Research Series for Students Earns High Marks
“Before the pandemic hit, I’d only been exposed to research as a research participant,” says Alyssa, a fourth-year Kinesiology student minoring in Psychology who also serves as Vice President Social with the Kinesiology Society.
“The research series was a great way to get involved and immerse myself in the science community. The best part of the series was viewing scientific research from a different lens. It was refreshing to dig deeper into topics such as equity, diversity and inclusion within the scientific community. These important topics created thought-provoking conversations during the series that truly allowed me to reflect on my role as a science student within my own community.”
Paige, also in her fourth year, took part in the training series to prepare for her research practicum during the Winter term. “I really enjoyed the equity, diversity and inclusion session. EDI and anti-racism are not one-and-done topics so I appreciate any opportunity to education myself on the topic and learn from individuals with first-hand, lived experience.”
Like Alyssa, Paige was unable to get any research experience before the pandemic forced the move to a virtual campus. “I’m originally from Saskatoon so I went back home during the pandemic and continued working as a medical radiography assistant and medical imaging porter at one of the major hospitals in my hometown.”
Alyssa and Paige were among the more than 60 students who participated in the summer research training series launched by three of the newest faculty members in the Department of Kinesiology. – Assistant Professors Trevor King, Jeremy Walsh and Baraa Al-Khazaji. Jeremy joined McMaster in 2020 while Baraa and Trevor joined in 2019.
Baraa, Jeremy and Trevor wanted to help students like Alyssa and Paige who’d had few, if any, in-person research opportunities because of the pandemic. The series featured three research-focused online lectures plus interactive workshops held during the summer.
“It was a fantastic experience and we got as much out of it as the students,” says Baraa about the training series. “The students really brought the magic. They fully engaged with the material and generously shared their thoughts and perspectives.”
Baraa, Jeremy and Trevor also said graduate students Elric Allison, Jem Cheng, Joshua Cherubini, Michelle Mei, Sydney Valentino and Jennifer Williams did an outstanding job facilitating sessions and offering their expertise.
The enthusiastic response from students has convinced Baraa, Jeremy and Trevor to continue the research training series. The series will focus on furthering develop students’ understanding of cardiovascular physiology plus offer additional lectures focused on transferrable skills including critical appraisal of scientific literature and scientific communication from presenting accessible figures to effective presentations and scientific writing.