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re usually right.” This workshop focuses on strategies to enhance self-confidence, reflect on your values, develop a growth mind-set, and practice self-compassion and gratitude, all with the intention of equipping you for success in graduate school and beyond.

Slides: Self-efficacy and Confidence - Laverty

Harnessing Stress to Enhance Performance: Transforming Stress into an Asset for Presentations and Thesis Defense
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 2:30-3:20pm TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom

This workshop will help students rethink their relationship to stress and use it as an asset in performance situations such as presentations and thesis defense. Presenter: Julie Stewart (Academic Development Specialist, Student Success Centre).

Other Sessions

Time Management Discussion
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 1:00-2:20pm TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom

Join in on a group discussion facilitated by an Academic Development Specialist from the Student Success Centre. In this session, you will have an opportunity to learn from your peers various time management and motivation strategies that work or that don't work, and together you will brainstorm strategies to help you stay on track! Facilitator: Kaliopi Kollias (Academic Development Specialist, Student Success Centre).

Reading for Structure
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 1:00-2:20pm TFDL Gallery Hall

Tired of wandering through professional journal articles without a map? The Reading for Structure workshop will help you navigate the trickiest of articles even when the trail is unmarked. In addition to becoming more familiar with the clearly signposted sections of a paper—Methodology, Results, Discussion—you'll learn to clearly identify the research problem, its significance, justifications for the research, limitations on results, etc. Participants in this workshop will be shown examples of articles from various disciplines to consider.

Slides: Reading for Structure

RWRD (Read, Write, Review, Develop): Academic Language-building for International Students
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 3:30-4:50pm TFDL Gallery Hall

Do you feel you would benefit from a personalized program to improve your language skills? The RWRD program is designed to build academic reading, writing, and speaking skills with the regular and frequent help of a tutor in the Student Success Centre. Students who have already registered for our Spring session should attend this introductory workshop to meet their tutors, develop good initial strategies, and begin their submission process.

Tour of the TFDL Vault
Date Time Location
Wednesday, May 4 3:30-4:20pm TBD

Join librarians and archivists for a fun look around some of the interesting and intriguing hidden material stored in our Archives and Special Collections mystery storage location in the Taylor Family Digital Library.

How to Publish a Book from Your Dissertation
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 9:00-9:50am TFDL 364 - SSC Classroom

Having a published book can help you attain prestige, promotion and, in the academic world, tenure. Your dissertation is a great source for your first book. But don’t make the all-too-common mistake of submitting it to publishers before you revise it. The rigorous demands in format and content for a dissertation are quite different from what’s best to create an effective scholarly book. In this workshop, you’ll learn the basic steps to transform your dissertation into a publishable book manuscript. Presenter: Brian Scrivener (University of Calgary Press).

Developing your Presentation Style
Date Time Location
Thursday, May 5 10:30-11:50am TFDL Gallery Hall

Learn how to make an impression on academic and non-academic audiences alike. Become a master of gesture, tone, and PowerPoint! Presenter: Kaliopi Kollias (Academic Development Specialist, Student Success Centre).

Register for a Grad Success Week session

Registration instructions

Attendees may register for any number of sessions; there is no minimum or maximum number of sessions.

Schedule of Events



Writing at the Graduate Level

Research, Reference,
and Data Management


Other Sessions

Contact info

Callie Lathem
Program Assistant

Brought to you in partnership by the Student Success Centre, Libraries and Cultural Resources, Faculty of Graduate Studiesand the SU Wellness Centre.