AU/AUGSA Research Conference for 2020

2020 Graduate Student Research Conference Abstract Winners

Congratulations are in order for this year’s 2020 Graduate Student Research Conference (GSRC) first, second and third place top abstract winners.

Taking place on Oct. 16-17, the theme of this year’s fully-virtual GSRC is “Moving Beyond”. In this incredibly unprecedented year, the significance of “Moving Beyond” is even more poignant. All 35 abstracts submitted were thoughtful, diverse and engaging, and focused on timely and relevant topics.

To select the top three abstracts, reviewers had to deliberate as a group and take a formal vote. There were some highly-rated abstracts, which made the decision process even harder for the reviewers.

“Reviewing the abstracts submitted this year was particularly satisfying since, for the first time, undergraduate students were included in the process along with graduate students. The hope is to engage AU learners at different stages of their studies and to nurture an inclusive and interdisciplinary culture of research.”

– GSRC Abstract Reviewer

The abstracts were scored based on the original submission before any recommended changes were made. Here are the results!

1st place: Marissa Williams, Master of Counselling (MC) Program

Marissa’s abstract took first place, earning her a prize of $250. Her abstract is titled, “Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Mothers’ lived experiences of recovery following counselling (primary research).”

2nd place: Sabina Staempfli, Master of Nursing (MN) Program

Sabina’s abstract earned her a spot in second place, with a prize of $150. Her abstract submission is titled, “Leading a long-term care facility through the COVID-19 crisis: Successes, barriers, and lessons learned.”

3rd place: Cara Violini, Doctor of Education in Distance Education (EdD) Program

Cara’s abstract took third place, with a prize of $100. Her abstract submission is titled, “Moving beyond Iowa: Silence and the online creative writing workshop.”

Marissa, Sabina, Cara, and 32 others will be presenting a poster or a paper presentation to approximately 200 registrants on Oct. 17 at this year’s fully-virtual GSRC.

This year’s People’s Choice Award winner is…

For the first time ever, the GSRC included a ‘People’s Choice Award’ in the conference schedule. After many fantastic and engaging presentations, the winner—voted for by fellow conference attendee—was AU’s 3MT first place winner, Brittany Hollett.

Brittany’s abstract was called “Supporting Parents When Nightmares Become Reality: Do families of children at end-of-life on ECMO require additional support?”

Congratulations to all the presenters at this year’s conference!

What is the Graduate Student Research Conference?

The annual Athabasca University (AU) Graduate Student Research Conference (GSRC) will take place virtually from Oct. 16–17, 2020. This conference is organized by the Faculty of Graduate Studies at AU and the Athabasca University Graduate Students Association (AUGSA). This year’s theme is “Moving Beyond,” and in this incredibly unprecedented year, the significance of “Moving Beyond” is even more poignant. As 2020 also marks AU’s 50th anniversary, this year has been a time to reflect on the possibilities for the future of education, and has quickly become a time in which innovation to meaningfully educate and connect everyone in the world took on more urgency and relevance.

This conference is an opportunity for learners to share their ideas and receive critical reviews of their work in a supportive, yet scholarly, environment. The conference objectives are to support diversity, equity, fairness, and ethical conduct in graduate education and create an enriched ecosystem that combines scholarship, applied research, and creative work. The conference typically hosts over 100 registrants which includes students, faculty, and staff from across the institution. Students attend from all over the world, representing master’s and doctoral programs in business, health studies, nursing, education, humanities, computing, architecture, and science.

To learn more, visit the Graduate Student Research Conference website.

Credit: Jessica Proeller University Relations